Navy bedroom ideas – designers reveal how to work this moody, yet restful, hue

Whether you want to add drama or create a cocooning feel, navy bedroom ideas are the ideal and here's the proof

Navy upholstered bed with navy patterned fabric and wallpaper by Barlow & Barlow
(Image credit: Barlow & Barlow)

Navy bedroom ideas are oft underrated in the world of design, with navy kitchens being where we see this hue the most but used cleverly, this classic shade of blue can add real sophistication and warmth to the space.

It is an easy assumption that choosing this inky shade will make a bedroom feel dark and oppressive but the reality is quite different. Navy can add richness and depth regardless of whether you use it as an accent color or to its full dramatic effect. 

Navy is surprisingly versatile to decorate with and can have many color combinations, It is easily paired with anything from soft whites and creams to striking jeweled shades like burnt oranges and marigold yellow. This is precisely why the color is a firm favorite with many interior designers like Abigail Ahern, being drawn to it. 

'We love using darker blue colors like navy as they add a real depth and richness to the room,' agrees Lucy Barlow, creative director of Barlow & Barlow. 'Bold, impactful and elegant navy is also known to be a calming hue making it a great choice for a bedroom.'

Here we have gathered some leading experts to reveal the best way to use navy within your bedroom color scheme.

1. Mix it with cane and rattan for a contemporary twist

Bedroom with blue upholstered headboard with cane wardrobe

(Image credit: Kitesgrove)

Pairing navy with complementary colors is key to a successful bedroom scheme, but it is also important to consider the materials which will allow this shade to shine.

'The cane panels to the cupboards and rattan lampshades in a similar tone to the bedding allow these tonal blues to sit harmoniously together as they are interspersed with natural materials,' says Katie Lion, senior interior designer at Kitesgrove.

Meanwhile, the shade of navy chosen for this bedroom was carefully considered to help the room feel warm and inviting without visually dominating the space.

'The blue velvet scalloped headboard is rich and bold, creating an elegant silhouette against the uplifting and fresh blue wall color, which allows the framed botanicals to become a focal detail,' explains Katie.

'We paired the headboard navy with the cupboards to create a cocooned feeling around the bed. . As a finishing touch we added the eye-catching tie-dye cushions to add volume and an organic pattern which beautifully highlights the inky blue scheme.'

2. Layer it with other shades of blue for a tonal look

Navy blue bedroom with other shades of blue as accent colours

(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

Blue has a chameleon-like quality with so many shades creating different moods. So why just stop at navy? Layering different tones of the same color keeps the eye interested and adds depth to a design. This blue bedroom, designed by Jonathan Adler uses a mix of blues alongside navy including powder blue and teal. The result is a harmonious look that also oozes with sophistication. 

'My first love was the color blue. Baby blue, turquoise, teal indigo, navy - you name it,' says Jonathan. 'Every blue plays well with every other blue and the right shade can transport you from rain-soaked English countryside to the Aegean Sea, It’s a miracle color. '

3. Pile on pattern for instant decorative impact

Bedroom with navy blue headboard and patterned wallpaper

(Image credit: Barlow & Barlow)

If you want to inject navy into your bedroom scheme, you don't have to choose a block color. Incorporating navy in pattern can transform a plain space into something that is joyous and decorative, and this can be brought in through a variety of ways, for instance wallpaper or soft furnishings like rugs and cushions.

'Using pattern and color is a great way to elevate and transform a small bedroom which may otherwise become ignored or unloved,' says Lucy Barlow of Barlow & Barlow. 'In the bed nook of this attic room we chose an impactful and bold navy printed fabric which we paired with the matching wallpaper to create a playful and inviting focal point in the room.'

4. Use it for floor-to-ceiling cabinetry as a key focal point

Bedroom with navy floor to ceiling wardrobes

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Navy is a great color if you want to introduce a darker shade into your bedroom but it doesn't need to be limited to the walls. A bank of floor-to-ceiling wardrobes is an obvious spot to flirt with the hue without committing it to the entire room. 

'Navy Blue is extremely popular for woodwork,' says Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball. 'Using something like Stiffkey Blue on built-in furniture is a great way to introduce color to a bedroom - adding interest or an accent to more neutral schemes.'

Charlotte also advises to use navy, like the very popular Hague Blue,  in more compact spaces, particularly small bedrooms, and guest bedrooms. 'The inky hues of Hague Blue will create an intimate atmosphere, creating a sense of calmness, perfect for relaxing,' she explains. 

5. Add rich fabric and furnishings for a luxurious feel

Navy bedroom with burnt orange soft furnishing

(Image credit: Studio Enass)

The intensity of navy gives it a natural richness and depth, unlike many other colors, so you can add to the expensive feel with luxurious fabrics like velvet, cashmere, and silk.

This was something interior designer Enass Mahmoud, creative director of Studio Enass, had in mind at the very start of this bedroom project. 

'When I first asked my client what do they want to feel when they walk into their room, their first comment was that they want a space that not only feels cozy and warm but also has a sense of luxury,' she explains.

 'My first thought was using a bold dark color such as 2AM by Coat Paints, which is a lovely inky blue, for the walls. Adding the walnut wooden panels instantly warmed up the bedroom which gave it a cozy element,' adds Enass, who instructed London-based Urban Paint + Build to carry out the building and painting work. 

'The most effective way for us to add a sense of luxury to a space is to dress it up with rich fabrics and soft furnishings. Our color palette for this was autumnal tones such as rusty oranges, yellows, reds and brass which complimented the dark wall colors.'

Enass notes that when using a dark shade it is important to consider the lighting to help uplift the space. 'You must include different elements of lighting around the room,' she says. 'We did this here using wall lights on either side of the bed frame as well as a table lamp on the opposite side of the bed, this helps the light to bounce around the room.'

6. Let the artwork lead the color scheme 

Navy bedroom with striking navy artwork

(Image credit: Caballero)

The inspiration for a navy bedroom scheme can be sparked from anything in the room, including the artwork, like in this project by interior design studio Caballero.

Like many interior designers, Caballero's creative director Lucia Caballero, knew the decorating potential of navy and wanted the opportunity to maximize its potential. 

'We had a free rein on this scheme and we always wanted to do an all-blue room,' Lucia says. 'We started with the artwork which is from my dear friend and South African artist Kurt Pio. Our client adored this and this is where all the inspiration started from.'

Lucia chose an indigo wallpaper from Arte, Steel Blue, to be the perfect backdrop for the piece of art. 

Then more layers of blue was added through the furniture. 'We designed bespoke bedside tables with blue suede and an Italian artisan veneer in high gloss. 

'The lamp is from Arteriors and fabrics are Pierre Frey. The blue cashmere and silk throw are from Graziano.'

7. Team navy and wood for added warmth

Navy blue bedroom with wood furniture

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Navy and wood are perfect bedfellows. Both are warming and grounding, creating a very relaxing space whenever they are brought together. So it is a combination that excels in the bedroom. If you choose to have navy bedroom walls, like Farrow & Ball's Hague Blue which is used here, introduce wood furniture for added richness. 

'The dreamiest space in the home is one we all retreat to for rest,' says Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball. 'Dark colors, often the realm of the bold and brave, can be an excellent choice if you are looking to create an intimate and cozy dark bedroom scheme. 

'Nuanced navy such as Hague Blue feels grounded, secure, and serene - perfect for reading late into the night.'

8. Colour drench for an enveloping, wraparound effect

Navy bedroom with doors and ceiling also in navy

(Image credit: Jessica Helgerson Interior Design)

For a cocooning feel, go bold by color-drenching the space.  Colour-drenching is such a huge interior design trend and essentially choosing one shade for a room and using it on multiple surfaces.

While it may seem a bold and intimidating move at first, the effect can be quite transformative particularly in a small space, as it blurs all dividing lines so it feels more cohesive and calming. 

In this project by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, not only are the walls painted navy but so is the door, woodwork, and ceiling.

'Navy is lovely for bedrooms because it is a cool and restful color, evoking a midnight sky,' she says.

9.  Use eye-catching wallpaper to embrace the hue

Bedroom with blue patterned wallpaper

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

'Another way to bring navy into a bedroom scheme is through wallpaper,' says Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball. 'You can use it as an accent behind the bed or something cossetting that wraps the room.'

With the range of patterns available – from fabulous florals to classic stripes – bedroom wallpaper is certainly a way you can personalize your space. There is so much that can be done with wallpaper, you can even use it to zone a room. A single wall can act as an interesting focal point but for a truly wraparound effect, you could also cover the ceiling, known in design circles as the 'fifth wall'. 

10. Choose navy as bed upholstery for a sumptuous look  

Neutral bedroom with navy blue upholstered bed with scalloped headboard

(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

An upholstered bed, where the frame is covered in padding and material,  is likely to be the most captivating element of a bedroom. So choosing a sumptuous navy fabric will add to the luxurious look and feel.

It can act as an accent color in neutral bedrooms and in the case of this design by Jonathan Adler, the scallop headboard brings in softness and interest into an otherwise simple space.

Want to dial up the luxury? Add warm metallic accents like the renowned designer has done here, which gives the bedroom a glamorous and sophisticated edge.

11. Add navy accent to a white or grey color scheme

Bedroom with four poster bed with grey walls and navy bedding alongside artwork

(Image credit: Cynthia Lynn/ Brynn Olson Design Group)

If you are tentatively dipping your toes into the world of navy, you may want to keep things simple by bringing in navy accents into a white or grey design. This project by Illinois-based interior designer Brynn Olson does exactly like and the confident sprinkling of navy gives depth to the scheme.

'When we approached this bedroom, we wanted to keep the space light and airy while bringing in deep navy hues,' says Brynn.  'To ensure that we didn’t overwhelm the space, we incorporated crisp white and subtle gray tones overall and then added navy accents such as the tassel lamp, bedding, and cushions. The bedroom needed to function as a fun space for grandkids but also be sophisticated enough to be a guest bedroom for adults when the occasion arose. Navy can feel both luxurious and casual, so it was the perfect choice here.' 

Is navy a good color for a bedroom?

Navy is a great color for a bedroom because it is surprisingly soothing and restful. The dark shade makes it cozy and inviting, perfect for nighttime. Bold, yet still understated, navy is timeless and can go work with practically every color scheme. Team it with a crisp white and you get a gentle coastal look but mix it with a jeweled color and it feels very luxurious. 

What colors go with navy?

Most colors go well with navy. Navy and blush pink are perfect companions as the navy stops pink from looking too sugary while navy and white is a classic combination that will never date. To create a contrast, look to browns, reds, and oranges. An unexpected but successful pairing is navy and green, which complement each other and can look very sophisticated. 

Busola Evans

As the Deputy Editor of Livingetc, Busola Evans works across both print and digital and specialises in kitchens, bathrooms and projects. She is an expert at explaining how to improve, extend and convert your home. Prior to her current role, she was Associate Editor on both Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has written for a number of newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Sunday Times Magazine and Grazia,  and was an interiors columnist for the London Evening Standard's ES Magazine.