Blue comes in many shades, which makes it a versatile color to incorporate into a home’s décor.
When it comes to home décor, blue is never out of style for Lee Whitehead, owner of Nouveau Home & Interior Design in Mount Vernon, Md.
“It’s just beautiful,” he says. “Sure, there’s an ebb and flow [in the color’s popularity]. But when you go to trade shows, you are always going to see the peacock blue and blue china. It’s always been in.”
Whitehead has used blue for a variety of jobs over the years, and he has completed a number of nautical-themed projects. He points to the lounge he created two years ago for a home where he used sparkly blue wallpaper to go along with the blue, white and chrome décor.
“I show it off every time I can, especially if anyone asks,” he says. “It was very modern.”
Blue is in abundance this year for home décor. The first indication was when Pantone named its colors of the year: rose quartz (a light pink hue) and serenity (a cool shade of blue). This fall, darker blue pieces dominate many collections that are now arriving in stores.
“I’m seeing more in pillows and accessories — more of a darker blue this season,” Whitehead says. “You can mix with cream and light blue in upholstery.”
Whitehead considers blue a timeless color. And his showroom usually reflects that. He’s now showcasing two aqua-colored sofas.
“The only time I haven’t liked blue was during the ‘70s when those denim sofas were in. That was horrible,” he says. “That was the only way I wouldn’t do blue.”
At Trohv Home & Gift in Hampden, Md., blue has popped up in accessories like blankets, throws and pillows, according to Caleb Lin.
“We have a number of blankets with bluish tones that are a less-saturated navy/slate to pastel blue with a hint of green,” he says.
Lin’s favorite pieces include a collection of multicolored cotton throws for $120 each by Brooklyn-based designer Minna. The sky-blue throws have a white cream woven throughout with highlights of gray and pink.
“It’s perfect for a family room and big couch,” he says.
Lin is also partial to a $32 cream-colored door pillow adorned by a blue crab.
Stephanie Gamble, owner of The House Downtown in Belvedere Square, Md., uses blue-hued pieces whenever she can for interior design projects.
“I feel like it’s always popular,” Gamble says. “It’s one of those universal colors. I rarely get a client that says, ‘I don’t want any blue.’ Almost everyone likes it in some amount or dose.
“It is such a versatile color. It can range from aqua, baby blue, navy, peacock. All the hues are usable. They always look great. They look good as a print. They look good as a stripe. They look good as a plaid. Blue always looks good.”
Whitehead agrees. “Blue china never goes out. Robin egg blue never goes out because of Tiffany & Co. Peacock feather will never go out because of us,” he says with a laugh.
Whitehead has been carrying peacock-themed artwork and peacock-colored decor for the last 10 years.
He recommends grouping 12 peacock feathers in a vase or breaking up floral arrangements by mixing in peacock feathers. These are less expensive ways to capture the trend and brighten your home in the process, he says.
“Blue can go anywhere in any room,” he says. “Blue is easy to work with. And it’s very calming.”
Use darker-blue pieces in the family room and for boy’s bedrooms, Gamble says.
“It’s more of a functionality thing,” she says. “Blue is very forgiving. The darker blues hide a lot of sins in fabric. They just don’t show wear or staining. Use it for high-traffic areas.”
Gamble recommends using lighter shades of blue in any room where you want to have a lighter feel, such as the bedroom or bathroom.
“If they want a calm, serene feel — more spa-like — use lighter blue,” she says.
Gamble can’t think of an instance where blue wouldn’t be appropriate.
“Blue just fits into everything,” she says. “If you are in Colorado, blue works. If you are at the beach, blue works. If you are in Baltimore, blue works. I wouldn’t know what I wouldn’t put blue on. I really don’t have any ‘don’ts’ for blue. I don’t know if I would wear blue eye shadow. But that’s probably it.”