Watery shades of blue invoke the feelings associated with the sea. Partner these softer blues with neighboring light greens and a neutral shade of sand for a feeling reminiscent of the seashore. Repeating both tan and pale blue with fabrics, bedding, rugs, and painted furniture creates a calm and relaxing retreat in a master or guest bedroom.
The gathering space we love to congregate in is the kitchen, where meals are prepared and time among family and friends is shared. A blue painted island balances the surrounding white cabinetry and countertops in this welcoming kitchen. Additional blue accessories include small appliances, planters, kitchen towels, and throw pillows which all repeat the blue hues on the island and just beyond in the adjacent family room. Orange sits opposite to blue on the color wheel and is the perfect complement, so layering additional accessories in this citrus shade is natural.
Green and blue are cool colors that are neighbors on the color wheel and always go together. In this dramatic sitting room, a bold cerulean blue is balanced by an equally bold apple green. Inspired by the artwork, textiles in a deep apricot geometric print accent the velvet club chairs.
Purple sits next to blue on the color wheel and on the other side of green, sharing the same classification as a cool color. If paler blues are used in combination, avoid the "Easter basket" effect of pairing too many pastels and instead opt for vivid or deep shades of orchid.
Introduce a dose of femininity to a space with pale pinks, coral, or shades of apricot. The palette of this cozy sitting room is inspired by the striped fabric on the decorative pillows. The pale, watery blue appears on the painted walls and the deeper coral on the cheerful entry door.
Painted walls in a sophisticated slate blue complement wood furnishings and trim. Textural elements in the form of woven baskets, a pouf, a cozy rug, and contemporary lamps with a burnished-brass finish complete the curated look in this cozy sitting room.
No color combination is more all-American than blue and red, and this patriotic pairing is at home in any space. In this cheerful breakfast nook, red trim on roman shades and a stack of ceramic bowls on top of a fresh blue tablecloth are inspired by the whimsical airplane artwork that sets the cottage scene.
Blue accessories such as decorative lamps, throw blankets, or toss pillows partner well with classic furnishings and pop against a neutral backdrop. Vivid cobalt and Monaco blues are brighter than indigo and bolder than pastels, and are a reminder of the lure of the Mediterranean and tropical seas.
A blue-and-white bathroom is undeniably chic when classic beaded board and clean white tile are the foundation. Add style above with wallpaper in a blue motif; consider a dramatic damask, bright geometric, or a soft and subtle floral.
Passionate lovers of blue will be inspired by this multilayered look. Shades of this hue from light to dark all play together well, whether it's the painted sky blue walls, the linen curtains, or the touch of aqua in the ceramic lamp. Textiles are varied and include a large-scale navy Ikat motif, a smaller geometric pattern on the pillows, and a classic stripe on the small stools. Touches of brass, a vintage console table, and a sisal rug complete the look.
Kate Riley is the author of the decorating blog Centsational Girl where she features her own DIY projects and remodeling stories and writes regularly about great interior design.