How to Decorate with Blue the Right Way, According to a Designer

How to Decorate with Blue the Right Way, According to a Designer

One thing is sure, blue will never go out of style. From shades of sky to sea, blue hues can set comfortable or elevated tones for our interiors. A soft powder blue enveloping a bedroom conjures a serene sanctuary for recharging, while a rich indigo adorning a sitting room evokes a sumptuous cocktail lounge for entertaining. When choosing colors that go with blue, one thing is for certain: The beauty of blue lies in its versatility and ability to blend well with many different shades. Of course, there’s the timeless pairing of blue and white, but bolder colors like red or yellow also offer energetic palettes. Veranda turned to interior designer

Mark D. Sikes , a virtuoso of decorating with blue, for the dos and don’ts of incorporating this traditional color into our spaces.

Mark Sikes is famous for his all-American aesthetic and fresh take on traditional style. When it comes to selecting the perfect shade of blue, Sikes says, “I really don't discriminate! I do tend to prefer shades that don't have too much red in them and skew purple. I love everything from a robin's egg to a dark indigo,” he says.

Sikes looks to favorite decorating icons as well as his travels. “Antique dealer John Rosselli’s collection of blue-and-white porcelain will always be a source of inspiration to me. I also love the way that Billy Baldwin used blue in his interiors; the salon of La Fiorentina is one of my favorite rooms of all time,” he says. “I love Portuguese and delft tiles, which are both historically blue and white. I traveled to Greece recently and marveled at the stark white architecture with blue accents.”

Consider Sikes the master of expertly executed blue-and-white interiors. “It never gets old!” he says. Dress this scheme up or down; mix in nautical accents or global-inspired prints. “It’s a combination I’ve always been drawn to, and something tells me that’s not stopping any time soon. It's versatile in that it can be casual or elevated. There's also a sense of joy and calm that I associate with the pairing,” he adds.

Look beyond neutrals. Versatile blue mixes well with other colors too. “Many of my schemes have been blue and coral, blue and green, or blue and red. One of my favorite combinations (besides blue and white) would be blue and yellow. An icy blue with a muted yellow is pure joy! For example, I might choose a blue-and-white wallpaper for a living space that has yellow upholstery,” Sikes says.

Finding the perfect pairing for blue in an interior palette depends on its undertones, Sikes suggests. “Although I pair blue and black in my wardrobe, I tend to shy away from blacks and grays when decorating with blue,” he says. “Recognizing the undertones of the blues in an interior scheme is the most important thing when decorating with it. For example, I wouldn't pair a blue fabric with heavy green undertones with a paint color that is navy or closer to a pure indigo,” he adds.

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