While solid blues in different shades and designs can be effectively combined, the layering of patterns is especially popular in tabletops. The new Somerset Island collection at Lauren Home furthers Ralph Lauren’s affinity for blue (there’s also a bedding collection called Indigo). There are several mix-and-match patterns, including floral, woven and solid, on dinner plates as well as companion salad plates.
Many see indigo — and even other blues — as a neutral. “Indigo,” says Boyd, “is a dark note that pairs well with orange, coral, yellow and kelly green.” At the casual furniture market in the fall, there were even teamings of navy with hot pink, a very sophisticated, fashion-forward look.
The kind of statement you make with blue depends on how much you use, and whether it’s background, as in paint or covering for walls or ceiling, or grounding the space with an area rug. One of these, says Boyd, would become a more prominent design element, as would a large sofa. “Lamps, pillows and other accessories will be more subtle.”
Take cues from design magazines and manufacturers. Often vignettes and room settings are styled not only to show off the new wares, but also to launch ideas for combining fabrics, patterns and colors.
In a living room designed for Hooker, buttery yellow walls are the perfect foil for a pair of modern teal blue leather wing chairs. Other background colors share equal weight, making one or both pop. Most often, blue and white work together in a terrific tandem. To show off a new collection, French manufacturer Christian Fischbacher presented ottomans, pillows, rugs and curtains all in shades of blue against a grayed white wall. Likewise, under the header “We’ve got the blues, and it feels so good,” retailer CB2 put the spotlight on several strong shades, from peppy peacock to a rich royal called navy, with high-gloss cabinetry, sofas, smashing graphic rugs and pillows, striped vases and even a floor lamp with an arresting peacock base.
Teaming more casual weaves like denims and tweeds with jute needn’t consign a look to casual. As with many interiors today, you can add a bit of bling — with beads, silky accents and metal, especially silver — just as in fashion.
Even if blue isn’t a part of your home’s “wardrobe,” you might consider some touches.
Depending on the shade you choose, blue can be edgy or calming. You can add high-voltage electricity to a neutral scheme or a relaxed vibe that’s also elegant. A simple addition like a bold blue framed mirror can create surprising energy, commanding attention in a foyer. You might add a floor runner in blue and white — even weatherproof outdoor rugs are available in this palette.
Introduce a little blue into the kitchen with enameled cookware, or on a smaller scale try a spatula or whisk in marine blue. Add a blue plate special to your table. You might try a new service for four, or simply opt for salad or dessert plates in a perky pattern, modern floral or geometric. Pillows easily change up looks, and you’ll have plenty of choices from nuanced solids to patterns. Paint the interior of a white bookshelf in a marine blue for richness or create your own lacquered look on the walls of a powder room.
Fabric, of course, allows you to customize your furnishings, whether it’s re-upholstering a chair, creating a window treatment, sewing a duvet cover or popping in some new pillows.
You’ll find a lot of blue at fabric shops, such as Calico Corners, and through textile manufacturers that have ramped up all shades of the palette, especially indigo. And patterns are plentiful, from vintage paisleys and toiles to contemporary geometrics and stripes.
From soothing spa shades to signature Tiffany to inky indigo, this palette can be restful or rambunctious. One thing is certain: You won’t want to chase these blues away.