Blue living rooms are perennially popular, but have, of late, taken over from grey as a go-to for those looking for a near-neutral backdrop for their space. With so many shades on offer, from dazzling aquas to subtle, moody tones, it's a color that lends itself well to all kinds of schemes.
'Blue, like green has many associations with the outdoors from the sea to the sky and also comes loaded with positive energies than are defined as “enthusiastic, encouraging, spiritual & thoughtful”, explains Patrick O’Donnell, a color ambassador at Farrow & Ball. What a better family of associations to have when choosing living room color ideas.
It's also great because of its power to make a space feel bigger, says color and paint expert Annie Sloan. 'It is recessive, which means it draws the eye outwards, blurs horizon lines and gives a sense of never-ending space.' she says. 'It’s also a calming, meditative color which encourages us to breathe in-and-out, creating a psychological and spiritual sense of space as well as the physical illusion.'
To inspire you to make use of this majestic hue in your living room, we've collected 10 of our favorite spaces, with expert advice on how to make these rooms work.
Blue living room ideas for your home
Deciding on blue living room ideas can be an arduous task given all the different tones and depths of blue to pick from. First, define what mood you want to create. For those looking to create a cocooning living room, think about a dark navy or go monochromatic all across the walls. This will make a sanctuary-like space where guests will be beckoned in by the coziness. A light blue can bring a real freshness and zing to a space, and is a friendly and welcoming shade to go for.
Think about the other pieces of furniture in the space - a piece of art with a blue tone that you might like to reference in your room, use blue in accents, not just on the walls. Then at the opposite end of the spectrum, there are the barely-there light blues that have almost become a cool neutral, used in the same way you would white or a pale grey. A crisp white with undertones of blue will instantly make a living room feel lighter and brighter.
1. Pair blue with clashing primary colors
Don't be afraid of embracing clashing colors, and pair blue with everything from across the spectrum, from reds to greens to oranges, as seen in this design by Dublin-based studio, Kingston Lafferty Design.
'Playing off the colours in the mid-century central light fitting we wanted to go with bold colour choices. The mid-blue is balanced here with the soft green of the ceiling - Farrow & Ball's Vert de Terre,' explains Becky Russell of Kingston Lafferty Design.
'These lighter tones are balanced with the royal blue of the fireplace and the depth of colour in the rich floor and burgundy tones from the curtains and living room wall art create a well-balanced palette.'
2. Add a blue mural
Add a sophisticated wall mural or dramatic wallpaper to your room for a simple way to add a pop of blue to a scheme without using paint. A mural can really add statement to your interiors with little effort.
In this example by ARTE, this particular pattern, Rovine, is a panoramic that imitates an etching of a Greek ruin. The drawing shows antiquity in decay.
3. Go monochromatic with the paint
Rather than sticking to just a feature wall, go all over with a deep teal blue, ceilings including. This California Home was designed by Romanek Design Studio, and is a monochromatic color scheme that works particularly well with the panelled ceiling and the darker fireplace which really stands out against this shade of blue.
4. Pair deep blues with blush pink
If you are looking for the best colors to pair with blue, you really can't go wrong with a blush pink and a velvety navy. Case in point in this elegant blue living room. When going over all the walls and ceilings with a deep hue, you need to add in a color that's going to lift the space, still feel luxurious, but just add some contrast. The bold blush pinks of the sofas do just that, creating a room that just draws you in.
5. Choose a gloss finish
Gloss paint isn't something you see all that often, but they do create such a striking, unexpected statement that can work with the right colors. Blue is one such color, a glossy blue on the walls creates a liquid-like sheen that so much more interesting than a flat matte wall. Plus, going for a gloss in a small living room is a great way to bounce more light around the space, making it feel bigger and brighter.
6. Warm up a blue living room scheme
Like any cool tones, blue can look cold in certain lights, and while sometimes that's no bad thing and works particularly well in elegant, lofty rooms, if you want your living room to feel cozy and inviting, you're going to have to bring in some warmer tones.
Be inspired by this blue living room and throw down a large rust-toned area rug that will instantly as warmth. Complement blue walls with warm wooden furniture too or add hints of deep orange, terracotta, and even red into your decor.
7. Tone down a dark blue with pale neutrals
Dark blue doesn't always have to be dramatic. Pair navy walls with light woods and neutral hues like grey, white and beige for a much more toned-down, liveable look. See how in the blue living room, the space isn't overwhelmed by the wall color and it still feels very fresh and light. Opting for a clean white ceiling and woodwork breaks up the dark color too, making it less intense.
8. Create a breezy feel with light sky blues
While dark blues are having their moment, pale blues are always a classic and add such a calming, uplifting feel to a room.
'With the world in turmoil, there’s uncertainty and anxiety all around us,' comments Annie Sloan of the paint brand. 'Light blue is the ultimate colour for creating calmness and quiet in a busy stressful world. Just think of how looking at a soft pale sky in summer makes you feel - relaxed, reassured, at one with nature,' she says.
In this living room, the light sky blue walls are fresh and brightening and they work so well with the soft pinks and slightly deeper blues going on in the rest of the room. It all feels very soft and whimsical here, but light blues can work with a more dramatic, modern look when paired with darker colors and metallic accents.
9. Create a modern vibe with smokey blue walls
A smokey-grey blue gives a living room a very contemporary feel. When paired with retro shapes as it is in this living room it has almost a retro feel to it, that would perfectly suit a Mid-century style space. Again, use warm tones to contrast this steely hue, or lean into its coolness and pair with sharp white woodwork and grey furniture for a more contemporary edge.
10. Add a pop of midnight blue
Blue living room ideas don't all have to be about paint, you can bring in blue with accent furniture too. If you want to keep your living room color scheme generally quite neutral, then choosing a single larger piece of blue furniture to be the focal point of your space is a nice way to add interest and break up all those neutral tones.
You'll find plenty of seating options in all shades of upholstery from deepest darkest navy through to bright cobalt and pale pastel blues in our guide to the best sofas of the year.
What colors go with a blue living room?
The best colors to bring into a blue living room will depend on your personal style and the overall look you are wanting to achieve. If you want to embrace the dark side, then a navy works well with bolder colors like pinks, yellows, and oranges and these combos create that really striking high contrast.
If you are a neutral lover just wanting to dip a toe in the rainbow waters, then you can't go wrong with blue and white, or blue and grey. Just make sure you always order swatches and see what your color choices look like together in your space.
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Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.
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