If we had to pinpoint one of the most universally pleasing colors when it comes to interior design, the answer would unanimously be blue. Not only does it work in all types of rooms — from kitchens to bathrooms to living rooms — but it also lends itself well to just about every style in the book: coastal (obviously), traditional, modern, boho, art deco ... you name it!
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One of the most wonderful things about the color blue is that there isn't just one shade to choose from. There are many varying hues, from royal to navy to sky blue, and you can choose which ones resonate the most with you and your home. According to color psychology, blue is an incredibly soothing color, reminding onlookers of the sky or the sea, which is certainly a lovely, and calming, element to bring into any space. It also has the ability to make a room look a lot more dramatic, especially if you go with a darker shade. "Blue creates a dramatic, moody feeling in a space for a hotel-like feel," notes Mary Patton of Mary Patton Design.
As if all of that weren't enough to sell you on the color idea, blue is also one of the easiest colors to design with since it goes with a wide variety of other hues. It can certainly be showcased on your walls, but the color blue looks equally stunning when it's represented through decorative touches, appliances, tile, furniture, wallpaper, and light fixtures. "Blue is a neutral," asserts Jessica Kain Barton, Principal of J. Kathryn Interiors. "No, really, it is. Blue is a color that can be both formal and playful. It can be the leading star or an important supporting role. Decorating with blue is easy because it's just such a diverse color and works well in about any form."
Of course, many of us get stuck when it comes to combining blue with other colors, so we've created a cheat sheet with 20 of our favorite shades to pair with the dynamic hue, whether you're looking for a palette that's energetic and vibrant or soft and serene.
20 Blue Color Combinations
1. Blue and Canary Yellow
Yellow is a primary color that's opposite blue on the color wheel, which makes these two a natural pairing. We particularly love the color idea in this Dutch farmhouse designed by Raili Clasen. The traditional details — like board and batten wall paneling, floral wallpaper, and warm wood finishes — balance the bright, vibrant shade of the piano.
2. Blue and Pink
This retro sitting area feels both bold and whimsical thanks to the dark blue walls paired with a blush-colored sofa for high contrast. To recreate this look, add a green lacquer coffee table and subtle gold accents. Different shades of blue and green are further picked up in the carpet.
3. Blue and Red
This luxe design by Arent & Pyke proves that energetic colors also work beautifully in a bedroom. Here, the navy blue walls temper the fiery-red upholstered headboard beautifully. The blush bedding adds color and unique flair.
4. Light Blue and Charcoal Gray
If you're searching for colors that go with blue, this idea is foolproof and will work well in just about any room. Light aqua color-blocked walls with a sea of dreamy gray and white neutral colors lend contrast in this bedroom by Mainstreet Stockholm, while giving off an overall feeling of calm and serenity. Take note of all the varying textures that add depth and interest to this otherwise simple space.
Talk about colors that go with blue! This eclectic living room gets a dose of luxury with the addition of a regal velvet sofa and a palm-inspired floor lamp. Bring in other shades of purple for variety through throw pillows, artwork, and an area rug à la this space belonging to Kate Watson-Smyth of Mad About the House.
6. Blue and Cognac Brown
Blue and cognac brown leather is a classic pairing that's nearly impossible to get wrong. For the best outcome, keep the blue shade in the mid-range like the accent wall in this living room by September Workshop. To keep the vibe masculine and modern, add black details with furniture, artwork, and accessories.
7. Blue and Gold
The matte, navy blue accent wall in this dining room nook by Pearson and Projects pairs perfectly with a gold bench and throw pillows. Complete the look with a group of geometric gold pendant lights hanging over the table for a hint of glam. Pro tip: Incorporate a little plant life, too, to add even more color and texture without overpowering the dominant color scheme.
If you want your space to lean modern with a dark blue wall, look no further than a light gray to keep things looking cool and current. That's what Shauna of The House of Silver Lining did in this bedroom. A navy shiplap wall plays quite nicely with the light gray headboard and frame.
9. Sky Blue and Hunter Green
Blue and green are right next to one another on the color wheel, which makes for some subtle, eye-pleasing contrast in a space. With your paint colors, you could always go the color blocking route, which is what Emily of The Pink House did in this bedroom. Keep in mind that bright blue continually looks spot-on with hunter green.
For a guaranteed way to make a room look moody and dramatic, ponder black as an accent color throughout. While the space may not look exactly breezy, it will look classic and attention-grabbing as proven in this living room by Mainstreet Stockholm. The team has nailed the combo with a light blue wall color balanced by a black sofa, various pieces of decor, and wall art — the result is nothing short of striking.
11. Blue and Salmon
Perhaps you'd like to make your space look light and carefree? Then we recommend a hefty dose of royal blue with salmon details, as seen in this bedroom styled by Natalie of Home Ec. If salmon isn't your thing, know that any cool pastel will look perfectly jubilant when paired with blue.
12. Blue and Walnut Brown
For a room that feels classic, sophisticated, and visually impressive, you can't go wrong with dark blue walls and walnut furniture. Emily Henderson invited plenty of warm wood into this space by way of antique furniture. This color scheme works particularly well if you have a penchant for vintage.
13. Blue and White
White and blue? It's a match made in design heaven. Start with blue walls, which is what Joanna of Jojotastic did in her dining room, and then bring in white through a painted door, vase, rug, and other textiles.
Guess what? We're here to tell you that you can combine multiple shades of blue in one space. In fact, when it comes to blue color palettes, the tone-on-tone trend is one of our favorites. We promise it won't look too monochromatic. Simply go with a light blue wall and incorporate other shades of blue with the help of throw pillows and linens, like Chelsea of Making Home Base did in this bedroom.
It's an approach that interior designer Raili Clasen stands by. She says, "When designing with blue, I love to use tonal shades. For example, combining light blue with dark blue."
15. Blue and Beige
Maybe you don't want to sweat this palette too much. To keep things easy-peasy, opt for a beige scheme. It goes with every variety of blue, from navy to pale blue. And it'll be trend-proof for years to come, as demonstrated by this bedroom from Alisa of A Glass of Bovino.
To really amp up the drama, follow the lead of RMGB and try a bold blue room idea. In this swanky setup the design team opted for a navy blue bed frame, cobalt blue bedding, and for an added pop, a burnt orange throw. Need we say more?
17. Light Blue and Mustard Yellow
A dash of mustard yellow partners very well with the color blue, particularly when it's a whispery shade. The dichotomy will provide instant visual interest in any space, even the bedroom. In this setup, Anastasia of The Identité Collective chose to combine icy blue shiplap wall paneling with a muted yellow chair to effectively demonstrate the power of the cool color scheme.
18. Blue and Teal
To really embrace cool colors, look to a combination of dark blue and teal. Joy Cho of Oh Joy! has done just that in this bedroom, meshing together teal walls with navy blue linens and a Roman shade. The blueish-green hue continues to make an appearance throughout the room thanks to the upholstered bed frame, area rug, and bedding.
So, we know that red is a complementary color to blue. But how about brick red? It leans toward the darker side of the spectrum yet still pairs beautifully with blue. For instance, the exposed brick wall spotted in this dining room by Chango & Co. makes a flawless backdrop for that navy blue piece of art.
20. Blue and Burnt Orange
Similar to brick red, burnt orange is a striking balance to the color blue. Clearly, interior designer Zoë Feldman received the memo. She effortlessly paired the two hues in this sitting area, adding modern flair to an otherwise formal space.
Colors That Go With Blue
At the end of the day, the color you choose to pair blue is a personal preference. Our suggestion: Go with your first instinct. As you can see, blue is quite adaptable and can work well with a myriad of different colors, so select a palette that you'll be happy with. To recap, here are our favorites:
- Canary yellow
- Cognac brown
- Hunter green
- Walnut brown
- Sky blue
- Cobalt blue
- Mustard yellow
- Brick red
- Burnt orange