Blue is such a versatile hue to work with. One minute exciting and decadent, the next restful and easy to live with, blue can be anything you want it to be depending on the shade you choose. Our blue living room ideas are some of our favourites examples of how to use this gloriously diverse colour.
Blue living room ideas
Smart and sophisticated, navy and teal blues are the warmer way of embracing on-trend dark hues. They also have a luxurious feel – and for very good reason.
By contrast, sea blues and duck egg blues are all calm and serenity, making them the perfect antidote to our 24/7 lives. You don't need a home by the sea to enjoy them, though they do work best with simple Shaker and country style furniture in whites and very pale timbers.
1. Invigorate your space with sky blue
This brilliant shade of blue has just been revealed as Dulux's colour of the year 2022 – Bright Skies. This uplifting shade of pale blue offers a much-needed invigorating breath of fresh air for our homes. Reminiscent of a clear sky filled with promise the gentle blue reminds us to 'look up' and feel optimistic as we emerge from darker times.
It's a lighter, brighter and more refreshing colour than that of last year's Brave Ground, yet it still has a deep connection to nature. Enhance the feeling of nature by pairing this hue with warm wooden furniture and plenty of house plant ideas to welcome further elements of nature into your living room.
2. Mix soothing pastels
As the colour of the year announcement shows powder blues are having a moment – a refreshing alternative to grey, cool blue brings with it a calming and serene energy. A pastel shade works well when used to decorate a south facing room to maximise the feeling of light and space. Mix a palette of soothing pastel shades to add depth to the look, introducing the tones via soft furnishings.
3. Coordinate with colour
The key to creating the perfect feature way with colour is keeping it coordinated. Built-in furniture painted in the same block colour as the fireplace and the wall creates a sleek, cohesive look – solidify that one wall as one complete wall, rather than a broken space of shelving and chimney breast space.
4. Balance a blue colour scale
Create a sophisticated blue living rooms by layering tones, to strike the right balance between a dominate colour to run through a scheme without it feeling overwhelming. This blue living room idea introduced a pale shade, almost blue-grey, on walls with a more pure pastel blue with the curtain fabric.
The look is enhanced with the introduction of royal blue in the form of a statement armchair. The rest of the room is kept neutral with white-washed wooden floors and white furniture to make sure the blue remains undiluted by other accent colours.
5. Make a statement with a rich palette
Enrich a deep blue living room with the addition of luxurious textures and materials in a range of equally rich accent colours. In this striking blue living room deep blue walls are enhanced by a large papered art on the wall and glam metallic furniture finishes and accessories.
Luxe velvets in deep shades of burnt orange punctuate the cocooning blue beautifully, creating a moody, decadent vibe.
6. Be bold with on-trend paint
Create a strong colour block theme throughout by painting all the skirting boards and above the picture rail in the same colour as all four walls. Keep ceilings painted white for a dramatic contrast.
‘Blue and white is a classic combination and will stand the test of time. The colours contrast beautifully but pick an off shade of white - a true brilliant white already has more of a blue undertone, so paired with navy it can be cold,’ says Cathy Dean, Interior Designer (opens in new tab)
7. Choose dusky tones for a sophisticated finish
Look to a mid-tone blue with grey undertones to keep the look bold but bright. Pair with touches of aged brown leather and brass to welcome an added feeling of warmth. This striking yet understated colour combination creates a sophisticated take on a blue living room idea.
8. Add a seascape feature wall
Set the scene for your blue living room with a feature wall. This striking wall mural has an 'under the sea' vibe that creates a lush serene feel to the overall scheme, which is already tranquil with pale blue-grey walls with a light grey rug and gentle pink sofa to contrast.
9. Be daring with dominating dark blue shades
Where a room can take it, if the light quality is right and the dark colour will enhance the size, be daring by taking all four walls to the dark side.
The key when decorating with such bold colour is to embrace all surfaces, so include skirting boards and framework into the colour scheme. Otherwise you run the risk of white woodwork from standing out like a sore thumb – totally distracting from the statement effect of the blue. Add equally bold accent colours to inject pops of contrasting colour, such as this mustard yellow.
10. Embrace opulent finishes
This look oozes luxury so opt for velvet finishes for cushions, curtains or upholstery. Brass accents and gold threads for accessories and occasional furniture are an instant shortcut to glamour. Pick rich wood finishes in matt rather than a glossy polish.
For a little old school glam, bring in the signature curves of chic twenties style with globe lighting and a round mirror. Fan and tropical palm prints still look the part and whilst dramatic colours are key to the look, swap out classic black and red for sapphire blue and emerald green.
11. Add some animal attraction
Pick a wallpaper with a midnight blue backdrop to really showcase tropical scenes. The rich tone adds instant depth and smart sophistication that evokes Art Deco opulence.
This Neo Deco style has adopted a number of animals from tropical climes. Incorporate wallpaper, lighting and accessories featuring big cats, monkeys, zebras and exotic birds into the scheme. Gilded finishes just add to the air of eclectic glamour.
12. Accent with pink
Lift the dark finishes like rich teal and midnight blue with blush pink and intense fuchsia. The warm pastel shade and bright jewel tone will soften the moody vibe and add a light hearted edge to the palette. Cushions and rugs are an easy way to inject the colour, or try some pink pampas grass for some statement texture.
A fluted, shell shaped accent chair in blush velvet will match a panelled wall with a chic silhouette while neon touches add a playful punch to the scheme.
13. Pick a sofa in a contrasting colour
Orange sits opposite a blue on the colour wheel, so setting this bold tangerine against a deep blue will really make the most of both features.
Annie Sloan has some words of advice on which accents colours work with a blue scheme: ‘The complementary of blue is yellow. As you move round the colour wheel you find orange, hence why brass and copper works so well, too.'
'Just a small amount goes a long way. For something quieter, colours like pale pink and grey greens look amazing.’ With that in mind, you might also want to see our pink living room ideas.
14. Go immersive
For a sophisticated feel, go for mid to dark tones of blue on the wall that will really envelop a room. The deeper the colour, the richer and cosier the effect. Painting skirting and woodwork in the same colour as the walls, creates a smart, seamless finish.
When designing a room in a block colour, it’s important to avoid a flat space, so a velvet sofa and curtains not only create a luxe look, but lift the space with texture and create some depth.
15. Make it modern coastal
Forget the classic stripes. An inky watercolour mural will evoke seascapes whilst avoiding the cliche coastal prints. There’s no need to stick to one shade of blue either, combine everything from a sky blue to indigo, with a denim sofa and cobalt chair, to create a softer, blended scheme.
Work in a casual vibe using rattan and seagrass pieces to channel a far flung sense of coastal style.
16. Pick a heritage inspired print
Dip a toe into a maximalist look with a feature wall, or go for total drama by using living room wallpaper ideas on all four walls. The dusky, restful shade and the tonal blue sofa, woodwork and furniture, softens the overall look so the busy print won’t overwhelm the space.
A contemporary twist on a traditional Chesterfield, the button back sofa bring a modern silhouette whilst still maintaining classic grandeur to complement the heritage wallpaper.
17. Give smart maritime blue a crisp white stripe
A nautical palette of blue and white has always been a firm decorating favourite, and this smart band of white gives a whole new take on the traditional sailors stripes! Pairing it with a soft tan leather sofa and adding washed wood furniture brings a softness and warmth to this smart colour palette.
18. Mix in bottle green and accents of coral
Greens and blues have always been a popular colour combination and can sit effortlessly together. Using colour blocks of blue on the walls and green on the sofa grounds the room with a classic combination, whilst the addition of a pop of dark coral gives the room an extra design dimension.
This leaf green sofa and matching footstool gives the room a grown up, sophisticated feel, whilst the pops of coral on soft furnishings and ceramics gives it a modern twist. Oversized lampbase, vases and decorative jars in the same mix of colours adds a contemporary edge.
19. Layer textures on a backdrop of pale aqua
This season’s delicate shades of blush pink and pale aqua bring freshness to any room, while low-level furniture and soft linen drapes keep the look light. With a palette that is all about combining pale colours (with little or no pattern) try mixing textures to prevent the scheme becoming flat.
Don't be afraid to combine velvets, linens, and boucle fabrics on soft furnishings around the room. Create a seamless backdrop my matching curtains to the wall colour too.
20. Contrast an exposed stone wall with midnight blue
A midnight blue velvet sofa has been contrasted with the distressed white stone wall in this living room in a converted barn. The sumptuous blue rather than looking cold against the white walls, creates a warm and inviting space to cosy up in. The rich blue colour scheme has been continued in the rug, and home accessories such as the vase and blanket.
21. Pair maritime blue with white for a look that's cosy and bright
Painting the walls a dark blue is a wonderful way to build a look that's cosy and homely. So that the look isn't gloomy, keep the walls, ceilings and window dressings light – ideally white – to balance things. Mirror-finish furniture will also maximise the light in a dark-painted room.
22. Use midnight blue with grey for a modern rustic look
You might think of blue as a cool colour, but the deepest, darkest shades will create a cosy, cocooning look, as evidenced here.
Greys and blush pinks are the ideal bedfellows – or should that be sofa fellows? – for this opulent midnight shade. They both soften and brighten up the room, while a woodturning stove, tongue and groove panelling and pale wood furniture enhance the rustic feel.
23. Try teal blue for a traditional update
There's a fine line between traditional and tired, but it can be completely avoided if you are confident with colour. This strong teal brings a certain amount of heritage to this living room, but it simultaneously feels fresh.
Matching the sofa and the walls emboldens the look and creates a strong backdrop where it's possible to mix up antiques with modern pieces without the overall effect being messy.
24. Pick a pastel blue
Introduce a splash of sky blue to enliven a small living room idea. A soft pastel shade welcomes colour without overwhelming the space. Combine cool, airy, pastels with the clean lines of modern furniture and contemporary textiles to bring it right up to date.
25. Give country style a fresh twist
Bright shades of blue are the perfect companion to warmer, fruity orange hues, so instead of the soft pastels that sum up a traditional country look, team a zingy turquoise with sunbleached hues to update the look.
Dip into some Tuscan tones of sun soaked coral, golden ochre and for warmth and vibrancy. Flowy, full length curtains are the perfect way to introduce an energetic shot of colour.
26. Warm up the contrast
Balance the feel of a rich blue with a splash of neutral white. ‘You can turn up the temperature by using a darker tone of blue and punctuate the space with energy’, says Natasha Petitt, Colour Designer at Craig & Rose.
27. Make pink feel grown up with inky blue
Backed by any other shade, this pink sofa might look a little too sugary for many people's taste. But with a dark inky blue behind it, it's the ultimate in sophistication, enhanced by the coffee table's brass legs and accessories.
Also framed in brass are three blue prints, which break up the blue without detracting too much from its effect. Warm wood flooring and a pale rug keep things bright yet cosy underfoot.
28. Start with a blue sofa
Here, a vibrant turquoise blue sofa pops against a soothing backdrop of denim blue, for our take on modern coastal.
Stonewashed blues like these are the perfect foundation for classic styles of furniture, the white dresser being a prime example. It's a good idea to reflect them in the accessories in display.
29. Tile a blue feature wall
You'll need to have a healthy budget, but a feature wall formed of cement tiles can look truly spectacular and – despite the rustic nature of their material – glamorous. Velvet chairs in a deeper blue enhance this effect, and again, accessories in a similar turquoise are accents that bring the room together.
30. Experiment with pattern
The golden rules for making this formal look work are to stick to a neutral hue for the walls and floor, and then to keep with a strict palette, which will allow you to play with pattern.
No two motifs are the same, yet they work harmoniously with each other and create an eclectic, global-inspired look, rather than a contrived seaside scheme.
Are blue living rooms popular?
Blue living rooms are more popular than ever, thanks to the recent announcement of Dulux's colour of the year 2022 Bright Skies.
Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director of Dulux UK, says, 'Right now, people want to feel revitalised and enjoy the freedoms that are returning to them, to look out and bring in new ideas. What better inspiration can we take than the endless skies around us?'
'It is widely known that nature makes us feel better. And taking steps to bring the outside in enhances our sense of wellbeing' Marianne adds. 'So whether we are working or relaxing, it is essential to have a space that reflects the optimism and desire for a fresh, new start that is top of the agenda.'
Additional words by Michela Colling, Nicky Phillips
Amy Cutmore is Editor-in-Chief, Homes Audience, working across the Future Homes portfolio. She works on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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