Benjamin Moore's Color of the Year 2024 is a sumptuous smoky shade perfect for deluxe, moody spaces

'Blue Nova' is an intriguing blend of blue and violet culminating in a moody mid-tone that's full of mystery

A home office space painted in a smoky blue shade
(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Color forecasting season is now well underway, and as our favorite brands share the star shades they predict to define the year ahead we're watching on with eager anticipation, desperate to start decorating. Of course, Benjamin Moore is always on our radar when it comes to beautiful quality paints, and their recent Color of the Year announcement has us welcoming the return of a sumptuous, expensive-looking hue that we're sure will be taking over homes imminently. 

Its name is Blue Nova, an intriguing blend of blue and violet culminating in a moody mid-tone full of mystery. Inspired by the brilliance of a new star, the inky blue is reminiscent of the night sky, especially when used on a ceiling. It has a slight warmth in its undertone that evokes a sense of comfort and reassurance, yet the violet cast brings a cosmic and mystical feel that's perfect for enveloping spaces.  

'For 2024, we continue the move started in 2023 to bring eye-catching color into the home while expressing personality and a willingness to explore color,' says Andrea Magno, color expert at Benjamin Moore. 'Blue Nova speaks to the year ahead in that we see a yearning for adventure and new experiences while balancing the need for comfort at home. Blue Nova has an intriguing, cosmic appeal, as well as a reassuring quality – making this color an ideal choice to reflect the dualities of our world.'  

Safe to say, Benjamin Moore has certainly earned our trust when it comes to the next color trends. Here we take a closer look at the shade, alongside some tips on how to incorporate it into your existing style this season (and beyond). 

How should we decorate with 'Blue Nova'?

The beauty of a mid-tone like Blue Nova is the versatility it offers when it comes to paint ideas. You can play into the lighter tones for a more uplifting feel, or go dark and moody for a luxe and sumptuous look. This shade of blue, however, lends itself especially well to the latter. 

'Blue Nova is amazing in a color-drenched room,' says Andrea at Benjamin Moore. 'We love it in a space where every surface is painted in the same color with variations on sheen to create subtle differentiation.' 

If you don't feel prepared to paint the walls and ceiling the same color, there are plenty of other ways to make a more subtle statement with this shade. 'Blue Nova works very well as an accent,' Andrea notes. 'A room painted in White Dove OC-17 would look amazing with a ceiling painted in Blue Nova, bringing that otherworldly sensibility to the space.' 

Why not take it to other places besides the walls, too? 'This color is a nice option as an alternative to navy for a kitchen island or vanity for something truly special,' Andrea adds. 'Whether as the main event or in a small dose, Blue Nova offers the flexibility and options to bring alluring color into a room.' 

What should you pair 'Blue Nova' with?

A bedroom painted in a smokey blue shade and with terracotta colored sheets on the bed

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Whether you want a study that exudes timeless elegance or a living room conducive to a more convivial atmosphere, Blue Nova makes a great choice, but much of that essence comes down to what you pair it with. You could use saturated, bold colors to create impact or pair with rich jewel tones for a luxurious feel - but don't just take it from us. 

'Blue Nova offers several options for color pairing, all depending on the desired look of the room,' explains Andrea. 'For an energetic effect, pair Blue Nova with Topaz, an orange hue with an earthy appeal. This complementary scheme brings strong impact, making it important to consider the ratio and proportion of each color.' 

For a more classic look, she suggests pairing this darker shade with time-trusted White Dove, mentioned earlier, either as a trim and ceiling color, or with Blue Nova as the accent. 'If a monochromatic color scheme is the goal, Polar Sky works nicely with Blue Nova for an effect that showcases a love for color,' she adds.

For a while, decorating with inky blue fell out of favor. In its place, warmer tones came out of the woodwork, tricking many of us into thinking that blue shades couldn't offer the same level of comfort and warmth as reds, oranges, and pinks. 

Lately, however, all that has changed as we begin to recognize blue's dual qualities once more. Interestingly, Blue Nova isn't the first blue tone to be announced as Color of the Year with Valspar, Sherwin-Williams, and Dunn-Edwards all opting for a blue hue, but while they all decided on a cooler tone, Benjamin Moore sets itself apart with its smoky mid-tone that's deeper, darker, and far more sumptuous. 

'Over the past few years, we’ve seen warmer colors gain momentum, but blues have maintained their presence often with undertones that bring a touch of warmth to the hue,' says Andrea. 'In the case of Blue Nova, there's a touch of red in this color that reveals a violet cast, which adds to the depth and allure. The warmth correlates to the desire for welcoming, approachable colors in the home, while the choice to highlight a mid-tone leans into the desire to experiment with color options that span beyond neutrals.'

With its cosmic connotations, there's also a clear link between Blue Nova and the exploration of space, representing the broadening of horizons. 'Exploration and travel served as a key influence for 2024, whether a trip just down the road or to the furthest points imaginable,' notes Andrea. 'Getting out and collecting points of color inspiration expands our horizons and invites us to bring these color moments into our surroundings. With Blue Nova, walls take a starring role that grabs the eye with mid-tone color that is not only memorable, but also captivating.'

As Benjamin Moore expertly captures, we want our homes to be sanctuary spaces that envelop us in a warm hug, but they should also be inspiring spaces that beckon us into the unknown. If you're looking for a paint shade that does just that, Blue Nova is the perfect place to start. 

Buy Blue Nova, or try a similar shade from our other favorite paint brands

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.