Famously calming and peaceful, blue can have very different effects on a room depending on its temperature. Warm blues, like the shade shown here (or like denim, ocean blue, or slate blue), contain hints of red. Color experts say they advance, or come toward you, so they help make a room feel cozier. Decorators often like warm blues in social spaces, like the living room, the kitchen, or the dining room.
2 of 22Ellen Silverman
Shades known as cool blues―like cobalt, turquoise, and ice blue―have yellow in them and tend to recede, or back away, which can help a small space look bigger. Color experts explain that cool blues encourage calmness (which is nice for a bedroom) and focus (say, in a home office). Sometimes cool blues can go a little further and be cold. But in a bathroom, where you want a crisp, clean vibe, that can be a good thing.
3 of 22Roger Davies/ Southern Accents/ My Home Ideas
The range of blues that pop up in this room—on the walls, the furniture, the floor—reflect the tones from sky to sea.
4 of 22Roger Davies/ Southern Accents/ My Home Ideas
A hint of green in the robin’s egg blue walls adds a warm note to a palette of restful blues.
5 of 22Robbie Caponetto/My Home Ideas
Blue walls anchor a calming neutral scheme.
6 of 22Tria Giovan/My Home Ideas
Blue works just as well—and more surprisingly—on the floor as on the walls.
7 of 22Ditte Isager
Big and Bold
A large-scale bench in a deep, rich blue becomes the automatic focal point of this living room.
8 of 22 Geoffrey Sokol
Pick Your Paint
Best Blue for a Living Room
Van Deusen Blue HC-156* “It looks fantastic with rich woods, like cherry,” says Jayne Michaels, an interior designer and a co-owner of 2Michaels Design, in New York City.