Decorating with blue and white

Living Room, Dining Room, Interiors

Blue and white – a calming, fresh, timeless combination used by designers for decades. With its nautical connections, it's an obvious palette for seaside homes. But employ a playful bright blue, or a deep, inky navy for a touch of drama, and it's an elegant, striking pairing for the smartest townhouses and country homes alike. Whatever the style of your home, whatever the season, a blue and white scheme brings harmony and a sense of quiet order to every room.

Neptune Ink paint

Loved by designers and homemakers alike, blue and white schemes are a favourite of Annie Blackledge, Interior Designer at Holloways.

"Blue and white is fresh and elegant," says Annie. "And while it's an obvious choice for clients with coastal properties, in a more urban setting, it's smart and sophisticated. Town or country, either way it's totally timeless, and whether you decorate with subtle blues or dramatic inks, it'll lift an otherwise neutral scheme.

"The combination is incredibly versatile and easy to live with, making rooms look bright and spacious. It's serene and relaxing, evoking clarity and purity, and makes living and dining spaces feel peaceful and inviting."

The Holloways Interior Design Studio and Neptune store-in-store stock a huge range of Edward Bulmer Natural Paints and Neptune paints, and our design team – including Annie – is always on hand to help and advise on colours and finishes for every room in your home.

take me to paint

show me furniture

Neptune Flax Blue paint

Choose your shade

Blue and white, blue and cream – either works. The palest blues are soothing and calming – we love Neptune's Flax Blue, below, with its steely grey notes, and Edward Bulmer's warm Welmish Blue, with its ochre undertones.

Neptune Flax Blue scheme

A deep shade like Edward Bulmer's Navy Blue or Indigo, or Neptune's black/blue Ink (below) or Navy brings richness and drama to a scheme in both modern and period homes.

Neptune Ink paint

Mid-blues can be as playful as they are cosy. Rich and welcoming, they offer endless possibilities for decorating, from furniture to walls and upholstery. We love Neptune's Blakeney Blue, below – fresh without being chilly, it evokes a definite seaside vibe.

Blakeney Blue by Neptune

Edward Bulmer's Azurite has a similar feel – jewel-like at night, colourful in the day, it's a shade used since the Middle Ages to convey creativity and high status. Their French Blue, below, is imposing and elegant, a colour taken from the uniforms of 19th century French infantrymen.

Edward Bulmer French Blue

Highgate lamp by Neptune

Layer up

"If you want to decorate like a designer, layer up your scheme," says Annie. "Focusing on an exact colour match can be a mistake. Instead, for a professional-looking result, opt for various shades in a colour family and use them to create depth and intrigue.

"Layering different shades of blue works really well in contemporary spaces. Try a brilliant blue with turquoise, and then add a softer pastel shade for balance and calm."

This bedroom, below, uses French Blue Edward Bulmer paint, layered with rich, royal blue velvet upholstery, pale blue linen curtains and a bold blue throw. The drawing room, also by Edward Bulmer, is in Sky Blue with ink accents.

French Blue bedroom by Edward Bulmer 

Sky Blue drawing room by Edward Bulmer

Nautical but nice

In bathrooms, a blue and white scheme conjures coastal style – a joyful palette reminiscent of seaside holidays, summer skies and sparkling seas. 

"Wall tiles in shimmering shades of blue are a nod to the waves in an otherwise neutral scheme," says Annie. "A dramatic ink makes a soak in the bath even more luxurious. Or try a wallpaper with a marine theme. The Holloways Interior Design Studio is full of inspiration, and our team is always on hand to help you choose the perfect design."

This Neptune by Holloways Chichester washstand, below right, is painted in Neptune's Aqua Blue, one of almost 50 custom paint shades available on much of Neptune's furniture collections. Below left, a striking curved washstand painted in Edward Bulmer's Azurite.

Curved marble washstand in Edward Bulmer Azurite

Take a seat

In sitting rooms – a place to relax, gather and entertain – a blue and white scheme is incredibly versatile. Use a cocooning shade of navy – this wall in the Holloways Gallery Showroom is painted in Neptune's Ink – to create a cosy haven. Or introduce to an otherwise pale scheme an accent chair or ottoman in a rich blue.

Below, the new Soho collection of sofas, armchairs, swivel chairs and footstools is styled with the Chichester Workstation available in both 3ft and 4ft widths, plus a huge selection of matching cabinetry in custom shades ranging from soft white Salt, pictured, to inviting blues.

Soho living room furniture by Holloways

The Jacaranda collection of sofas, armchairs and footstools comes in a choice of striking fabrics, including this Bagru Indigo.

Jacaranda sofa

George sofas, below, come in three sizes and a huge choice of fabrics, including velvets and a Flax Blue Linara Linen.

Neptune George sofa

And so to bed

"Blue and white is fresh and calming in a bedroom," adds Annie. "Again, layering different shades will create depth and, whether it's a playful blue in a child's bedroom or a sophisticated scheme in an adult's room, it'll always feel like restful retreat."

Below, the Chichester Grand Wardrobe is painted in Shell, with a Shingle interior – both Neptune paint shades.

Neptune Chichester wardrobe

Neptune Flax Blue in a bedroom

Neptune Wardley four-poster bed

Eat, drink and be merry

In dining rooms, a blue and white scheme is undeniably warm and inviting – the perfect backdrop to elegant dinner parties and convivial breakfasts the morning after the night before. In a kitchen, contrasting shades of blue used on walls and cabinetry, or a pop of blue on an island, create a crisp, contemporary look.

The Derwent collection of dining furniture, below, includes extending dining tables, dining chairs, sideboards and office desks.

Derwent table and chairs

Edward Bulmer's Indigo has been used to dramatic effect in this grand dining room, below, while the Derwent dining table and matching chairs in blue velvets and facet wools, above, are layered with darker walls.

Edward Bulmer Indigo paint

Below, Neptune by Holloways extending Sheldrake dining table is paired with Wardley dining chairs custom-painted in Flax Blue, Salt and Ink for a clean, crisp, coastal look.

Sheldrake extending dining table and Wardley dining chairs

Interior Design by Holloways

Annie is one of the Interior Design team at Holloways – highly-skilled designers used to working with clients both domestic and commercial in homes and businesses across the region and beyond. From furniture selection to paint finishes, fabrics for curtains and blinds to flooring and accessories, the team is always on hand to help and advise.

Upstairs in the Interior Design Studio, you'll find fabric and wallpaper books from all the major design houses, plus our curtains and blinds specialist, while downstairs a Lighting Studio and Rug & Flooring Room is full of inspirational for home and garden. Our Interior Design service is FREE. Call 01886 884665 to book your initial consultation, and we'll help you create a home you'll love for years to come – whatever your style.

show me more about interior design at holloways

Related Products

You may Also Like

Interior design in a tin with Edward Bulmer Natural Paints

Holloways are now selling Colour with a Conscience, in the form of Edward Bulmer's Natural Paints. Read More

Ways to make your bedroom look luxurious

Create a boutique hotel feel in your bedroom with simple touches that will make your space feel more luxurious. Here are five easy ways to... Read More

Decorating with bold colours

Decorating with bold colours brings energy and personality to a room. Here's how to use them to joyful effect. Read More

How to downsize in style

Moving house isn't for the faint-hearted, and downsizing can be even more daunting. Here's how to reduce your floor space without compromising... Read More

Styling your hallway

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Here's how to create an Instagrammable hallway to set the tone for the rest... Read More