Blue and white: six ways to work this classic colour combination

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  • For a failsafe decorating scheme with real staying power, you can’t beat the classic combination of blue and white.

    It’s a colour combination that has stood the test of time, perhaps because it’s one of the easiest to put together. From darkest indigo or bright cobalt blue to palest powder or chambray, just team blue with white and you have the perfect decorating double act.

    China blues
    Willow-pattern china is a centuries-old design that still looks every bit as striking today. Here, a bold blue and white china-patterned wallpaper is the starting point for this colour scheme with the contrast of French navy and pure white perfect for a modern country kitchen. Team with painted panelling, patterned floor tiles and shelves lined with crockery.

    Nautical navy and white
    For a look that’s straight out of the Hamptons, try teaming navy with off-white for a nautical-flavoured scheme. Think Long Island rather than Barry Island, with an elegant backdrop of plain walls and pale-coloured flooring with smart navy blue used sparingly as an accent colour on stripes, piping, cushions and accessories. Finish off with dark-wood furniture and decorative pieces in sparkling glass and chrome.

    Inky-blue ombre
    For a contemporary take on the blue and white theme, try an eyecatching colour scheme in inky blue and white. Create a showstopping feature wall with ombre-effect wallpaper panels in intense inky blue graduating to softest white. Bring in contrast with whitewashed furniture and faded, linen-white upholstery, then echo the watercolour effect with hand-dyed textiles in batik and dip-dyes.

    Chambray and chalk
    Rustic meets industrial in this modern take on country style. Ditch traditional farmhouse furniture for zinc-topped tables and simple oak benches and swap country checks and ginghams for faded denim, washed chambray and blue linen, teamed with painted furniture and panelling in chalky matt white.

    Indigo blue
    For a look that commands attention, try this bold combination of indigo blue and white. Keep to just one shade of blue and one white – the simplicity of this combo is its strength and it will lose impact if too many shades or extra accent colours come into play. Deep blues are easy to find right now, with ikat, batik and dip-dye effect fabrics and wallpapers so on-trend – don’t worry about mixing size and scale, just keep to the same blue tone throughout.

    Powder blue and white
    For a contemporary take on country florals, work with a fresh, pale blue and white colour palette. Mix up three or more prints, from small to large scale, just make sure most are on a white background to keep the look crisp and co-ordinated. Bring blooms to the walls with a few floral prints or paintings and make a focalpoint feature with a cluster of floral lampshades hung low over a sofa or table.

    Liked this? Take a look at these all-white room schemes.

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