In the Navy: Dark Blue Is the ‘Now’ Neutral in Home Decor

If you’ve perused home decor ideas on Pinterest or Instagram lately, there’s a 100% chance you’ve come across navy blue walls, cabinets, furniture, and more. That’s because in 2019, we’re embracing looks that are dark and moody, yet cozy and calming. Navy blue is softer than black but still adds timeless sophistication—and it’s easy to combine with accents that pop.

“Navy is a true neutral,” notes Sharon L. Sherman of Thyme & Place Design, in Wykoff, NJ. “It goes with many colorways and is a nice replacement to the very hard edge of black.”

Here are nine stylish ways to spruce up your home with navy blue.

1. Add drama to the bedroom

Photo by Morr Interiors 
Painting an accent wall in navy is a fun way to play with color and can give the bedroom a dramatic new look. Navy blue details such as a bedspread, throw pillows, or wall art can carry the stately accent hue throughout the room.

Plus, it seems counterintuitive, but cool colors—like forest green and navy blue—can add depth to a small room, causing the eye to perceive a narrow bedroom as wider. As a bonus, studies have shown that blue—including navy—walls are calming and can be more conducive to a good night’s sleep.

2. Create a tuxedo kitchen

Photo by Alison Kandler Interior Design 
You might not have heard the term “tuxedo kitchen,” but you’ve surely seen an example of one. Simply put, it’s a color-blocked design where the floor cabinets are one color (typically black), and the upper cabinets are another (typically white). But there’s no need to feel limited to a penguin palette. Navy blue allows you to get creative, and still keep it classy.

“Navy cabinets pair especially well with the equally popular marble countertops or quartz made to look like marble,” notes Liz Toombs of Kentucky-based PDR Interiors. “The deep blue creates a pop of color without overwhelming the hub of the home.”

3. Embrace some built-in style

Photo by Buckingham Interiors + Design LTD 
Create a smart space that makes a statement with built-in bookshelves and cabinets that steer away from the traditional white. Painting built-ins and surrounding walls in the same shade of navy blue can produce a more intimate living area with a fresh and stylish feel.

Look to a high-gloss finish, which works especially well on bookcases and directs proper attention to colorful books, framed photos, and decorative items on the shelves.

4. Go for a navy blue backsplash

Photo by Houzz  
Shimmery glass tiles catch the light, illuminating a white kitchen. For a tranquil and contemporary vibe, add blues (in different shades) as a backsplash under the cabinets—and under the island counter. This is one smart way to make a statement without overwhelming the room.

5. Add pops of navy blue in unexpected places

Photo by 优优 
Surprise your guests with eye-catching pops of navy in unexpected places like interior doors, hand railings, and stair steps. The look makes an especially bold statement when paired with crisp white walls, creating a contrast that adds interest and drama.

And you don’t just have to focus on navy inside; boost your curb appeal by painting your front door in a distinctive navy color that welcomes guests.

6. Show off a navy blue statement piece

Photo by Kim Hoegger Home aka Cottage Girl 
Impress guests from the get-go with an on-trend navy upholstered bench in the entryway of your home.

“If you aren’t in the market for purchasing new furniture pieces, you can incorporate navy in smaller ways, like a navy herringbone blanket on the back of a chair,” Toombs says.

Or try adding a splash of color—like navy countertop stools—in a neutral space like your white kitchen.

“If you are starting with a room already done in neutrals such as grays, beiges, [and] even black and white, navy can add a great pop of color,” says Danielle Palmadessa of DRP Interiors, in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

7. Give wallpaper a second life

Photo by Arent & Pyke 
If you haven’t heard by now that wallpaper’s making a comeback, well then, we’re not sure what to tell you. This old design staple has become today’s hottest look as homeowners are figuring out fresh ways to use it and add personality to their space.

And now we’ll do you one better: Look for wallpaper in navy blue. (Trust us on this.)

“Using a solid textured paper is timeless and really makes the accessories pop,” Palmadessa notes.

If you’re hesitant to paper all four walls, just try it as an accent wall, or try removable wallpaper, which is all the rage right now.

8. Create a calming bathroom retreat

Photo by MAC Building Solutions 
You’ll feel genuinely refreshed in a soothing, blue-hued bathroom that extends navy from the glossy subway tiles on the walls to cheery mosaic tiles on the floor. Deep-hued tiles set against a bright, white wall and ceiling create a modern and inviting atmosphere.

A fresh coat of navy to the linen closet or cabinets can add an elegant aesthetic to the space, too. Use a shiny, semigloss finish to brighten up the space, which may otherwise be too dark.

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