Blue: The Color That Isn't Going Anywhere

Blue is a classic shade that's a mainstay in decor. But lately, it's moved from staple to the hot must-have. Give it a second look and see our favorite shades (hello, indigo!) and ways to make the tried-and-true color feel brand new.

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    Shade Pick: Indigo

    Indigo is reminiscent of a favorite pair of comfy blue jeans, but dark enough to be sophisticated. Like jeans, it's a go with almost anything color. Here, it plays out with wood tones and white.

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    Shade Pick: Denim

    Take a turn from indigo towards light hues and you'll land on denim next. The sophisticated gloves come off and you're left with an everyday easy shade that looks fabulous with its analogous companions -- yellow and green. Add in plenty of white and you have a friendly, cottage style scheme.

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    Shade Pick: Midnight Teal

    Can you say rich? Teal is an unexpected alternative to navy. They both have the same jewel box attributes, but teal has a little added yellow, which takes the shade towards green. While shades like turquoise and aqua also follow the blue plus yellow formula, teal has more black, which gives the shade plenty of richness and depth.

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    Shade Pick: Aquamarine

    This blue-green shade contains plenty of yellow and ends on the bright, not dark side of the spectrum. It's still plenty saturated (meaning, it doesn't contain a lot of white), and commands attention, but without the visually heavy qualities of teal.

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    Shade Pick: Robin's Egg

    Looking for something less intense? Robin's egg blue is the way to go. The softer color looks smart with rustic and cottage decor and pairs nicely with warm, medium tone neutrals, like khaki and tan.

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    Shade Pick: Navy

    Classic navy is anything but a has-been. When paired with crisp white, it's timeless, but with addition of coral pink, it's fresh and fun. 

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    Shade Pick: Powder Blue

    A barely blue captures the serene qualities of the color, thanks to its position close to white. And not just for little boys, it pairs well with soft pink and antiqued metals for a young girl's room.

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    Use It: Get Creative

    Blue is a stand-by in decor, but there are plenty of ways to make it shine. Watch and see three better ways to use blue in your decor.

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    Use It: Blue on Blue

    What's better than one shade of blue? How about two or more? Keep shades within the same family for the ultimate pulled together, monochromatic look. Use a paint strip as your guide for choosing colors. Every color may not appear in paint in your room, but if you pick a wall color from a strip, match other items in the room to colors on the strip so everything still has the same tonal value.

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    Use It: Complementary

    Give any color of blue (from sky to navy) a little more zing by pairing it with orange. The two colors are opposites on the color wheel, which means they are as different as colors can get. Your eyes detect this contrast (sometimes without even you realizing it) and the color pairing conveys more energy. (Picture the orange pillows and bench in blue instead; the space would be a lot more muted.)

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    Use It: Analogous at Its Best

    Dial it down a notch and land on an analogous color scheme. Since blue and green are next to each other on the color wheel (and green is partially blue, after all), there's less contrast, read, a more restful palette. If you want to pair green and blue but still want it to be a little energized, pick brighter shades, like jadeite and aqua, with medium saturations. And bonus points for throwing in a black-and-white pattern.

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    Use It: Blue Plus Black

    A medium blue is seemingly casual, but when paired with black, it goes glam. Add in plenty of white and the look is instantly modern. 

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    Use It: Rustic Wake-Up

    Bright, intense blue brings a playful tone to rustic decor. A cool shade like blue pops against warm wood finishes. When using a single shade, don't forget to repeat it throughout the room, so the color feels purposeful and not misplaced.

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    Use It: Just a Hint

    Not looking to do a complete color overhaul? Pick one piece to get the blue treatment with paint. Here, a teal sliding barn door wakes up a plain white wall.

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    Use It: Timeless Appeal

    Blue is lauded for its classic appeal and versatility across design styles, and looks right at home in traditionally-minded spaces. To keep the look up-to-the-minute, incorporate a few current prints (like trellis) and punchy details (like an industrial style coffee table or oversized nailhead trim).

  • Next Slideshow Nature-Inspired Color Palettes

    Nature-Inspired Color Palettes

    Bring the great outdoors inside! Take your hue cues from Mother Nature and build decorating themes and color schemes that are sure to please through every season.
    Begin Slideshow »
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