The single word “blue” provides no hint about the seemingly countless tints available from this primary colour. Deep, moody hues like cobalt and peacock; light and summery tones named arctic and sapphire; and then, of course, the myriad of options we encounter once blue gets mixed with its other cool cousin, green, conjuring up new and exciting options like turquoise and seafoam.
Let’s be honest: interior design would not be nearly as much fun without colours to play with, as each tone presents a certain look and ambience that helps to create the style of a room and object. Blue is no exception. Pale blues with a hint of grey are chosen when one wants a space to appear cool and sophisticated, while both dark- and light blues are experts at styling up nautical-themed rooms.
Of course the effect that blue has on a room also depends on what is paired up with it – not only colours, but also textures. Imagine a deep blue wall combined with a tan Chesterfield leather sofa to flaunt a formal yet inviting style. But pair up that same dark blue with a soft grey fabric sofa and the effect becomes more beach house / Hamptons.
So, how do you show off the right blue with the right accessories in the most open space in your entire house: your living room? With the help of our ‘blue living room ideas’ guide, of course!
Apart from the fact that blue is a ‘cool’ colour, there’s a lot more to know about its significance and personality. Just like any other colour in the rainbow, blue also has a physical influence on us – it brings down blood pressure and slows respiration and heart rate. That is why it is considered soothing, relaxing and serene, and is such a popular choice for peaceful spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms.
So, what’s the magic trick to using blue effectively in a social space, like your living room? In order to encourage relaxation, consider blue’s warmer tints (like periwinkle) or brighter shades (like cerulean).
Blue’s calming effect is fully realised when used as a room’s main colour, yet this is more successful with the softer shades. The opposite effect is true when dark blue is used, which can evoke feelings of sadness. Thus, when you really have to use dark blue in your living room’s palette, be sure to offset it with lighter hues.
Regardless of blue or purple, using a moodboard from the start is essential for a room’s colour palette. That’s why we always encourage everyone to sift through homify’s vast collection of images to see how colours, textures and patterns flow together.
Browse the web to collect ideas of wallpapers, fabrics, décor pieces, etc. and pull them all together. That way, you’ll start to see a pattern emerge with your favourites. From here, start to build your room’s look with real finishes, like the existing flooring or furnishing materials, to see what works best with which blue.
As a social space, your living room can’t be a gloomy room. And using softer blues can help make it look and feel like a lighter space.
But your living room’s size also plays a part. As a cool colour, blues work quite good in smaller areas as they recede, creating the illusion of more space. A large room with lots of natural light can take lots of rich colour, but so can a smaller room with little natural light. The right colour palette can create perfect drama and personality, which is why it’s worth playing around with different swatches and tones.
Remember that each colour’s hue has a different ‘vibe’ that changes in different light. A clear icy blue might look too aqua when paired with other hues or in changing light. And you don’t want to splash that colour across your entire living room, just to change your mind a day or two later.
To avoid this, invest in a sample pot of your favourite hues. Paint up a few lengths of lining paper and hang them in different spots in the living room – some in the corner, others near the windows, others that don’t get any light, etc. Leave them for a few days and revisit them often, seeing how they change with the light during different times of day and night, and in various weather conditions.
And remember that different electric light casts different tones – LEDs, for instance, have a bluish cast and halogens a yellow one.
Once you’ve settled on your favourite blue, start painting. And if you’re painting all the walls in the living room as opposed to a focal wall, don’t forget the ceiling. Keeping it the same colour ensures a cohesive look that makes the whole space flow.
Of course there are other more subtle ways of bringing blue into your living room: accessories!
If you feel that painting an entire wall is too much, try tiny touches via some scatter cushions, a vase of blue hydrangeas, a floor rug, a painting on the wall, etc. Larger items, like a sofa, can also add to the effect if you feel you require some more blue.
Of course nobody is expecting you to soak your entire living room in a multitude of blues – contrasting (and complementing) colours, after all, ensure character. As blue is a cool colour, it automatically works well with pretty much any other cool hue, like grey, green, and purple. Combining these colours will give your living room a sense of stability. For more contrast, bring in the warmer shades like reds and yellows.
Some other choice colour combinations for your blue-inspired living room can include:
• Jewel-toned blues and naturals
• Blue, yellow and gey
• Blue, brown, and taupe
• Blue and black
• Blue and gold (imagine a blue sofa with a golden table lamp next to it)
• Dark blue and hot pink
• Blue and orange (colours opposite each other on the colour wheel automatically go together)
• Light blue, green and red (just be sure that the rest of your living room is then made up of neutrals like greys, whites, and browns).
Fancy a warmer look, perhaps? Try Working with colour: Yellow living room ideas.