When many of us run through the list of classic rainbow colors, we tend to skip over one striking shade. We find ways to decorate with reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, and violets. But, indigo—which is very much a member of the ROYGBIV family—tends to go overlooked.
The color is named after the indigo plant, which boasts leaves that produce a stunning dark blue dye. Now, indigo is primarily known as an oft-overlooked shade of the rainbow—one that is bold, rich, and incredibly fun to decorate with.
What Is Indigo?
Indigo is a bold color that straddles blue and purple—though anyone who’s seen it knows it’s mostly blue.
"Indigo blue is a bold color and can be really dark," says interior design firm Gray Space Interiors. Of course, decorating with any striking shade can be a daunting task. But, since indigo is so dark, it’s the kind of statement-maker you can bring into your space without totally overwhelming it. Options abound with the bold shade, and courageous interior designers have proved it.
Meet the Expert
Gray Space Interiors is a full-service design firm that balances creativity, functionality, and process to create inspiring spaces.
To make our case, we’ve rounded up 24 of the prettiest indigo rooms we could find—and they all make decorating with the shade look incredibly easy to pull off.
Play With Pops of Color
Intimidated by the thought of adding a bold color like indigo to your space? Consider playing with pops of color rather than committing to a full-blown color scheme. This will enable you to take a smaller-doses approach to the bold shade, helping you get used to it without forcing you to commit to anything drastic right off the bat.
Take a Risk on an Accent Wall
Accent walls are a great way to commit to a color without letting it cover the whole room. Spring for a sleek indigo wall that's exactly as light or as dark as you want it to be, and pair it with one of the neutrals in your palette.
Play With Prints
Paint is a popular way to add color to a space, but it’s not your only option. Printed linens like curtains and upholstered chairs can be an equally effective way to add new shades to your palette. Color-coordinate some of your accent pieces and consider letting the other décor in your space in on the fun, too.
Layer Texture and Color
Color and texture can be excellent ways to make a space feel more dynamic, and who says you can’t add both at once? Indigo tiles can shake up your color scheme while adding texture to your space, and other accents like indigo wallpaper and indigo furniture often can, too.
Commit From Ceiling to Floor
Nothing makes a statement like a floor-to-ceiling color scheme. If you know you love indigo, go all in. Cover your walls in the color, then, stock up on indigo furniture, art, and décor.
To add contrast, look for ways to switch up your tone. Some shades of indigo are darker than others, and this subtle variety can add just enough contrast to make your space feel dynamic.
Use Art to Create Contrast
Painting a wall indigo is a bold choice, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave the wall bare. In fact, by adorning it with contrasting décor—say, by hanging a painting rendered in a complementary palette—you can make your space feel even bolder and more balanced.
Paint Your Cabinets
Not sure where to add a pop of indigo? Consider painting your cabinets. Kitchen cabinets can handle a lot of color, and paired with the right backsplash and lighting fixtures, indigo can really shine.
Experiment With Wallpaper
Wallpaper is a noncommittal decorator’s best friend. If you’re intrigued by the thought of an indigo room, but also put off by the idea of such a dark coat of paint, consider bridging the gap with a little indigo wallpaper.
You can use the wallpaper to see how indigo works in your space without locking yourself into any kind of commitment, which is great news if you’re a little reluctant to go so bold.
Go Monochromatic With Your Accents
You can transform the palette of a room without changing the color of any of its walls. How? Invest in matching—or at least color-coordinated—accent pieces. Match your vases to your candles, your candles to your cushions, and your cushions to your art. As long as the accents are bold enough and concentrated enough, you should feel your color scheme shift.
Add Darkness to Spaces That Can Handle It
Most of us shy away from dark colors like indigo, especially when it comes to interior paint. But, some rooms can handle such a dark shade without feeling crowded or cramped. Bedrooms, for example, don’t need to feel as spacious as other rooms. A dark shade of paint can leave them feeling cozier, and therefore, more welcoming.
Spruce Up Your Island
If you’re searching for a place to add a pop of color, your kitchen island is a pretty safe bet. Islands are present enough that a pop of color feels noticeable, but not so prominent that they’ll take away from the rest of your space.
Plus, while indigo may be bold, it’s not necessarily vibrant, so it’s unlikely to distract from your carefully curated aesthetic.
Mix and Match Your Linens
Designing an indigo bedroom isn’t very challenging—and you don’t even have to paint your walls or swap out your duvet to pull it off. If your bedding is pretty neutral, consider adding a few indigo throw pillows and a matching indigo blanket. Then, throw in a couple more indigo accents, and your palette should be thoroughly cemented. " I recommend pairing [indigo] with light-colored furniture for a calm and classic look or complementary colors like green or even purple for a more dramatic but cohesive look," says Gray Space Interiors.
Invest in a Statement-Making Accent Piece
There are plenty of lower-maintenance ways to add indigo to your space. Don’t feel like painting your walls, messing with wallpaper, or stocking up on tons of color-coordinated accents? Consider buying a single, statement-making accent piece. If the rest of your space is relatively light and neutral, the piece could be enough to shake up your color scheme.
Add Structure With Pops of Color
Color can set the tone in a room, and pops of color can do the same, especially when they’re placed thoughtfully. If you’re looking for a way to differentiate your dining room from a nearby space, consider painting one of its walls dark indigo. This will create a suggested boundary—making it clear where your dining room ends and the next room begins.
Set the Tone in Your Space
As far as bold colors go, indigo is pretty versatile. But, that doesn’t mean it’s right for every room. Consider what you want a given room to feel like and then consider whether indigo would get the job done. The sleek shade can cozy up a bedroom, add elegance to a kitchen, or make a study feel more sophisticated, making it a solid go-to depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.
Keep Your Complements Consistent
Once you’ve committed to a base color, it’s time to consider what your accent colors will be. You can always opt for a few, but a particularly statement-making option is to pick one accent color and stick with it.
Upgrade Your Bathroom
It can be tough to figure out where to experiment with a little indigo—but have you considered your bathroom? Bathrooms often go under-appreciated and under-decorated, so a coat of statement-making paint could go a long way. Plus, bathrooms tend to be less out-in-the-open than kitchens, dining rooms, and bedrooms, so they’re great places to take a few risks.
Spring for a Statement Corner
Just about everyone’s heard of accent walls—but accent corners can be just as striking. If you have a spacious corner you’d like to turn into a reading nook, consider painting it indigo. The color will visually separate the space without physically closing it off from the rest of the room.
Play With Analogous Colors
Once you’ve added indigo to your space, you may think your palette is finished. How could it possibly handle any more color? But, since indigo is such a versatile shade, you can probably get away with more color than you think.
Layer Bold Pieces
Who says you have to stop at one bold accent? Paint your cabinets indigo, spring for quartz countertops, try out a textured backsplash, and throw on some wooden shelves. Sure, layering so many different textures can get overwhelming—but if you keep your palette relatively constrained, your space should stay pretty balanced.
Take Advantage of Neutrals
Neutrals play well with everything, and this is particularly helpful to remember when you’re decorating with a bold color. Not sure what shade to paint your windows, or what furniture to use in your indigo room? Stick with whites, blacks, browns, and grays, and your color scheme will be taken care of.
Add Color With Art
There are a few go-to ways to add color to your space: paint, wallpaper, maybe even furniture—but art is another great one. And since it’s a less obvious option, it’s a great way to make a statement. Find a massive indigo poster or painting, and hang it in an all-white room. Thanks to indigo’s visual weight, that one simple addition will make your room feel more indigo even though it’s still mostly white.
Use Accents to Create Cohesion
If you’re playing with a few different colors, it’s helpful to use accent pieces to keep things feeling balanced. An indigo nightstand might get lost next to an emerald green headboard and crisp white linens, but the addition of an indigo blanket at the foot of your bed can draw attention to the nightstand—making the room feel more balanced.
Go All In
If you feel like painting your entire dining room indigo, do it. Don’t hold yourself back. Yes, the design choice might sound intimidating—but any bold design decision does. And if it doesn’t go the way you thought it would, you can always repaint your walls and try again.