A splash of deep blue paint for your home
Dive into a sea of beautiful deep blues – navy and indigo, ink and cobalt – for a look that’s both tranquil and sophisticated.
Into the blue
From the serenity of a turquoise ocean to the blissful impact of cloudless skies on a sunny day, blue is a colour that inspires a feeling of calm. Deep shades of inky blue imbue a space with the same feeling of tranquillity, yet with an edge of sophistication, a powerful richness and intensity. To enjoy its feel-good benefits and refined style at home, take the plunge and go bold.
Why we love it
Effortlessly chic, timeless and incredibly versatile, dark blue may just be the new black. “There are so many colours that work well with deep and dark blues,” says Dulux colour expert Andrea Lucena-Orr. Navy, with its strong ocean connection, is also a hue synonymous with smart, tailored sophistication, making it the go-to accent for Hamptons-style homes – think preppy blue-and-white nautical stripes and classic coastal styling. “Blue reminds us of relaxing carefree holidays by the water, whether it’s staying at a beach house or boating, so it’s a colour many people are drawn to using in their home,” explains interior designer Angela Marks. While navy can feel quite formal, it’s equally at home with more laidback, eclectic or boho interiors. To illustrate, think of indigo, which features heavily in shibori textiles, denim and patterned ceramics. Whatever interior look you covet, there’s always a blue to suit.
Pro tip: Navy accessories can enhance an all-white space and create a feeling of tranquillity.
Complement navy with light surfaces and keep it warm with layers of texture and natural materials; Kaboodle kitchen cabinets in Bluepea.
Deep blue is a great all-rounder and works equally well inside and out. “As a feature colour in a courtyard, dark blues can create a cooler feeling on a hot day and highlight beautiful greenery,” says Andrea Lucena-Orr. With its tranquil meditative qualities, blue is also at home in living spaces and bedrooms, where it can feel serene and cocooning. “Whether you paint all your bedroom walls, or just a single wall behind the bed, it can create a moody ambience, which is conducive to rest and relaxation,” adds Andrea. Shades of navy can also add mood and depth to a bathroom, particularly when paired with white tiles, trims, fixtures and plantation shutters. “This classic blue and white combination creates a look that is both elegant and functional,” says Angela Marks.
Dark shades of blue are also trending in kitchens, with more people keen to look beyond safe neutrals and experiment with coloured finishes. Navy blue cabinetry is surprisingly versatile; pair it with a patterned tile or subway splashback for a modern farmhouse or coastal look, or turn up the luxe factor and complement the dark hue with marble-look or stone benchtops and touches of brass or copper.
Mustard yellow is best friends with navy.
Darker palettes can make a space feel smaller, so carefully consider room size and the effect you want to create. In some areas of the house, a cocooning feel may be just what you’re after – an insulated space where you can curl up with a book or enjoy a sleep-in. “Painting a room in a colour that has a navy or black undertone is a great way to create a soothing environment,” says Taubmans D.I.Y. and renovation expert Cherie Barber, who suggests Taubmans Midnight Navy and Admiral Blue. Just keep in mind that if there’s not enough light or contrast in a room, you can run the risk of a dense, gloomy atmosphere. To lighten the mood and create balance, Cherie suggests offsetting a deep blue with natural timber and rattan furniture, layered styling and a pop of contrast for a warm, inviting feel. For winter, think sheepskins and metallic accessories.
A splashback panel provides art and colour. Bellessi Motiv Polymer bathroom panel in Manhattan Blues.
Choosing a shade
Blues tend to work better with cooler whites and neutrals, so when selecting the perfect shade of blue it’s important to consider how it will sit with existing furnishings, flooring and surfaces. The best way to get a feel is to use sample pots, suggests Andrea. “Start with your top three choices, and paint each sample onto large pieces of cardboard. Over several days move these around the space at different times to see the colour under different lighting conditions, including artificial lights at night.” Once you see how the shades are affected by the light and surrounding finishes, you’ll be able to pinpoint a favourite. If considering white on adjacent walls and trims, Dulux Lexicon Half, Lexicon Quarter and White on White scheme well with deep blues.
Pro tip: If you’re painting a dark shade on walls, preparation is key. Make sure there are no imperfections, and be aware you’ll need several coats to achieve a rich finish.
There aren’t many colours that clash with navy, but beware of pairing it with other dark shades such as black. Greige – a combination of grey and beige – and textural, natural linens and jute look fantastic with blues. Alongside its colour-wheel cousin green, the two create a cool, fresh feel, while colours like pink, orange or lemon add warmth to a blue scheme.
If you’re a little colour shy, use soft furnishings to add a hit of dark blue. “White walls can provide the perfect foil for the intensity of rich bolts of blue, which you can incorporate through artwork, patterned fabrics, floor rugs or subtle details like blue piping on a lamp shade or cushions,” suggests Angela.
Use layers of different hues to highlight structural elements in a room; walls painted in Dulux Tirau Double and Panda Pod; feature wall painted in Ahoy.
Your colour palette: shades of blue
Whatever look you’re trying to achieve in your home, the transformative power of navy is well worth exploring
1 Taubmans Admiral Blue
2 British Paints Sea Shepherd
3 Dulux Sharp Blue
4 Dulux Aerostatics
5 Taubmans Cobalt Stone
Find the perfect shade of blue
Head into your local Bunnings store and talk to one of our paint experts who can help pick your perfect shade of blue.
Photo credit: Mike Baker, Taubmans,Cath Muscat, Lisa Cohen, Kaboodle Kitchen.