For all its range and many moods, we never fail to find blue relaxing. There's something about its sea and sky associations that resets a bad day and puts us at ease. And where better to channel an overall sense of calm than in the living room? It's our favorite place to kick off our shoes and settle in for an hour (or three) of Netflix, so it's only rational that blue is a favored color for this comfy gathering place.
If you're not ready to get out the paint rollers just yet, no sweat. One of the things we love best about this shade is how easy it is to incorporate into existing color schemes, eliminating the need for a floor-to-ceiling makeover.
Meet the Expert
Sallie Lord is an interior designer and the founder of GreyHunt Interiors.
Scroll ahead for some of our favorite blue living rooms, then take a deep breath—and let this zen color work its magic on you.
Choose a Rich Shade
Don't fear that being too bold will create a chaotic-feeling space. When working with blues, in fact, it can actually do the opposite. “Designing with rich tones of blues allows you to add depth and drama while still creating a relaxing room aura," Lord says.
Use Blue as a Neutral
Okay, we admit it—blue isn't actually a neutral. But it's so versatile and classic that we consider it to be an honorary member of our list of go-to neutrals. In this space of muted tones, an enduring denim shade provides just the right amount of added interest while keeping things soft and subtle and emphasizing the blue-green notes of the built-ins, too.
Try an Oversized Rug
If painting your walls in a bold color is out of the question—whether because of a strict landlord or chronic indecision—an oversized area rug is a great way to "fake" the impact of floor-to-ceiling color. This super-saturated rug does just that, providing a major pop of beautiful blue to this space.
You splurged on that rug—shouldn't you spend more time seeing it? A clear coffee table (whether glass, lucite, or acrylic) can be the perfect way to spend more time admiring your new investment purchase.
Incorporate More Than One Shade
Why settle for just one shade of blue? This dark teal couch looks striking against a variegated rug that incorporates more pure-blue hues, which is part of what we love so much about this versatile color. A few unexpected patterns and shapes lend an appealing mixed-and-matched feel to the space, so it can grow and change easily over time.
This particular shade of light blue feels like a breath of fresh air and works beautifully with the classic-meets-eclectic vibe of this space. Modern touches, like clear coffee tables, mingle with juxtaposed prints, creating a look that references the past without being stuck in it.
Keep It Saturated
Yves Klein Blue is making a major comeback—but don't take our word for it. We've been seeing this iconic shade popping up in homewares a lot lately, from ceramics to lamps and more, but it wasn't until we spotted this space that we knew it was here to stay. This incredibly saturated color is a bold choice for sure, but it really delivers a lot of bang for your paint-bucket buck: The impact is incredible, and we expect the compliments to roll in whenever guests visit.
Pair Teal and Violet
Who knew that teal and gray-violet paired so well together? This living room is a masterclass in balancing two in-between shades to create a stunning effect that's greater than the sum of its parts. Texture is definitely part of the equation—marrying soft upholstery and nubby rugs with sleek marble surfaces creates all kinds of appealing contrast, bringing even more depth to this unlikely pairing.
Break the Rules
If you grew up with the adage to never pair black and blue, this room might be a little surprising—but rules were meant to be broken. While it's true that navy and black can sometimes clash, more often than not, blue plays well with others (black included). The trick is to balance your desaturated shade with something bright and lively, like this cheerful shade of blue. Limiting the black paint to the back wall of the living room, as shown here, not only adds to the modern, unexpected vibe, but it also gives the eye somewhere to land and adds length to the space.
If relaxing into a cloud of baby blue isn't your speed, we hear you. Sometimes a darker shade is more appealing, and it can be just as comfortable and cozy. This space strikes the perfect balance with its artsy, rock-chic vibe and relaxing, moody hues—a match made in happy hour heaven, if you ask us.
Create a Boho Vibe
At the other end of the spectrum is this delightfully boho-chic living room. A mix of artisan-inspired pillows boasting indigo patterns makes for a fun, laid-back look with a worldly air, while this showstopper of a rug—in all our favorite shades—defines the space and sets the tone for a comfy, chill hangout area.
Get Inspired by Denim
There's a reason for our lifelong obsession with denim, and it's due (in part) to our love for its iconic color. Tried-and-true, a color that appears effortless and yet has unending potential, it really does "go with everything," which is part of what makes it so indispensable. Apply that same principle to your home, and you'll find that a denim-y blue couch does for your living room what your favorite jeans do for your wardrobe—you can dress it up, mix it up, and, of course, pair it with all kinds of classic Americana pieces for a well-loved look.
Choose a Barely There Blue
We love a big, bold statement color as much as anybody, but sometimes, a barely there hue is what you need. This living room turns down the volume on blue, opting for a subdued shade that is calm incarnate. This clever trick allows for décor to speak out in other ways: a cool zebra-print coffee table, bold wall art, and bright punches of citron yellow.
Add Some Pink
This is a take on pink and blue that you've never seen before. Indigo, navy, and bright pops of fuchsia come together to create an inviting vibe that's equal parts chic and calming—and it's a color combo we're officially dying to try.