The Underrated Paint Color That Really Makes Any Room Pop

Updated 02/21/19
Blue Paint
Brittany Ambridge

Whether done digitally or in person at a home improvement store, shopping for the perfect shade of paint can be an overwhelming experience. There are so many swatches of paint to choose from and after you've looked at a few hundred, they all seem to blend together, making the task of picking just one option all the more challenging.

Even if you've landed on a specific color, there's still the matter of choosing the right hue. Take the color blue, for instance. Different variations of this color can evoke completely different feelings, from cool and calming light shades to daring and dramatic darker tones. No matter what atmosphere you're hoping to create, there are a few common pitfalls you'll want to avoid when shopping for the right color to make the process easier.

"People are all too quick to throw a blue up on their walls without testing it in various areas throughout the space," explains Meredith Thayer, designer, and owner of Thayer Design Studio. Because the color offers so many different shades, she recommends putting it up on the wall in small sections before committing in order to see how the light affects the color, which can appear green or purple in certain spaces. "Allow them to sit for a few days so you can see how you also respond to the color," the designer advises. "Color can create such a feeling and set a mood —you want to be sure it's what you're going for," she continues.

Additionally, she warns that many people make the mistake of overdoing it with blue paint. "It's a color that is so popular I think people are eager to use it, but it doesn't necessarily work in every space," Thayer notes. However, if you take your time and are wary of how the color looks in your home's unique light, you'll be able to find the right shade.

If you're ready to get started on your next project, keep reading for the best interior designer-approved blue paint colors.

Benjamin Moore Gentleman's Gray

Why This Blue: Although it's categorized as gray, the color of Gentleman's Gray from Benjamin Moore is really a dark blue hue. "I love this color because it's deep and moody, yet classic with a small hint of teal to give it some character," the designer explains. She suggests using it in bathrooms or bedrooms that have wood accents and warmer tones.

Benjamin Moore Gentleman's Gray
Benjamin Moore Gentleman's Gray $40
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Farrow & Ball Hague Blue

Why This Blue: This blue paint recommendation comes from both the design team behind Studio Life.Style Shannon Wollack and Brittany Zwickl and designer Melissa Warner Rothblum of Massucco Warner Miller. "To enhance a room's mood, we tend to use blues with black and gray undertones," Wollack and Zwickl explain. "The color is moody, timeless, and goes well with everything," they continue. Rothblum agrees, describing the color as "that perfect blue that can punctuate other colors or act as a neutral."

Farrow & Ball Hague Blue
Farrow & Ball Hague Blue $110
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Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue

Why This Blue: Rothblum indicates that this shade manages to pull off something that's tricky for most light blue paint colors. "Sometimes blues that are light can come off as too juvenile," she says. However, this hue feels fresh and sophisticated, according to the designer.

Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue
Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue $40
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Blue Reading Nook
Alyssa Rosenheck

Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue

Why This Blue: Thayer loves this blue paint from Farrow & Ball dubbed Stiffkey Blue, especially when done in a high gloss finish. "It isn't too dark and brings the right amount of pop to a space without being obnoxious or overwhelming," she says. "I just used it in a kitchen with cherry cabinets and brass hardware—so so good," the designer continues.

Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue
Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue $110
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Farrow & Ball Railings

Why This Blue: Wollack and Zwickl suggest using this dark shade of blue paint as an alternative to a true black color. "The deep undertones make it sleek and sophisticated," according to the designers.

Farrow & Ball Railings
Farrow & Ball Railings $110
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Blue Bathroom
Catherine Kwong

Benjamin Moore Charlotte Slate

Why This Blue: “Because blues have so many iterations getting the right blue can be so challenging, especially when comparing them to each other," Rothblum notes. That's why she believes Charlotte Slate from Benjamin Moore is such a great find. "[It's] the perfect mix of blue, green, and gray so it works in so many different environments," she says.

Benjamin Moore Charlotte Slate
Benjamin Moore Charlotte Slate $40
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Benjamin Moore Boothbay Gray

Why This Blue: While Thayer admits that calling this cool shade of paint blue is a bit of a stretch, she advocates for the color because of it's smart and simple quality. "I am inclined to paint every built-in closet and area of trim in this color," she admits. Use the bluish green shade with gray undertones alongside warm whites and textured interiors to create a striking look, Thayer suggests.

Benjamin Moore Boothbay Gray
Benjamin Moore Boothbay Gray $40
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Blue Dining Room
Katie Martinez Design

Portola Wellfleet

Why This Blue: According to Zwickl and Wollack, this particular blue is perfect for creating a soft backdrop in any room. They describe the color as "a beautiful blue with really pretty dusty gray undertones." It certainly would look chic in just about any space.

Portola Wellfleet
Portola Wellfleet
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Price available upon request.

Benjamin Moore Kensington Blue

Why This Blue: "This is a great color that can act as a nice accent in a dining room or bathroom where you want to add that nice pop of blue next to white trim," Thayer points out. According to her, this shade is classic, but far from boring, making a strong case for the rich blue paint color.

Benjamin Moore Kensington Blue
Benjamin Moore Kensington Blue $40
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