Lakes, beaches, and big skies – we find peace and tranquility often surrounded by blue. When I’m doing residential interior design, client willing, I often use largely because so many people like blue and have a positive emotional response – it’s an easy compromise when more than one person is involved. In Feng Shui, blue has to do with the energy of wisdom and knowledge.
For my commercial interior design, I utilize blue sparingly but if I go gray enough and/or light enough it becomes a neutral that isn’t brown and provides an excellent backdrop for whatever season’s clothes are on display. Studies also show that it can increase efficiency and decrease stress.
I’ve included six of my favorite colors of blue from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams. There are many more wonderful blues but this is an inspiring mix of light, dark, medium, unusual and gray blues. Which one do you like best?
- Light: Benjamin Moore 2122-50 Iceberg
Nancy Corzine says “This color is all shimmery opalescence, a cool, silvery gray-blue that fits in anywhere and can pull all the different blues in a room together” (House Beautiful Magazine). The great thing about this blue is it is light enough to be a restful background color. Because of the gray element it is soft, neutral and warm but the blue side of it keeps it crisp and reminiscent of the sky.
- Dark: Benjamin Moore HC-154 Hale Navy
This is a deep, alluring blue that captures the shadows. This can be used for a small room to make it more romantic and private or it can be used in a masculine space with some lacquer to add a glossy finish like patent leather. I love this in a room with a fireplace and lights on dimmers.
- Medium: Sherwin Williams 1241 Sassy Blue
This blue is very versatile because it is in the medium tones. It is that wonderful cliché color of the sky on a spring day and you want to take that breath of fresh air and do other such cliché things, but that is what makes it so wonderful. For me this is not the blue you would use in a little boy’s room; it is for a sophisticated coastal house or a room with lots of windows. Just refreshing and uplifting.
- Unusual (but usable): Benjamin Moore 2123-30
For those of you that like blue but don’t want to think “this is a blue room” as soon as you walk in, this is a great color. Being inSeattle, it reminds me of the ocean or the lakes on a cloudy day, even a little stormy. This is a complex mix of teal, green, blue, and gray that has the ability to be both an accent color or a background neutral.
- Gray: Sherwin Williams 7073 Network Gray
This might as well be in the “best gray” blog (and I’m sure it will be – it is that great of a color) because it is a gray-blue. This is an example of a neutral blue that is an alternative to beiges and browns. It is a beautiful background for art pieces and in bathrooms.
- Favorite: Benjamin Moore 1632 Glass Slipper
Like the name implies, this is a fairy-tale color. Like most of my other blues, it has the gray element to keep it warm and neutral but it has something a little extra that allows it to successfully complement just about any other color. I think the gray element is a warmer gray tone that makes it a comforting blue and sometimes I think there might be a touch of green in there too. Either way, it is a color you can put up and not regret.