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Decorating With Blue on a Budget


Decorating With Blue on a Budget
Photo © Jim Franco Photography

If you love decorating with blue, you aren’t alone. Blue is one of the most versatile colors to decorate with. And since the color blue is attributed to such positive effects as improved focus and relaxation, blue makes a perfect color choice for most areas of a home.

The hardest thing about decorating with blue is that blue can be a hard color to nail down. Blue’s variety of shades can either feel reserved or expressive, subtle or loud. And depending upon the undertones, blue can run the gamut from warm to cool, which change the entire dynamic of a room.

When decorating with blue, consider these tricks and tips to creating an interior space that reflects the best of blue’s characteristics – calm, harmonious and relaxed.

  • Certain shades of blue are said to soothe and calm, making blue a perfect choice for a bedroom. Unless it is a child's room, forgo bright or primary shades and look for light, soft, muted or warm shades of blue to take advantage of blue’s relaxing effect.

  • Certain shades of blue have also been proven to increase focus and productivity, so a bright blue might be the right choice for an office or study area.

  • Navy, or dark blue, is associated with tradition, strength and loyalty and tends to have a more conservative nature than other blues. Navy is also a classic nautical color in decorating.

  • Light-weight denim fabrics can be very inexpensive and are tough enough to withstand light upholstery use. To find other affordable blue fabrics and decor, check the nursery or baby room section of your local craft stores.

  • Blues with cool undertones (blue-gray, blue-violet, etc) can appear a little chilly, especially in rooms with little natural light. In these rooms, choose blues with warm or muted tones.

  • Soft, warm blues like aquamarine, teal and turquoise remind many of the coast and are popular choices in cottage or coastal styles.

  • When pairing your blue of choice with other colors, look to your blue’s complimentary colors. These will be the colors opposite of your chosen blue on the color wheel. (For example, the opposite of teal will be orange, and the opposite of blue-violet will be yellow.)

  • Blue also looks fabulous paired with neutral colors like white, brown, gray and black. For a professional look, try creating a room’s palette with a blue, another color and a neutral. Some examples: Sky blue with citrus yellow and white; Denim blue with red and khaki; French blue with lime green and black.

  • Another trick professional decorators use when creating a color palette is to mix several shades of the same color. For example, try combining two blues together like sky blue and navy alongside another color such as lime green. Or pairing French country blue with a muted teal and ivory.

  • A great way to save money when decorating with blue is to paint your furniture to match your decor. A high-gloss navy or a distressed teal can add charm to almost any piece.

  • Muted blues tend to soften a space and make a room feel more intimate, while clear blues can lighten a space and help a room appear larger.

  • Blue is such a classic color that blue decor can be found for pennies when shopping in secondhand or antique stores. To save money when decorating with blue, search out deals on antique blue and white pottery or other fun finds at estate sales and flea markets.
For more inspiration on decorating with blue, see House Beautiful's book, Blue: 350 Inspiring Ways to Decorate with Blue.

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