By Mary Carol Garrity
Scripps Howard News Service
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been head over heels in love with the color blue. Cobalt? Be still my beating heart. Robin’s egg? Divine. Turquoise? Makes me swoon. But when it comes to navy, I have a personal weakness that borders on obsession.
Navy has it all. It’s a no-fail neutral that looks perfect paired with practically everything, from white and cream to coral and citron. It gracefully sets off every finish in your decor.
The timeless classic will never go out of style. And, because it’s not overused by designers, it feels fresh and new. Other colors will come and go in my home, but navy is here to stay, in a big way. Here are six ways you, too, can weave a little navy into your interior decor.
1. Embrace navy’s softer side with furniture.
One of navy’s many wonderful attributes is that it is a fabulous tool for high-contrast decorating. I really like it paired with white when I’m designing a contemporary home, or with cream if the home is traditional.
When you cover your furniture in a solid navy fabric, you have free rein to take it casual or formal, contemporary or traditional. Navy is one of the best neutrals for sofas because it’s timeless, forgiving enough to handle pets, kids and husbands and versatile enough to look great with a rainbow of colors.
I redid the cushions on my outdoor furnishings this summer, swapping out light cream for cobalt blue, which just feels like a more electric shade of navy to me. To pop things up a bit more, I pulled together pillows in citron, white and blue fabrics for a crazy mix of classic and contemporary.
2. Perk things up with navy pillows.
If you don’t have any navy in your home but would like to add a bit, try working it in with accent pillows. Since navy works with so many colors, it’s easy to plug in to just about any color palette.
Your bedding ensemble is an ideal place for navy because you don’t typically redo it very often. Pick colors you won’t grow tired of soon.
3. Let navy dishes add drama to your table.
Long ago I invested in a set of blue-and-white transferware dishes, and I have used them constantly since. When you add lots of pattern, this simple color combo is really exciting on a table. But I also like to pop it up for spring and summer by weaving in apple green. In fall, you’ll see these same dishes on my table paired with orange. During the holidays, I use a leather or silver charger as a base for a more formal place setting. It’s amazing how versatile these dishes are. Just because blue-and-white transferware is classic doesn’t mean you can’t make it feel fresh and new.
4. Make a room more dramatic with navy paint.
While I like to constantly switch out decorative elements, some things will never change. One is the color of my dining room walls. I can’t imagine them being anything but Twilight, a rich navy blue. I forced myself to try a new color once, painting the walls a chocolate brown. But it just felt wrong, and before long I was back to my navy. Like a good navy blazer, they go with anything.
5. Use navy pottery for arresting accents.
If you have read my blog, syndicated column or books for long, you know I love blue-and-white pottery, and have used it all over my home for the past few decades. We’re seeing a real resurgence of Chinese porcelain in a blue-and-white color palette. More people are working this classic look in with their modern furnishings for a design that’s full of contrasts.
6. Let navy rugs pull your room together.
Navy is a great color for area rugs because it refuses to show dirt. You can find flat weave rugs — my new go-to because they are so affordable — in an assortment of contemporary patterns. Like something more traditional? Navy is a frequent star in lovely wool rugs.
— The column has been adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at www.nellhills.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.shns.com.