Navy is the new black. Many will argue that grey is the new black and as a long time lover of grey and one who appreciates its suitability to many decorating schemes, I still contend that for right now, Navy is the current all star. There is no doubt that the colour partnership of navy and white has to be one of the most popular colour combinations around. Whether you love the Coastal look, the Hamptons style of East Coast America or just a classic country style look – Navy Blue and White fits the bill. In case you hadn’t caught on – it is a definite favourite of mine – let me show you how to use it.
Putting together a colour palette
Associated so closely with the Ocean, I actually got the inspiration for this colour palette below, from an image of the mountains which I really love and I think this demonstrates that this colour scheme is equally at home in a country style look as by the sea.
The simplistic approach to a monochromatic colour scheme is this: You take one colour and use it in varying degrees of strength, from its very lightest to its very darkest tone. The classic example is black which when you use the two extreme tones you get black and white. Navy Blue and White is based on the same monochromatic principle, and of course you can do this with any colour. The beauty with using navy blue as your starting point is that you achieve a colour palette that is similar to black and white, in that it is fairly neutral, but it is just a touch softer. It’s the sophistication of the blue and the simplicity that is really the appeal with this palette.
I put this scheme together for a client and used my initial inspiration but softened the scheme slightly with the addition of a neutral carpet, so although not an absolute monochromatic palette, I feel that the natural flooring just adds a touch of warmth to the scheme. Remember if you see an image that you like in a magazine you can use this as inspiration to extract the colour palette – you don’t have to start off with a blank page each time!
More ways to introduce navy and white
I really love dark navy cabinetry and feel this is an excellent way to bring the sophistication of the colour into a decorating scheme. I have written an earlier post on this subject which proved very popular. The designer here has also painted the skirting board which ensures that this looks like a piece of furniture rather than a kitchen unit – a fabulous masculine style bar. Styled with silver handles, the look is very contemporary but can be more classic with the addition of gold handles which gives quite a different feel.
Navy blue is also very successful for carpet and upholstery. The look here is predominantly light, white and bright but the classic, almost neutral of the blue, grounds the scheme and gives it character without being overwhelming and taking away from the serene feel. I like hallways to be welcoming but simply styled too so that visitors are not overwhelmed when they arrive.
The psychology behind the colour navy
The psychology behind blue is interesting as this colour is perceived to be the most conservative of all the hues. Colour psychologists have found that blue types are successful, wealthy, accomplished and self-assured and for these reasons, blue is a great colour to wear for a job interview. With that qualification, I think we should all be wearing it more! Navy blue indicates refinement and solidity and in whichever way blue shows itself it is an extremely calming hue.
Classic blue and white can also be found in schemes with an Oriental feel and I really like this way of styling for a classic home interior. With the addition of comfortable natural linen sofas, soft rugs and textural layers, you create a very striking yet simple interior scheme.
The classic navy blue and white stripe
Navy blue and white stripes are always in fashion. The tonal variation here can be used successfully in interiors to produce a dramatic mood. Splashes of orange, blue’s complementary colour, really gives the scheme a colour lift. However take them away, and it would still work. Throw some red into the equation to conjure up images of laid back coastal homes on the East coast of America where the stars and stripes of the nation’s flag are used in accessories. The Union Jack on the Australian, British or New Zealand flags can be used in the same way. The mood is a very masculine one as the colours and tonal variations are strong, bold and definite. Keep this look simple and only add a couple of strong accents as other colours will dilute the look and the mood will be lost.
A classic bedroom scheme
The tonal contrast here between dark navy blue and white is stunning. A gorgeous coastal style look that is contemporary as it doesn’t have too many unnecessary frills.
I hope that this post has given you an idea of how successful the partnership of navy blue and white can be and what a great alternative it is to the classic black.
You can follow me on Pinterest to see lots of colour and decorating inspiration – I have a strong attachment to blue schemes there – and I would love to hear from you and answer your questions about using this fabulous colour on either the interior or exterior of your home.
Are you having difficulties finding the right white to go with Navy Blue? You might like to read my post about the 5 mistakes to avoid when selecting white.