The Power of Navy Blue ~ Part 1

I’m a color person ~ I like colors, I’m inspired by colors, I think about colors.  Ever since Pantone (the “world-renowned authority on color”) released their fashion color report for Spring 2012, and included ‘Sodalite Blue’ in both the men’s and women’s colors, I’ve had navy blue on my mind.Pantone's Sodalite Blue

In home decorating, most people seem to shy away from dark colors.  Navy is such a rich, versatile color though, and when used appropriately it can create a dramatic impact or act as an unexpected accent color.

I want to explore the world of navy and show how it can be combined with any other color to create a beautiful room.  Today, I’ll start with the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  Next week, I’ll be back to explore other color combinations – some more unexpected than others.

When you say "navy and red", many people have visions of the American flag and a 4th of July picnic.  Here are two rooms, however, that use this usually patriotic color combination to create welcoming and exciting spaces.

navy blue & red family room, living room

(navy and red family room from Costal Living via Design & Style)

In this family room, white is used to ground the color scheme.  The playful stripes repeated throughout the space help to connect the rooms.

navy blue & red kid's room

(navy and red bedroom by Meg Braff via Design & Style)

For a child’s bedroom, navy and red is a fun color choice.  The light blue walls give a soft and airy feeling to the room.  Picking a fabric with all of the room’s colors, like the one on the window, is a perfect way to unify the space.

Around Richmond, VA, if you say “blue and orange”, visions of UVA Cavaliers usually pop up.

UVA Cavaliers logo

(UVA logo via

Even so, this color combination can produce a unique and appealing room (that even VA Tech fans can enjoy ;)! ).

navy blue & orange nursery

(navy and orange nursery from Sarah Richardson via HGTV)

This nursery by Sarah Richardson, evolved around the fabulous wallpaper she used on the ceiling.  Her use of patterns, both in the fabrics and on the wall, provides a stimulating space for a baby.  The two main orange elements add pops of color and warm up the space.

navy blue & orange nursery

(navy and orange nursery from Katie Raadt via Chic & Cheap Nursery)

Here is another take on a navy and orange nursery.  This one uses fewer patterns than the first nursery.  The solid walls, allow for the map, framed art, orange chair, and oversized giraffe to shine in this room.  (I think I spy the Fillsta pendant light from Ikea that I used in my Sweet Frog Foyer.)

Next on the spectrum is navy and yellow.

navy blue & yellow family room, living room

(navy and yellow family room from House Beautiful, picture #12)

I love the navy coffee table and side chairs in this family room.  The accents in yellow make the room feel warm and welcoming.  Who wouldn’t want to catch up with an old friend over tea in this room?

navy blue & yellow entryway, foyer
(navy and yellow entryway from House & Home)

Even though this entryway uses the same color scheme as the living room above, the bold use of the two colors creates a much more dramatic effect.  The painted door makes the entry feel larger, and the mostly white art gives balance to the space.

When I think of navy and green, I think of adorable, preppy school boys in striped polo shirts.

navy blue & green kid's bedroom

(boy’s bedroom from Apartment Therapy)

navy blue & green kid's bedroom

(navy and green bedroom from Serena & Lily)

Notice the similarities in these two bedrooms: overall color scheme, wood behind the beds, and striped comforter.  While still preppy, the lighter green in the second one, invokes a fresh, spring-time feel.

navy blue & green dining room

(navy and green dining room from House Beautiful via View From My Heels)

Not just for little boys, navy and green can also create a stunning room for grown ups.  In this dining room, the use of solid colors for the main pieces (walls, chairs, side board, rug, and table) allows each one to stand out and make its own statement.  The artwork and trim on the window panels pull the room together.

Navy also mixes well with other shades of blue.

navy blue & light blue family room, living room

(navy and light blue family room from Falls Design)

The monochromatic scheme in this family room is calming yet inviting.  The equal use of the two blues prevents one from overpowering the other.  I love how the white furnishings give the room a crisp, clean feel.   The print on the window panels provides the finishing touch to tie the room together.

navy blue & turquoise sun room, porch

(navy and turquoise sunroom from Costal Living)

Here, turquoise is used in an unexpected place to create this welcoming sunroom.  The mix of modern pieces – in the coffee tables – and more traditional elements – in the wicker furniture – work well together in this space.

Today’s last color combination is navy and, my favorite color, purple!

navy blue & purple dining room

(navy and purple dining room from décor*pad)

Subtle uses of each color create an easy balance in this dining room.  The dark wood floors, iron console table, and neutral walls help to keep the room from feeling too feminine.

navy blue & purple wallpaper in entryway, foyer(navy and purple wallpaper from Burke Décor)

In a much more bold use of the colors, the navy and purple wallpaper makes a grand statement in this entryway.  The simple console table and neutral chair keep the focus on the wallpaper.  How fun!

I’ll be back next week to explore other combinations with navy!

º What is your favorite color partner for navy so far? º Have you used navy in your home?