Invoke peaceful vibes in your nest with hues inspired by blue-tone eggs.
Robin's-egg blue is Ontario-based decorator Michael Penney's signature hue. "Robin's-egg blue is a good beginner color," he says. "We see it in the sky and water all around us, so our eye is used to it."
Pale blue is difficult to pick from paint chips. "If you look at a real egg, it has a dash of green with the blue," Penney says. "Choose from blues that neighbor greens."
This livable hue can underscore the palette of a whole house. "Maybe it's the walls in your living room and the ceiling in your bedroom, a table in the den, and china in the dining room," Penney says.
Inspired by vibrant skies and ocean waves, the appeal of these watery blues is hard to deny. The love of blue is instinctual because we see so much of it in the sky, says designer Elaine Griffin, who explains how to translate this beloved hue into a gorgeous blue paint color for your walls.
Consider how much light the room receives. "A south-facing room flooded with sunlight will always look great in a rich, bold color," Elaine says. In a room with less light, opt for a pale color on walls, and save intense hues for accents.
Try out the bolder side of blue with aquamarine hues.
Designer Khristian A. Howell recommends giving aqua a test run on a piece of furniture. "It's not a sub for painting the whole wall -- nothing is -- but it gets your hands dirty with the color a little bit," Howell says.
"Being bold is all about balance," she says. In other words, don't use aqua on every surface in the room. A tiny dose will make an impression, especially in a room full of grays, creams, and whites.
Soft colors aren't the only hues to impart a relaxing tone. These serene blues will also do the trick.
It might seem counterintuitive to call bold blues relaxing, but "when we gaze out into deeply hued ocean waters, is that relaxing? Absolutely," says San Francisco designer Kelly Berg.
If a color makes you feel good, it will likely soothe you, too, Berg says. "Listen to your intuitive response to color. Fear can hold us back from picking the colors that feel good, but be brave!"
For a blue with a flair of the dramatic, go with shades of teal.
"Teal doesn't work well as a monochromatic palette," says Philippa Radon, color expert and interior designer. "It embraces other colors." To keep it fresh, Radon recommends bright accents such as crimson, citrus green, or neon yellow.
It's hard to beat chocolate brown as a companion for blue. The two timeless colors look fresh when paired with a snappier hue, such as kelly green. Choose a blue that's either pale or saturated -- not a middle tone -- to keep the palette fresh.
Although blue is a classic, don't shy away from the hue if your style is modern. Keep the palette monochromatic, choosing a medium blue for the major pieces -- window treatments, upholstered furniture, bedding -- and a paler blue paint color for the walls. It's easier to match paint colors to furniture, accessories, and fabrics than the other way around because paints offer greater variety.
Green-blue can quickly go candy-coated and childlike. Bring in a little maturity with a stately, mid-range neutral, such as camel brown. Using a light tone as the main neutral will not have the same effect, while a dark brown or gray will drain the color of its cheeriness.
Warm blues are not a myth, says designer Elaine Griffin. To find one -- and avoid a room that gives you the chills -- "look for a blue with lots of yellow undertones."
If blue is your hue, go for it in an all-blue color palette. Vary the intensity of the hues, and stick to either the cool or warm side of blue for a coordinating look. Mix in a few warm accents, such as orange pillows, gold frames, or honey-hued wood furniture or floors. You'll end with a wow-worthy room.
Scale back the intensity of blues and stick to only one or two variations for a more serene look. When using less intense hues, it's not as important to have a contrasting counterpoint. The goal of a muted palette is to be subdued, so adding in too many opposing elements will defeat the purpose.
Strike a balance between structure and frothy in a room layered with light blues. Spindly furniture with a dark finish, such as these aged-bronze beds, add visual weight without dragging down a watery palette.
Tap into the neutral side of blue with hues tinged with gray. Blue-grays are serene and subtle. To prevent the color from looking washed out, pair it with a crisp, clean white.
See it in action! Watch how a blue color palette can bring a room to life.