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Design Recipes: Blue can be both serene and elegant

by Tribune News Service | September 17, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
A piece of art helps to both anchor and introduce blue into this living space. (Handout/TNS)

With winter fast approaching, you might be looking for some more muted or soothing tones to help decorate your home. Blue can be both serene and elegant, and it can help to create a sense of calm without feeling boring or bland.

Looking to integrate blue into your decor? Here are some top tips.

Use various tints, tones and shades of blue. Blue is one of those colors with which various shades can be successfully blended together.

Blend blue with shades of gray. From light gray to deep charcoal, blue and gray serve as an attractive pairing.

Integrate blue through accessories and accents. Pops of blue can serve as sprinkles of color.

Don't be afraid to use unexpected materials such as velvet or even denim.

Use a blue as a color-based way to anchor the space.

Blend neutral colors with blue such as white, tan, black and even chocolate brown.

Infuse large-scale color opportunities such as artwork.

Use blue as a springboard to your color story in social areas, such as living and family rooms.

Consider using colors with blue undertones as accents such as green.

Use the color to help set a mood. Light blue can help make a room feel soothing and calm, while deep shades can add a more subdued vibe.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design home staging expert and short-term rental/vacation home designer with offices in New York City and The Hudson Valley. Contact her at or visit her website at

photo Denim chairs look polished and dressed up in this dining space. (Handout/TNS)
photo Teal blues toss pillows are paired with pops of deep indigo. (Handout/TNS)
photo Indigo art panels add a smoky sense of calm and elegance in the living/dining space. (Handout/TNS)

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