Which Colors Should I Use With Navy Living Room Walls? 6 Shades Designers are Using Now to Enhance This Blue

These navy blue color schemes for living rooms showcase the perfect shades to pair with this dark, moody hue

Navy blue living room with rust accents
(Image credit: Pam Maher)

Electing the right accent shades that go with navy blue walls is a science and an art. Dark blue is a bold design choice in some regards, so it's tricky selecting a tone that jives with its complexity. It stands out more than your usual white wall, but the depth of its shade deems it a faux neutral of sorts, making it just as grounding as a subtler brown or beige.

Some accent colors might be obvious picks, like white or cream, and come to mind thanks to their reputation of being a classic pairing with navy. Others might catch you by surprise. Deep olive greens and bold marigolds are equally as chic and powerful when sidled up next to dark blue. 

Despite its deeply saturated shade, there are a handful of colors that go with navy blue. When it comes to choosing accent shades to enhance and complement walls lacquered in a dark blue, these are the best options according to designers. 

1. Olive green

Navy blue wall in living room with olive green chair

(Image credit: Diana Lombard Interiors / Photo by Angela Newton Roy Photography)

Neutral accent colors are tempting, but there are some other hues with more saturation that work perfectly with navy. One such example? Earthy green shades — navy blue is a great color that goes with olive green. 'The deep, rich navy provides a strong contrast to the muted and organic feel of earthy greens, and two colors together evoke a sense of calmness and tranquility,' says designer Audrey Scheck of Audrey Scheck Design. 

For an easy way to do this, she recommends using blankets and throw pillows. Feeling a little bolder? Opt for a deep green couch or accent chair.

2. Gold Tones and Metallic Accents

Living room with navy blue walls

(Image credit: Cambridge Home Company / Photo by Rebekah Westover)

Flat or matte paint ideas for walls may feel a little one-dimensional and heavy, particularly when they're a color as deep as navy. Here, a glint of gold works wonders and adds texture and luster to the space. 

'The richer metallic hue plays up the intrinsic darkness of navy in a luxurious way,' says Keely Smith of JD Elite Interiors. 'Incorporating gold lamps, hardware, accessories or artwork makes the navy feel elevated and glamorous.' She also notes that if it's opulence and sophistication you're after, this is the perfect combination.

3. White or Cream

Room with white curtains and navy walls

(Image credit: Sarah Hollingsworth Designs)

Scheck says that no combination is more 'classic than navy blue and white' and it's hard not to agree. The lightness of a pure white or warmth of a slightly creamier tone prevents navy from creating a cramped or overwhelming atmosphere. It isn't merely a nautical-inspired choice either for a blue living room either. 

'There are ways to incorporate this look in a traditional manner,' she explains. 'Instead of blue and white stripes, opt for smaller white accents through window treatments or pillows.'

4. Earthy Brown

Navy blue walls with white dresser and plant

(Image credit: Emily Moss Designs)

Navy has the magical ability to feel like a neutral in many cases, but to really make a room feel grounded, earthy browns are inimitable. The neutrality of the brown makes it easier to combine the two 'without clashing, creating a balanced and timeless color scheme,' says Audrey Scheck. 

One unique way to do so other than wood is through leather. Whether you prefer faux or natural, she suggests selecting a swatch of material that has red or orange undertones to make the navy blue really work as a color that goes with brown.

5. Rust Orange

Navy blue living room with rust accents

(Image credit: Pam Maher)

Blending complementary colors isn't always a solid plan for how to create a color palette, especially when it's technically blue and orange. But when you're incorporating it in small doses - which is how accent shades are meant to be brought in - it's much more easy on the eye. Filip Malyszko of Steve + Filip Design notes that 'rust and marigold colors provide a natural contrast to navy that enhances the pairing.' An accent chair, a set of frames, or a few pillows all do this perfectly.

6. Beige and Light Wood

Navy walls in a dining room with statement chandelier

(Image credit: Steve + Filip Design)

Perhaps your heart is set on gentler hues to balance out the darkness of navy. There are plenty of options, one of which is lighter-colored woods. Pam Maher of Pam Maher Design says this is one of the best accent colors for navy walls as 'the wood adds depth and character to any very saturated color.' 

The different expressions of grain and slight difference in color also provide a little texture that'll vary from any other piece of wood around your home.

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Melissa Epifano Varley

Melissa Epifano Varley is a freelance writer and editor who has covered interiors for a variety of publications. Most recently, she served as the global editor-in-chief for Real Homes. She has also contributed to Forbes, Apartment Therapy, The Spruce, People, InStyle, and more. When it comes to design, she covers trends, advice, house tours, and how-tos. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in journalism and spends her free time writing, reading, and traveling.