|Here is Anders, my little kitchen helper. At 8+ months he is crawling and into everything!|
I have a current client who recently told me, when I showed her a wallcovering sample, "Oh good, I LOVE anything Navy!" I got to thinking about it later...I've had lots of clients that request the color blue, but I don't think I've ever had someone come to me and say, I love Navy Blue and I want to use it in my home. And come to think of it, Navy isn't a go-to choice for me when I'm pulling together color schemes for my clients. Maybe I've always shied away because I've been afraid of the overly predictable Blue and White "Nautical Look." It's classic to be sure, but it's been done so many times; I get nervous about anything that can start to feel cliché. The funnier thing to me is that one of my favorite decorative elements in my own home happens to be predominatly Navy: a pair of off-the-shelf drapery panels from Crate in Barrel that I bought several years ago when we moved into our house. They have a deep Navy background color, layered over with huge, green, yellow and white tropical-looking flowers. They hang in my kitchen in our breakfast nook area and when I look at them I always feel happy. So why am I not using more of this color?
|My kitchen drapery panels that I love so much.|
One of the first emerging patterns that I noted in my photo collections was built-in cabinetry painted in the color. Navy makes ordinary cabinets look A-mazing! Here are some of my favorites:
|High-gloss Navy cabinets in Sue De Chiara's Connecticut home, designed in collaboration with Lauren Muse |
of Muse Interiors.
|Source: Décor Pad. "Small, chic butler's pantry features navy upper cabinets accented with chicken wire doors over navy lower cabinets paired with white marble counter and white iridescent grid tiled backsplash."|
For similar reasons, I love the use of Navy on wainscoting or wall paneling. It feels rich, luxurious, and oh-so handsome. I notice that even Pottery Barn has shot of lot of their most recent catalog images against just such a backdrop. Maybe Navy is the "It" color of the moment! I am convinced that Navy paneled walls add instant masculine appeal and grab you in a way that traditional white paneling just can't. When I see paneling done like this--and I love just about any kind of paneling--my heart skips a beat and I can't help but stop and stare! Something about it mesmerizes me and I can't take my eyes off of it. It makes the other elements in the room look even better, provided there are enough white or light tones in the room to balance the depth and darkness of the blue.
|Image found on sarahbarksdale.com. Paint color is Farrow and Ball Hague Blue.|
|Here bathroom designer Robert Moore has painted the walls in a deep blue, 'Basalt' by Little Greene|
And in my book, a close runner-up to Navy-hued wall paneling, is Navy grasscloth wallpaper, especially when paired with a crisp, white wainscoting. It's unexpected, bold, and feels very "current" yet refreshingly non-trendy. I would do this in a heartbeat in an old, traditional-style home. Or, a new home that you want to give instant, historic-feel.
|Found on BHG blog.|
|Lovely little bath, found on Pinterest. Notice how amazing Navy grasscloth looks against gold fixtures.|
But if all this wall paneling, fancy cabinetry and grasscloth wallcoverings just aren't in the budget, and they aren't for a lot of us, a Navy coat of paint on a wall or two can go a long way. These rooms have serious design-cred, even with a simpler, less costly application of the color.
|Image from Cote Maison, via Pinterest.|
|Nursery by LeSueur Interiors. (I am a big fan of Meg Lonergan's work!)|
Do Navy walls still seem like too big of a commitment? Okay, then working our way down the list... How about a piece of Navy furniture? I love older pieces, re-painted and repurposed. After seeing these images, I think Navy is going to be my go-to color for painted furnishings. I am going to be scouring Craigslist for some tasty furniture finds then making my way to my local paint store! Okay, maybe not today, but in a few months when the baby is sleeping through the night and I feel ready to tackle a project in my "spare time."
|Simple, Navy chest of Drawers. Image from LittleGreenNotebook.BlogSpot.com.|
|Hello Gorgeous! Love the Coral interior! Found on rrantiques.tumblr.com.|
|Lovely and serene, a Green, White and Navy spare bedroom, belonging to Bunny Turner.|
|Navy, White and Bubble-gum Pink! How pretty and fun! (Pillow textiles by another favorite blogger, Caitlin Wilson.)|
|Navy, Pale Blue, White, and Orange. Notice how there is color hierarchy? The strong orange accent only appears in small doses and is surrounded by a calming sea of White. Love it! (From the HGTV Martha's Vineyard Dreamhome)|
|Is anyone else out there scared to try Red, White and Blue...afraid of being cheesy? Here one can see that it is all about choosing the right shade of those colors. This orange-ish hue of red, one that I would call "Tomato-Soup Red," looks very sophisticated here, when paired with White and Navy Accents. I also love the fun blend of textiles and patterns--all by Thibaut, but of course!|
I could go on an on, but by now most of my readers are probably snoring, so I'll just wrap things up by saying that besides favorite color pairings, I've also decided that I have a favorite material/texture pairing when it comes to using Navy. Can you guess what it is? Here are some visual hints:
|Image from Williams Sonoma.|
|I can't quite tell if this wall color is a deep Navy or Black, but regardless, I love how it makes the soft, honey tone of the wood window casing and chest pop! So much character! Found on Pinterest and Brit.co.|
|Maybe more of an Indigo, but still lovely! Found on Pinterest and DesignSponge.|
The answer is natural or distressed/reclaimed wood. I love distressed wood in general, but somehow I think it looks even more incredible against a rich, dark Navy. The two seem made for each other. Come to think of it, they would be wonderful in a little boy's room! Which gets me back to my first point. I have a few boys to chase around the house tonight, so signing off, and hopefully not for 6 months like last time.
Sheila boy-am-I-tired Mayden.
PS In an effort to be honest and transparent, let me just say that it only took me about 3 weeks and 10-12 logins to actually get this post up and running! Clearly, I am a long way from being back to the "old me."