The Bold and the Bluetiful

Moody blues make a powerful accent color in these chic Westport homes.

We all want our homes to evoke a sense of calmness and serenity. This year, paint companies agreed, choosing blue hues as their color of the year—Valspar chose Renew Blue, Minwax announced a Bay Blue stain, and Benjamin Moore is winning accolades for its new shade, Blue Nova, a mid-tone with violet notes. Here in our seaside enclave, of course, blue shades are always on trend.  As the creator and editor of the local home design enthusiast’s platform Designport, I’ve visited blue-hued rooms that have made me positively green with home envy.  From the revered tones of Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy to the pleasing, paler Water’s Edge, blue works well in modern or traditional spaces.

While it’s true that blue’s association with the sea and sky is calming, the best blue rooms infuse our lives with palpable energy. “Blue is an excellent hue if you are afraid to use color because its presence makes a statement, but its versatility makes it a neutral choice,” says Weston-based color expert Debra Spindler Pinals of Spinpin Creative. “Mix any shade of blue with warm wood tones and shiny metallic decor for an instant update." 

It’s fun to see how it’s being used in local homes, too. These spaces are all created by designers who we have (or will soon) feature on Designport for their fresh use of color, and because they represent different ways you can embrace blue in your decor.

Color Drench

One option is to paint the entire room—trim included.  Local designer Merrin Jones is a devotee of Benjamin Moore's Nocturnal Grey, which is actually a blue. She recently used it to make a statement in a home office and says it’s the same color used in the new restaurant at Bergdorf’s. How delicious! If you’re searching for a moody blue, Jones also recommends checking out Gray’s Harbor, Van Deusen Blue, or Midnight Blue.

In Kate and Russ Pfeffer’s Westport home, designers Lauren Stark and Amy Howard painted the den walls and trim in a glossy pale blue, Borrowed Light by Farrow & Ball. There’s a whisper of blue in the wallpapered ceiling, too.

Designer Caroline Kopp created a stunning look in her butler’s pantry using high-gloss Benjamin Moore Hidden Sapphire trim with a coordinating wallpaper. The adjacent dining room is also bathed in the color. Kopp advises shifting the paint sheen on the trim and walls to create contrast in the color and bring out the architectural details in a room.

All hail Hale Navy: To see the color in command of a room, check out a bar and lounge room designed by Megan Zwick. Cool and classic.

Accent Color

Another way to add blue to your home is as an accent. Blues are a strong choice for kitchen cabinetry (or just the island), bathroom vanities, accent walls, or built-ins. 

“A blue island creates instant visual impact,” says Janet Zev of Westport Design Projects. She painted an island Stiffkey Blue by Farrow & Ball, a bold, deep blue with a hint of teal. Her other go-to blues are Hale Navy and the subtle but strong Benjamin Moore Boothbay Gray.

Diane Rath of The Rath Project painted the bookcases and fireplace in a client’s living space a jewel-toned blue, Benjamin Moore’s NY State of Mind. She used high gloss on the mantel and cabinetry but diluted to 25 percent on the cabinetry to create depth and a dynamic feel. “The yellow sofa and wall of blue built-ins beautifully illustrate an important aspect of interior design: color theory,” Rath explains. "As these tones are directly opposite one another on the color wheel, they feel perfectly at peace together, one of the truest examples of how opposites attract.”

Back at the Pfeffer’s, Stark & Howard chose Benjamin Moore’s Gentleman’s Gray for the kitchen’s Shaker cabinetry with brass hardware. Continuing the blue color story upstairs, green and blue wallpaper by Christopher Farr is punctuated by Blue Daisy on their girls’ vanity. Is it possible to have any more fun in a bathroom? Well, maybe in the powder room, where Stark & Howard added sconces in a custom color, Benjamin Moore Surf Blue, over black walls. 


Wallpaper is another great way to get a pop of blue. A well-chosen blue-and-white print will never get old. Designer Denise Davies of D2 Interieurs used a beautiful print by L'Aviva Home in a client’s powder room, creating a sensational impact. And in a piano room, also by Stark & Howard, Schumacher’s "Exotic Butterfly" wallpaper in the color Marine creates a masterpiece-worthy backdrop.


It’s a bold move, but a monochrome blue palette for furnishings featuring an array of complimentary shades can electrify your room. In a living room by Davies, a harmonious combination of a blue sofa, rug, accessories, and lighting feels so fresh and fun!

To round out this rhapsody on blue, we asked color expert Pinals what her current blue paint color crushes are: “Night Creatures by Curator Paints and Blue Note by Benjamin Moore, both beautiful deep navy blues with hefty grey undertones” she says. She also loves Skylight by Farrow & Ball and Good Jeans by Clare Paints for excellent medium-toned blues, “with just enough grey to make them a neutral backdrop.”

Are you singing the blues?  If you want more home design inspiration and information, follow Designport on Instagram @my_designport and learn more about these designers and others on our new directory pages at You can also chat with friends and neighbors about design on our Facebook group

“It's a natural backdrop and a timeless color when surrounded by materials that patina over time.” -Lauren Stark

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