12 Bewitching Rooms Bathed in Blue

Ready for an alternative to Millennial Pink? Not a problem. Today’s top interior designers are turning the color wheel and looking to blue for inspiration. 
Blue entry room by Ken Fulk
Photo by Douglas Friedman

In choosing a hue for the entry of a Victorian-inspired vacation home in Sonoma, California, Ken Fulk not only paid tribute to his client’s British roots but also scratched an itch of his own. “I’ve always had a fondness for a beautiful English blue,” he says. “It reminded me of a piece of fabulous porcelain.”

He’s not alone. According to 1stDibs’ 2024 Designer Trends Survey, 15 percent of interior designers polled said sky or robin’s-egg blue would be on trend this year, while cobalt was tapped by 15 percent and navy by 14 percent, making blue a go-to hue for interiors that are colorfully chic but not over the top.

The focal point of Fulk’s design, intended to look like the check-in area at a Victorian resort, is a custom blue sofa that he says amplifies the feeling of comfort he was aiming for. “It’s reminiscent of a 19th-century English sofa, yet it’s a bit more contemporary with the square arms and the contrasting welt we added,” he says. “It gives it a little bit more dandy flare.”

Fulk accompanied this with two leather armchairs “that look like they could talk” and a brass coffee table that reminded him of an old trunk. The designer’s take on a scholar’s light can be seen above, complete with blue fabric shades. And, yes, to the right of the sofa that’s a mid-century Fornasetti lamp, which he selected for just a smidge of modernity. Pulling it all together is an antique rug in shades of blue that softens the tiled floor.

Blue living room by Greg Natale
Photo by Anson Smart

One look at the living room of a Greg Natale–designed 1885 Georgian Revival house near Sydney, Australia, and you realize just how sexy an older home can be. A custom sectional from Thayer Coggin in a textured gray fabric and Theodore Alexander chairs in blue velvet offer perfect perches for unwinding with a drink. The blue-on-blue-on-gray geometric rug from Natale’s New Regency collection and a few of his brand’s accessories add punches of excitement, while the Theodore Alexander coffee table and Restoration Hardware chandelier provide flashes of bling above and below.

Blue living room by Sarah Vaile
Photo by Micheal Kaskel

With an eye to both early America and Napoleonic-era France, Sarah Vaile considered roughly 15 different blue-hued paint samples before deciding on Farrow & Ball’s Cook’s Blue for the parlor of a century-old Greek Revival in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Marrying the comfort of a family room with the formality of a sitting room, Vaile used a cozy blue velvet on the custom cabriole-inspired scalloped sofa, finishing it with antiqued-brass nail trim and floral accents. Across from it sit leather Louis XVI bergère chairs that touch on the French aesthetic, while a Maison Jansen hexagonal cloven-hoof brass coffee table and end tables offer a dash of Hollywood Regency.

For a sprinkling of sophisticated whimsy, Vaile added a Qing dynasty famille jaune garden stool. For a bit of mystery, she layered a serpent mirror on top of the existing wall mirror, a perfect complement to the Visual Comfort chandelier made of gilded iron and antiqued mirrored spheres.

By the window, a vintage chess set sits atop a custom game table adorned with a Greek key motif, which is paired with the client’s own chairs upholstered in a Schumacher chevron velvet. Nearby is a cheetah-print slipper chair just waiting for someone to sit down with a nightcap. An original piece of Alfred Van Loen line art watches over it all from the mantel.

Blue bedroom by Jennifer Bunsa
Photo by Nicole Franzen

“It wraps the room,” designer Jennifer Bunsa says of the deep cobalt wallpaper that forms the backdrop of her personal bedroom, a space that just happens to be in her childhood home — a mid-century-modern house in a Miami neighborhood known as the Roads.

To provide warmth and contrasting texture, Bunsa incorporated a contemporary raw-edge walnut bed and flanked it with new walnut nightstands. Picking up on the white frames of the bedside tables, she completed the look with plaster lamps by Danny Kaplan. Framed vintage Japanese shibori textiles from artist Adam Pogue for Commune not only add a finishing touch to the space but also complement the custom duvet made from Pierre Frey fabric.

Blue living room by Kendall Wilkinson
Photo by Paul Dyer

Affectionately called the Sanctuary, Kendall Wilkinson’s favorite room in her own home was designed to be part club, part old-world library and part meditation space. Situated at the top of her 1915 Edwardian house in San Francisco, the intentionally flexible space is anchored by a curvy cornflower-blue velvet Coup Studio sofa and two vintage Dunbar swivel chairs purchased at auction.

Playing off the gold-leaf ceiling, three sinewy Interlude side tables serve as easily movable places to set drinks from the nearby Aldo Tura bar cart. Books, framed images and objets d’art — all highlighted by ceiling-mounted brass sconces — add a warm homeyness.

Blue guest room by Katie Ridder
Photo by Eric Piasecki

The Katie Ridder–designed guest room of a triplex on New York’s Fifth Avenue is so cozy one has to wonder if visitors often overstay their welcome. Saturating the room in the client’s favorite hue, Ridder custom colored fabric to create layers on the walls and around the window.

“The shape of the headboards complemented the embroidered fabric we chose for them,” Ridder says of the beds, which are set between built-in bookcases. Contemporary lamps in carved anthracite, walnut and brass sit atop the walnut nightstands, while an antique pendant light from John Salibello brings a little pizazz.

Blue living room by White Arrow
Photo by Thomas Richter

“We thought of this as an evening space, designed for relaxing at night with a book, a roaring fire or a home movie shared with the whole family,” says Keren Richter, of design firm White Arrow, describing a multipurpose room in an 1800s Brooklyn townhouse. To that end, Richter soaked the room in a slate blue that “masks the flat-screen TV screen and amplifies the sense of coziness.”

Mixing old and new, she paired a British-influenced custom velvet sectional and an oversize burgundy ottoman from John Derian with a 1930s Chinese Art Deco rug (a 1stDibs find) and Josef Hoffmann Weiner Werkstätte pendant from Woka Gallery. Nickey Kehoe armchairs and a mix of patterned pillows turn it into an inviting place for an evening conversation.

Blue bedroom by Martin Horner of Soucie Horner
Photo courtesy of Soucie Horner

When launching a redesign of the main bedroom in his 1927 Beaux Arts Chicago apartment, Martin Horner, cofounder of design firm Soucie Horner, decided to go bold. He started by having the walls hand-painted in a faux-malachite finish, using what he calls a “powerful, deep and moody blue” rather than a traditional green.

Against that backdrop, Horner showcases his ever-evolving collection of male nudes. A custom dark-walnut bed takes center stage between a vintage blonde-wood nightstand and a Horner-designed repurposed console, each topped with a geode lamp. A vintage sputnik chandelier supplies overhead lighting. As if having a conversation, two chairs sit on opposite ends of the room: one, a leather sample-sale purchase, the other a 1960s chrome design with Pierre Frey leopard-print upholstery, gifted by a cherished mentor. The chrome piece holds wonderful memories. “Many evenings I would sit in that chair and talk to him about life and design,” Horner says.

Blue dining room by Ann Wolf
Photo by Max Kimbee

Tasked with refreshing the dining room of a Houston home with a classic New England vibe, Ann Wolf decided to keep the existing furniture — and for good reason. “It was previously decorated by Bunny Williams,” Wolf says. “She has exquisite taste!” Thus, Wolf preserved the room’s hero pieces: a reproduction Georgian table and Regency chairs and a remarkable Italian giltwood chandelier. However, she changed the room’s flat red paint to a vibrant peacock-blue lacquer and reupholstered the purposely mismatched chairs in geometric and floral patterns.

She also switched the traditional china that graced the built-in cabinets for Japanese Awaji pottery. A custom sisal rug with an Ultrasuede border follows the shape of the room, and an oil painting by artist Roberto Matta adorns the mantel.

Blue bedroom by Jonathan Adler
Photo by Jonathan Adler

Nautical but not twee, poppy but with soul” is how Jonathan Adler describes the joyful guest bedroom of a beach house he designed in Shelter Island, New York. Adler used blue as the literal primary color, hanging a fabric panel in a different shade behind each of the Danish modern twin beds and upholstering the frames to match. The wood pieces, he says, along with the vintage chair in the corner, add just a touch of gravitas to the whimsical space.

The shell-shaped lamp and seahorse pillows, both from Adler’s collection of furniture and decor, nod to the home’s seaside locale. Underfoot is a geometric print rug he calls “an unbridled celebration of blue!” The photograph of a young beauty pageant hopeful is by artist Susan Anderson.

Blue living room by Regan Baker
Photo by Suzanna Scott Photography

Working with a couple with differing tastes (he liked modern, she liked traditional), designer Regan Baker found that the color blue was the one common denominator. For that reason, she painted the main wall and floating shelves in the living room of the clients’ 1920s home in San Francisco’s Sea Cliff neighborhood in a deep, broody shade, layering in an ever-so-slightly darker mid-century sofa, as well as a voluptuous velvet ottoman, to bring in the feeling of modernity.

Opposite, Baker placed two Marco Zanuso Lady chairs, reupholstered in an orange Hermès fabric for a brighter shot of color, connecting them with a Lawson-Fenning side table in burl wood and granite, purchased on 1stDibs.

Blue living room by Eli Dweck
Photo by Ilina Mustafina

Talk about all in! When Eli Dweck designed a minimalist space for a 1920s Brooklyn residence, he says he did so “as if blue were the new black,” “dipping” the room in a sophisticated muted navy. In fact, it covers all but the barrel-vaulted ceiling, which was gold leafed by hand. From the custom 20-foot sofa upholstered in an indoor-outdoor tweed to the leather-and-chrome Soriana chairs by Afra and Tobia Scarpa and the custom coffee table of lacquered linen and brass, all the room’s elements are saturated in the color. Even the wool-velvet carpet was dyed to match.

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