Those moody blues: Inky hues saturate home decor


This photo shows Pottery Barn's Irving roll arm leather armchair. The Irving looks modern in on-trend indigo blue leather. (Photo: AP)

In fashion, it’s replaced black as the new dress-up color. And it’s riding a wave of popularity into home decor, too. What’s the buzz about?

The color blue.

And while all blues, from baby to sky, are popular, it’s the deep, inky ones that are exciting home decorators.

“Navy is one shade with so many ways to implement it, from accessories to large-scale furniture,” says Nina Magon of Contour Interior Design in Houston. “It can work within traditional or modern design aesthetics. It’s a favorite of mine because it evokes a serene and calming emotion while also evoking a sense of luxury and opulence.”

Dark blues have become popular in the kitchen, too.

“We’re definitely seeing an increase in deep, moody blues,” says editor Mitchell Parker. “It’s usually used on an island or base cabinets with white uppers for a two-tone look, but the most popular kitchen photo uploaded to the Houzz site in the past three months featured all-blue cabinets. It’s a safe but strong color that pairs nicely with satin brass finishes, which are also having a moment right now.”

Benjamin Moore’s color marketing director, Andrea Magno, says deep blues complement many styles or design goals, “modern to nautical, or sophisticated and mysterious.

“Homeowners have more access to design ideas than ever, triggering greater confidence levels when it comes to selecting color — especially darker colors, which used to be a daring endeavor,” she says. “Dark blue has always been a classic, but today we’re seeing an increase in using this color for a variety of surfaces.”

Magno says deep blue used on walls and millwork has a dramatic effect, and works well as an accent, too.

“It pairs well with many colors, from soft yellow to deep teal, or even red, and it may be a softer option for cabinets, doors and walls than black,” she says.

For paint options, consider Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy, Van Deusen Blue and Kensington Blue. PPG Paints’ Chinese Porcelain is the company’s 2020 Color of the Year. And at Sherwin-Williams, there’s Jay Blue, Moscow Midnight and Naval.

“I see dark blue as the perfect opportunity for homeowners to move away from the beige neutrals we’ve seen dominating the home décor space the last few years,” says Phoenix designer Daniel Germani. “If you think about the ease and familiarity with which you’d wear your favorite jeans or navy blazer, this shade has the same versatility.”

He’s collaborated with Cosentino , a maker of surfacing material, on a new collection of its Dekton Chromica for countertops, backsplashes and elsewhere that features an inky blue colorway.

“It plays well with whites, grays, greens and brighter hues, and translates beautifully across decorating styles,” Germani says.

Kohler is introducing Shadows, a collection of enameled, cast-iron kitchen and bath products that includes a rich, saturated Indigo Blue, celebrating the natural dye in a new way.

You might put the color in the vanity: Signature Hardware’s Robertson console vanity comes in both single and double sink versions. Duravit’s Starck 1 Barrel vanity is also available in dark blue, and the unusual shape makes it a standout option.

IKEA’s well-priced Billy bookcase is now available in dark blue, as is the Alex desk. Formica offers midnight blue-hued Nocturne laminate sheets, so you can cover whatever inspires you. At Pottery Barn , you’ll find the Irving armchair in an indigo blue leather. And at Arteriors , the Warby drum ottoman perches on Deco-inspired brass legs, all dressed up in blue velvet.