You need only a little lush greenery to take a blue-and-white palette from beachy to tropical. For proof, check out this attic living space of decorator Matthew Caughy’s Delaware beach house, where a brilliant blue-and-white striped rug is punched up with leafy plants as well as pillows and other accents in sea foam, turquoise, and pure green hues. It also goes to show that sometimes less is more when it comes to blue and white—the striking blue-and-white rug here goes a long way as a foundation for the room’s palette.
by In Two Design / Photograph by Fine Photography by Stephanie
In a Welsh country home, blue-and-white cotton toile saturates this guest bedroom—from the upholstered walls and the drapery panels to the bed skirt, table skirt, and quilted cover of the eiderdown that tops the painted caned bed.
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You might not have terrazzo-tile floors and high ceilings, but simple luxuries, such as plush towels in rejuvenating blues and a few seaside accents, are all you need to transform your own white bath into an absolute oasis. Go the extra mile by painting your walls a barely there soft blue.
Traditional chairs with elegant silhouettes (think klismos and Louis XIV- and Chippendale-style seats) look undeniably modern in classic blue and white. At his summer lake house, designer Thom Filicia rings his dining room table with chairs upholstered in the same blue as his wallpaper, which lends a sophisticated air to the space. Try pulling in blue-and-white chairs for seating that always looks polished, and repeat the hues on your walls with a large piece of art that will entice the eye to travel.
From the vintage and the farmhouse to the modern and the minimalist, blue and white kitchens are arguably the most popular on the planet! Maybe it is the sense of relaxed ambiance that they present or the way in which they seamlessly integrate with the dining space and the living room; no matter what the reason is, the blue and white kitchen is simply irresistible. Here it is the style of the cabinets, the kitchen island, the materials used and the backsplash that will ultimately determine the look of the kitchen. Contemporary kitchens often sport blue cabinets and white countertops in glossy, lacquered finishes.
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A built-in bookcase in the family room features natural raffia inserts affixed to the wall. The raffia’s neutral hue lets the indigo and silver mementoes pop, while giving the area a lovely textural background.
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A white kitchen boasts blue accents and country themes. Antique Chinese Cantonware and blue-and-white transferware pop against the kitchen’s neutral canvas. Intricate moldings help tie the room to the home’s 1936 origin.
Universally chic (and kid-friendly) stripes in blue and white make a great foundation for a family home. The palette and pattern are both versatile enough for casual living as well as for stylish entertaining. With the need for uncluttered, open, and flexible spaces in mind, our Studio team made over a Nashville couple’s home just in time to welcome their newborn son. The varying stripes in this high-traffic family space carry relaxed appeal through the flat-weave rug, the pillows, and the armchair while maintaining a fresh and airy feel.
In the master bedroom, the coastal hues are lightened up to an ethereal palette of soft blues and airy whites, reminiscent of the sea glass found on the beaches outside. The palette is accented with sandy golds to warm the space.
Americana rules in this lakeside home accented with weathervanes, antique quilts, and blue-and-white china. But it is clearly the latter that inspired the choice of cheery cobalt-and-white Lee Jofa fabric for Hickory Chair armchairs and a sky-blue Stark rug in this sitting area by the kitchen. White-painted vertical wood planks and a beaded-board ceiling painted gray-blue make a soothing backdrop for the patterned furnishings.
The guest bedroom of this waterfront home reflects the landscape outside while incorporating some more formal elements, like the regal brass chandelier and checkered canopy that adds height to the tufted white headboard. The pillows and duvet are covered in a pretty blue-and-white damask print.
The Swedish antiques that fill it inspire this charming master bedroom, which is wrapped in a serene palette of airy blues and whites. An antique ivory-painted mirror and chest are set between new Marvin windows. The custom area rug from Stark ties the room’s accent colors together with the complementary neutrals.
The bedroom’s palette is a sophisticated mix of patterns and textures in varying shades of blue. A paisley wallpaper from England softens the dark mahogany of the four-poster bed and chest.
Indigo tie-dyed fabrics in the sitting room give an air of casual elegance and nod to the mid-century.
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Indigo-and-white linen dominates the dining room’s seating area on two club chairs, an ottoman and sofa, and in stately draperies richly gathered into side panels and topped by a scalloped valance. Throw pillows in Tattersall check match the dining room side chairs, tying the two spaces together.
Classically appointed in cool blues and crisp whites, this living room’s palette is softened with nature-inspired neutrals and rich textures. An antique sofa has been recovered in a fresh white cotton duck for a modern look. A column of framed botanicals lends verticality. The sisal rug underfoot grounds the airy tones of the walls and furniture.
In the dining room, antique pieces are covered in modern fabrics rich in texture. Mirrors flanking the mantel are made of thick, chiseled glass to (literally) reflect the room’s icy palette.
Powder blues and soft greens create a serene environment in this guest bedroom. Complementing the cooler tones are neutrals punctuated with pink. Centered against the far wall is the custom tufted bed, made up with luxurious cream linens from Frette.
The living room captures the essence of the glamorous seaside home with a barely-there blue on the lofty walls and a natural sisal rug grounding the space. A silk-velvet Irish sofa is covered in a luxurious blue, a concentrated version of the walls surrounding it.
Blue and white works wonderfully in a bedroom given that the palette—particularly lighter shades of blue, as in renowned designer Bunny Williams’s country house—instills a sense of breeziness and calm. And layering bedding in blue and white is an easy refresh that adds instant charm—whether you’re going for a crisp and preppy look with striped bed linens or something more along the lines of florals and batiks for a touch of whimsy.
A master bedroom with an open sitting area calls for a soothing palette of cream and blue. The bench at the foot of the bed, covered in “Caterpillar” from Schumacher, lends a dose of texture and rich chocolate brown details to complement the powder blues elsewhere. Gauzy ivory drapery at the windows feature layers of aqua beneath, tying the room’s palette together.
Snowy-white linens resting against a sky-blue headboard and dust ruffle turn this canopy bed into a restful sanctuary. Soothing beige walls suggest the sandy beach just a stone’s throw away from this lakefront home.
Few color combinations rival timeless blue and white. The classic palette has stood the test of time and history in decorating—from Chinese porcelain to delftware and Wedgwood to chic cabana stripes. So it’s no surprise that designers such as Bunny Williams, Mark D. Sikes, and Amanda Nisbet have long sworn by blue and white in many of their interiors. It’s also the one color pairing that always feels fresh, looks effortlessly stylish, and is endlessly versatile, as it complements virtually any decor and works in just about any space.
Textures, shades, and tints reign in this blue-and-white solarium highlighted by a cobalt-painted wood chaise with white matelassé cushions. Throw pillows add different shades and patterns of blue to the mix, while a white Chinoiserie coffee table and hammered metal appeal to the sense of touch.
Perched at water’s edge on beautiful San Francisco Bay, this house and its ocean-view family room offer breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific. Fittingly, the casual room features a palette plucked from nature: sky and ocean blues in the shades of its upholstered and painted furniture.
Adding chinoiserie is a surefire way to usher in drama and romance. Blue-and-white chinoiserie wallpaper can set the stage for fanciful floral flourishes, such as a blooming pillow, a garden stool, or still-life art tinged with subtle notes of blue. Look to blue-and-white chinoiserie and toiles printed with follies and lush sceneries for adding garden-inspired touches that tie back to the palette for a collected look.
Designer Barclay Butera describes this home’s aesthetic as “beach house with a twist,” which is evident in the dining room. Preppy stripes on the dining chairs contrast with more traditional furnishings, like the blue-on-white wallpaper and elegant oval dining table. Even the chandelier represents Barclay’s unique mix of styles, with navy blue shades over the unique seashell design.
This narrow but efficient bunk room was designed to accommodate visitors — old or young — who gravitate to the nautical address for vacation fun and relaxation. Bold navy-and-white stripes, informal fabrics, and cotton rugs give the room an energetic feel.
There’s no denying the timeless elegance of Wedgwood tableware, candlesticks, and accents in blue and white. The porcelain looks especially radiant when arranged in matching pairs or as a collection. Designer Amanda Nisbet displays her collection—heirlooms from her great-grandmother—in the front hall of her Upper East Side apartment. For contrast, Amanda paired it with a modern abstract with swathes of blue-gray for a complementary backdrop; it also helps keep the Wedgwood from appearing too precious. Consider placing Wedgwood pieces alongside modern blue-and-white pieces for a stylish balance of old and new.
When mixing bold textiles such as ikats, batiks, medallions, and trellises, keeping to a blue-and-white palette helps streamline what could easily become a visual frenzy. One trick we love? Consider a darker blue with white for furnishings that have a smaller pattern (so they seem less busy from afar) and lighter blues for pieces with oversize patterns (to accentuate their details).
The entryway into designer Julia Wong’s sky-high apartment for the Ritz-Carlton Showcase in Chicago makes a bold first impression. A large painting by Bradford Stewart hangs at the end of the narrow entry, packing a punch of color against the hallway’s crisp white walls.
Pretty cobalt, royal, and French blues drench furniture, fabrics, and walls in this updated suite of rooms near the river. The only color addition is in the French Country kitchen, where spirited yellow accents add a feeling of sunshine. A blue-and-white tile backsplash eases the transition between kitchen and living room, where crystal lamps illuminate the same palette.
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More traditional and transitional kitchens seem to use the same shades in a less lustrous and more stoic fashion. Painting the lower shelves of the kitchen blue while painting the top ones white is a trend that is currently pretty popular. Bold blue backsplashes and barstools are also a hip way to usher in some summer and fall charm without requiring any major renovations.
Blues in this breakfast room range from the deep navy lacquer of the Windsor chairs to the light denim of the valence above. The ivory banquette is adorned with pillows embellished with delicate blue accents, resembling the colors of the china at the table. A drum pendant shade above brings in a dose of animal print, while tangerine placements provide a pop of color.
Soothing gray-sage walls let white woodwork and blue accessories take center stage in this vacation home just minutes from the beach. Turquoise blue glassware in the dining room cabinets echoes the blues in a painting called Pool at Noon which hangs nearby. Silvery blue slipcovers partner with beige ones in a visual symphony inspired by water and sand.
Dressing the master bedroom in her favorite Swedish color palette made sense for this homeowner because the ocean is just across the street. By paying attention to scale, shade, and proportions, she was able to mix four patterns in varying shades of blue and white on the bed and bench. Light, painted furniture goes hand in hand with the casual, low-maintenance textiles.
Designer Lisa Sternfeld transformed this entryway walk-through into a special sitting area bedecked in icy blues and silver. The antique dining chairs are gilded in white gold for opulent shine.
If you’re looking to bring in a light touch, lean into coastal blues, as in this serene-rustic bedroom and reading nook on Brooke and Steve Gianetti’s Ojai farm. The evocative ocean painting, the striped rug, and the faded pillows make for soothing accents, and they help break up the room’s palette of neutrals, browns, and wood tones. Spread accents in coastal blue and white around a room to play up a calming atmosphere.
The coastal palette in this summer home is given a youthful twist in the master bath, where periwinkle tiles from Urban Archaeology and a custom vanity built by Waterworks. Veined marble floor tiles lend elegant interest to the floors; glass doors and twin mirrors keep the natural light flowing.
Striped wallpaper from Ralph Lauren Home provides a handsome background in this dining room. Shapely Queen Anne chairs are upholstered in ivory linen with contrasting brown piping for a touch of complementary variation in the room’s clean palette.
Experts suggest that blue is the most relaxing color in the bedroom and is best at inducing sleep. But using the bolder shades in an extensive fashion can fill the room with too much energy and not enough serenity. If you want to paint all the walls of the bedroom blue and reduce the use of white, shades such as light grayish-blue are ideal. Turquoise and navy blue are two other shades that add style and glamour to the bedroom with effortless ease.
Lively patterns in shades of blue play against a crisp white backdrop in this casual dining area. A window seat is piled with pillows from Schumacher, a comfy spot for conversation. A valence over the windows is trimmed in navy blue for a smart complement to the mix of patterns below.
Natural fibers with blue-and-white furnishings is a foolproof formula that will add major relaxed appeal to any of your living spaces. Rather than start with color, begin by bringing in your natural-fiber pieces and then adding blue and white. With heavy natural tones and textures, such as the sisal rug and the woven pendant, lamp, and ottomans here, opt primarily for solids over prints to keep the ambience casual yet composed.
A room clad in blue and white not only allows you to peacefully focus on other additions and accessories even as seasons flick over, but it can also double as an exciting background for other accent hues. Exquisite, evergreen and welcome in every home, this classic color combination is ideal for summer–embrace it with fervor! So, what is your favorite shade of blue along with white?
A summer home on Nantucket Island boasts a classic coastal color scheme. In the living room, knotty pine ceilings warm the crisp navy hues of the sofas and pillows. “We wanted a casual beach look so we could come in with sand on our shoes or sit on the living room sofa with a wet bathing suit and not worry about it,” says homeowner and designer Trudy Dujardin.
Feminine without being frilly, this blue-and-white master bedroom features lush toile fabric from Hinson and Company used for the wall covering, bedding, and furniture. Together with the blue-and-white needlework rug, the toile accents create a peaceful mood throughout the suite. White crown molding defines the space; an elegant white arch frames the bed and makes it a focal point.
As much as we strive to alter the world around us, it is inevitable that it is nature that has the biggest influence on us. Ever wondered why a room filled with red can sometimes appear overpowering, while a room with plenty of blue seems just fine and even aesthetically pleasing? The world that we live in shapes our tolerance of colors, and so it is no surprise that blue and white seems like a combination made in color palette heaven to the human eye. The vast sky filled with white clouds and the beautiful, dancing waves meeting the white, sandy beach; blue and white is indeed a happy couple!
When it comes to the living room, it is best to stick to blues that are pleasing and a touch lighter in shade. The dark navy blues also look lovely when used in moderation. Always remember that the darker the shade of blue, the more uncluttered and neutral the rest of the living room needs to be. Pops of yellow, orange or green also look chic when coupled with a blue and white color scheme.
Contemporary architectural elements in this master bedroom are softened by the spa-like palette of wheat and indigo. A loose-patterned De Gournay wallpaper behind the bed keeps the mood casual.
If you live in an old home with existing millwork, using blue and white in a large-scale manner can help to soften the ornate architectural details without distracting from them. Where other color combinations may prove too heavy on the eyes, blue and white relaxes a space both visually and spatially. Designer Patrick Mele homes in on that airy quality in this weekend escape with a sky-blue wall covering and equally captivating white chairs and accents, which complement the wood fireplace and beams.
Large enough to take on the energy of a gutsy pattern, this dining room boasts dramatic indigo-and-white linen for a pair of wing chairs on either end of the table and at the window bay. Grouped into a dramatic niche above the fire place are five oversize blue-and-white 19th-century Chinese export porcelain jars. See next slide for another view of this room.
A classic seaside palette gets an unexpected upgrade with stylish British Colonial design elements, like English-style armchairs with French-blue paisley cushions and oatmeal-colored raffia upholstery. A leopard-print rug adds an unexpected element of modernity.
Blue-and-white ceramics have an ease and classic beauty that makes them fabulous showpieces in any cabinet. Store and group collections of blue-and-white dishware—whether it’s delft bowls, chinoiserie plates, or striped pottery that evoke the South of France—to create your own instantly charming display.
Photo by Michael Nangreaves. Art direction/styling by Andrea McCrindle.
An heirloom rocking chair upholstered in ivory fabric is adorned with hand-painted family names in a dusty blue. The embroidered look of the script accompanies the historical impact of this personal piece, which is sure to last through the generations to come.
Teaming navy and indigo with white is an easy way to create sharp focus in any room—especially if it’s a small space. The deep blue shades will make the white appear more crisp, and this rich color combo has the power to add bold style without overwhelming a space. Case in point: L.A. designer Kim Salmela uses this navy-and-white palette in her guest bedroom, from the wallpaper and the mix of pillows to the ottoman and the bed, creating an oasis that’s big on eye-catching boho style as well as comfort. Consider continuing a deep-blue color scheme in your accents to stylishly ground a room.
This beautifully crafted bar cart, The Sidecar by Moore and Giles, is a great way to store liquor, glassware, bar tools, and anything else needed to complete your own miniature bar. The cart, made of Virginia black walnut, birch, leather, aluminum, and brass, is wheeled to make sure the party can travel with you. Perfect for drink-lovers without the space for a full bar.
Chairs from McGuire are upholstered in blue-and-white gingham fabric to anchor the dining room. Crisp white walls are dotted with blue accents, like the artwork by Rose Gonnella and the linens on the glass-topped dining table.
Rich royal blues are tempered with natural woods and a neutral wall paint from Benjamin Moore. A striking indigo metalassé covers the bench at the foot of the four-poster and an armchair beside the window.
Caribbean Blue, Bahamas Blue and bold Turquoise; it seems like the most exciting blues and glossy whites are even more alluring when used in the bathroom! With standalone tubs and painted claw-foot tubs making a comeback in 2014, it makes sense to embrace the blue and white color palette even more. Gentle blues coupled with white, along with a vintage bathtub can create a soothing, tranquil and luxurious traditional or transitional bathroom. Smarter and more vivid splashes of blue look lovely in contemporary or even farmhouse-style baths. Just throw in a few towels and toiletries in matching hues and you are all set for a refreshing dip.
If chinoiserie isn’t your aesthetic, blue-and-white wallpaper in a graphic geometric provides just as much visual impact without the trad formality. You can instantly brighten up walls in a small space, like this powder room, with a strong modern design; for chic contrast, gleaming gold and brass will offset the blue-and-white wall pattern with shine and panache. Look for furnishings and accents that have sculptural shapes and details that reiterate the wallpaper’s bold design.
Teak furniture on the screened porch is covered in durable blue fabrics from Sunbrella. The Nantucket look is completed with seaside memorabilia, a vintage lantern, and worn wood shingles.
We’ve rounded up 14 gorgeous spaces that celebrate—and in some instances, rethink—the crisp duo. All are certain to inspire you to refresh your home with touches (or lots) of blue and white.
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An arresting blue-and-white toile print from Duralee frames the sleeping niche in this bedroom, designed by Mary Douglas Drysdale. The lively fabric covers the bed cover and curtains, as well extending to the wall covering. Classic gold wall sconces and rich woods keep the space feeling cozy and welcoming.
Craving more blue and white decorating ideas? Check out this home in coastal colors.
Since the shades of blue are almost endless, the choice of picking the right blue along with white can be difficult when you get to the bedroom. Unlike the living room, feel free to pick an audacious, over-the-top shade here. The bedroom is a personal sanctuary, and it must reflect your taste while offering a relaxing hub. An accent wall in bold Robin’s Egg Blue or Aqua looks truly stunning when coupled with white. Let your bed linens, duvets and pillows enhance this color scheme, and also make sure that the lighting illuminates any dull corners.
Adopting the blue and white color scheme in the living room is both easy and effortless. The task is obviously pretty simple if you already have a pristine, all-white backdrop along with decor that is largely neutral in color. Just add a few accent pillows, some traditional Chinese vases or other accessories in blue, and you have that perfect blue and white living space. With summer here, the beach style is an ideal way to turn towards blue and white, and some simple decor items with a nautical motif should accentuate the theme in a trendy fashion.
Calm is the order of the day in a living room whose Palladian Blue walls reflect a love of the hue. Thanks to a casual attitude, turquoise upholstery, blue accent pieces, and white-painted antique furniture mix easily with sunshine and such modern pieces as the glass cocktail table.
Combining navy, bright blue, and white leads to a sophisticated retreat as seen in this refreshing sunroom that mirrors the colors of nearby Nantucket Sound. Furnishings were left casual, but updated with hard-wearing outdoor fabric for durability. Woven shades, rattan furniture, and a sisal rug add their own natural spin to the water-inspired room.
Adjoined to the kitchen, this breakfast room is a cool departure from the yellow-and-white scheme of the surrounding spaces. Its casually classic aesthetic is exemplified with blue-and-white toile on the walls and buffalo plaid at the windows. Around the table, chairs are cushioned with a playful fabric in blue. A painted yellow corner cabinet eases the transition from the kitchen while housing a collection of blue-and-white ceramics.
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This guest room’s blue-and-white palette is freshened with subtle mint and sea-foam tones. Draperies are made with a hand-blocked fabric from TylerGraphic.
A family room is elegantly appointed in ivory and navy blues in this bachelor pad remodel. Creamy linen drapery panels are edged in blue grosgrain ribbon to emphasize the hues of the Ralph Lauren and Brunschwig & Fils fabrics. “My whole life has been about blue and white,” designer Jack Fhillips explains. “We live in blue jeans, white button-downs, and navy jackets. The look is American classic, and it translates from fashion to interiors so successfully.”
Evoking the sea and skies with a few perfect clouds, a blue-and-white palette brings comfort and style that’s cool, calm, and collected. Get inspired by this roundup of our favorite rooms decorated with this timeless color combination.
There are plenty of advantages to going with blue and white. For starters, the combination works with pretty much any design theme or style that you have going. Elegant, simple and yet gorgeous, blue and white is a timeless color duo that is trendy in every season and at all times. For those with color commitment issues, this is indeed the perfect solution. From the serene to the sensational, here is some blue and white inspiration for your entire home –
The Sidecar, price available upon request from Moore & Giles [1-800-737-0169]
In a kitchen both traditional and unexpected, graphic blue-and-white “The Vase” wallpaper from Clarence House adds cheerful energy to a compact space. Glass-front cabinet doors share a love of transparency with the Lucite bar stools at the center island. Stainless-steel appliances add subtle gleam without taking attention away from the glorious blues.