“Blue is a tremendously versatile color, as it clashes with few other colors and can be used to harmonize other diverse color groups,” says designer Lori Weitzner, the author of Ode To Color: The Ten Essential Palettes for Living And Design. “But when contemplating what shade or shades of blue to use in an interior, especially on walls, consider how you plan to use the room.” Below, Lori shares her guidelines for decorating with this timeless hue.

west elm - How To Decorate With Blue Paint

Sherwin Williams Paint Color: Rain, SW6219

Lighter Blues: Lighter shades create a tranquil environment and make a room feel more spacious. Cooler shades are best suited to rooms that receive an abundance of natural light; the warm glow of the sun provides a good counterbalance.

west elm - How To Decorate With Blue Paint

west elm - How To Decorate With Blue Paint

Sherwin Williams Paint Color: Pool House, SW7603

Midtone Blues: These are the most versatile shades of blue, as they are easy on the eye and compatible with a range of furnishing styles. If you want to create a country look, a slightly grayed blue is a good choice. The more greenish blues in midtone values, like those associated with the Caribbean, change the most in response to changes in light, a quality that creates more depth and interest. As for the sky blues, which are between the light and midtones, they are uplifting and restful at the same time.

west elm - How To Decorate With Blue Paint

west elm - How To Decorate With Blue Paint

Sherwin Williams Paint Color: Loyal Blue, SW6510

Darker Blues: Dark shades of blue like indigo are serious, moody, and dramatic. Use them when you want more atmosphere. Dark blues like navy create a crisp, nautical look when combined with bright white molding, and a more classic look when combined with cream molding. For intense drama, keep the moldings the same blue. With these darker blues, it is good to use lower light levels. That may seem counter-intuitive, but low lights will define the room’s parameters, making the color feel less endless.

west elm - How To Decorate With Blue Paint

Sherwin Williams Paint Color: Bosporus, SW6503

Bright Blues: These power blues are energetic and add a punch to whatever decor they are coordinating with. They add a very contemporary twist to what can otherwise be more classic. Ultramarine is a great choice for a modern look and can also be used as an accent wall.

Want more color tips? Check out Lori Weitzner’s Ode To Color, available at select west elm stores!

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