Moody, mellow, modern—is there anything blue can't do? While we're firmly of the opinion that there's never a bad time to embrace a blue mood, deep and dreamy navy hues have been spending some time in the spotlight. After Sherwin-Williams named their 2020 Color of the Year "Naval," a slightly oversaturated true navy, we knew it was high time this standby blue got its due.
As one of the most classic bedroom colors, deep blue is known for being restful and soothing. But don't worry, maximalists! These eclectic rooms prove that navy is much more than its traditionalist reputation. In fact, we think there's something downright rebellious and edgy about many of these inky-dark retreats.
To shed some light on the color, we turned to interior designer Marie Flanigan, who is a big proponent of bringing navy into the bedroom. "I’m inspired by colors found in nature and am always drawn to the misty blues of the ocean and sky," she tells us.
Meet the Expert
Marie Flanigan is the principal designer at Marie Flanigan Interiors in Houston, Texas. She and her team have mastered the art of balancing form, function, and sophistication throughout their interiors.
Read on to see 22 of our favorite navy blue bedrooms and expert tips on how you, too, can put a twist on the classic color.
Paint One Wall
If dark and moody just isn't your style but you're still looking for drama, the simplest way to keep a dark wall color from giving your bedroom a cavelike vibe is to paint just one accent wall and leave the rest white.
We especially love this high-contrast effect in spaces with high ceilings and big windows offering plenty of natural light. Blue and gray prove to be an awe-inspiring pairing in this soothing escape.
Play up Patterns
Let navy blue be the base for all your wildest pattern-mixing dreams. Here, a delicate floral wallpaper, a rattan headboard, and an embroidered quilt all play well together. Notice how shades of brown and terra-cotta create contrast with navy blues for a look that really pops? There's a lot to learn from this elegant room that's a lesson in tasteful maximalism.
Look to the Complement
Think back to your art class days, and take a look across the color wheel for a complementary color pairing that will knock 'em dead. An earthy orange or brown looks truly smashing when paired with a rich, dark blue like navy. Bonus points if your materials are earthy, too—rattan, leather, and wood fit the bill in this blue oasis of a bedroom that seems to embody the essence of calm.
Bring on the Blues
The best thing about blue? It's a vast color family, and we've yet to see a combination of blues clash—ever. Take a tip from this upscale, stylish retreat and pair navy blues with undertones ranging from green to gray to purple for an unexpectedly lush take on the trend. Feel free to throw in a few lighter blue accents for good measure, too.
Embrace Earthy Tones
Those looking for a serene retreat will find that navy is a natural fit in an Earth-inspired color palette.
"Bedrooms are the perfect place to incorporate these serene hues because they instantly provide a sense of calm and tranquility," Flanigan tells us. A subtle gray-tone navy blanket is right at home next to foresty green pillows, pale sky blue bedding, and driftwood brown furniture in this down-to-earth bedroom.
Opt for Indigo Glam
Matchy-matchy never looked so modern as in this glam, Old Hollywood-inspired suite. Selecting furniture, throw pillows, and a rug in similar shades of indigo makes a monochrome, high-contrast color scheme look even more impactful—especially when it's set against a fresh, white backdrop.
Our favorite touches, however, are the metallic gold and silver accents that really amp up that luxe look and stand out against blue and white.
Take It All the Way
When you love a color this much, you might just find it difficult to stop painting. Even an inky navy can take on a maximalist, over-the-top vibe when you let it bleed off the walls and onto architectural elements like millwork, the ceiling, and whatever else happens to get in your way. This is the kind of cozy bedroom cave we can get behind.
The trick to keeping it calming? Be sure to intersperse some lighter tones like soft gray or bright white to give the eye a break.
Luxuriate in Linen
Our love for linen bedding is well-documented, but in shades of navy, the natural character of this cozy material looks even more inviting. Throw in some warmth from natural materials like wood, woven baskets, and a jute rug, and you'll have the most inviting, global-inspired bedroom around. We'd love to wake up here on a rainy Sunday morning with nary a plan for the day.
Get Behind the Blue Door
Just because a room is dark doesn't mean it has to be dreary. This rich, slate-blue bedroom in a mix of muted blues takes on a charming characteristic thanks to a door painted the same color as the walls. Patterned pillows, a fuzzy navy throw, and a cane headboard create some necessary contrast and round out the modern cottage aesthetic of this moody space.
Bring in a Tropical Twist
It's a no-brainer that deep, oceanic blues pair perfectly with rich tropical foliage—in fact, the link to nature is one of the reasons Sherwin-Williams cited for naming this hue Color of the Year in 2020. Play up your #plantmom instincts with some lush house plants or bring in tropical greenery through printed pillows and art if you don't trust yourself with a plant just yet.
Go Full Maximalist
Why go minimalist when you can go full-blown maximalist? This swanky bedroom is the height of luxury in shades of deep navy and creamy ivory. The simple color palette leaves room for more extravagant touches like a stunning crystal chandelier and gold tables polished to a mirror shine. We love the free-standing, paneled headboard wall that separates the space from a closet and gives the whole room a five-star hotel vibe.
Shape up With Shiplap
It's actually pretty easy to fake some architectural detail if you're in a home that doesn't have any. Simple shiplap planks installed horizontally (or vertically if you're looking to mix things up) look stunning no matter how you treat them. Paint them the same color as your walls for subtlety or go with a bolder color for more pizazz. We love how cerulean blue plays with all the navy and gray throughout the rest of this space.
Outfit the Walls in Fabric
Give your room the royal treatment with panels of fabric hung dramatically behind the bed. "One of my favorite ways to add color to the walls is to panel them in fabric," Flanigan says. "It absorbs light in the most magical way and changes the whole feel of the room depending on the time of day." It'll also add a serious dose of glamour to your space.
Achieve Artsy Perfection
Navy might have a reputation of being "traditional," but that only means you have more creative freedom when adding off-the-wall, artsy elements to this stately hue.
Put another way? Go ahead and pack a ton of art, pattern, and texture into your dark blue bedroom—the sky's the limit. And don't forget a showstopping light fixture and some tropical foliage, while you're at it.
Take on Two Trends
We think millennial pink has finally met its match in the best way. Muted rose tones look chic—and dare we say, mature?—when paired with a playful, dark blue wallpaper. There's just something very modern about the way this designer packed so much personality into one room. Consider this our blessing and all the encouragement you need to cross two buzzy colors off your list at once.
White-on-white interiors have been dominating for quite some time now, so we can understand if you're craving a little color but may be nervous about taking the plunge.
As an honorary neutral that adds just a touch of drama, navy is the perfect way to dip your toes back into colorful waters. Start with a navy throw pillow or two, and if you like the look, layer on a blanket and maybe even upgrade your artwork to echo the color.
Paint Your Furniture
If you've been looking for a way to upgrade your bedroom furniture but something new just isn't in the budget, consider giving one of your existing pieces (or a new-to-you secondhand find) a fresh coat of navy paint. Don't forget to upgrade the hardware and style the top with a cute mirror and your favorite trinkets for best results.
Struggling to pick a paint shade? A gray-tone navy can read as more classic or traditional, while a true blue navy works well in contemporary settings.
Create Layers of Texture
So you've decided to take the plunge and coat your walls in a dramatic navy. Well, Flanigan has another tip for you. "When painting a bedroom a dark, bold color, I like to add layers of softness to create a visual break," she shares. "Whether it’s elegant drapery framing the headboard or natural elements like leather or wood, these additions create a beautiful sense of depth."
Flaunt Your Assets
If you've been blessed with something more unique than the cookie-cutter, box-shaped rooms many of us live in, we highly encourage—no, we insist—that you show those assets off. Whether it be custom millwork, a fancy fireplace, or architectural ceilings, a coat of navy paint contrasted with white features (or vice versa) gives a crisp, high-contrast look that puts all those unique details in the spotlight.
Have a Rustic Touch
In case you haven't caught on, navy works in just about any space for any aesthetic, and rustic design is no exception. It works as a brilliant accent to the warmer color palettes often found in rustic design, which means a little navy can go a long way. Add a few touches here and there—think a blanket, pillow, or accent chair—then tie it in with a multicolored rug or piece of art.
Work It Into the Kids' Room
What's more synonymous with nautical than navy? This playful kids' bedroom takes the classic motif a step further with a sweet wavey wallpaper, shades of blue bedding, and the cutest starfish pillow we've ever laid eyes on. But, nautical theme aside, navy is actually a great color for a child's bedroom because it's timeless—it'll grow with them as their style changes.
Dream in Denim
Raise your hand if you live in jeans—you're not alone. Take cues from this chic space and turn your bedroom into a tribute to your love for all things denim. Bring in various shades of rich blue, but be sure to work in some contrast pieces in warmer tones like rust and wood, too. And if you're feeling sentimental, consider upcycling your Canadian tuxedo into a stunning work of art so you'll always feel close to it.