Decorating with Cool Colors – Part 2

Sidekicks for Blue

Blue paired with subtle accent colors and natural elements looks pretty, not pretentious.
Make it work for you:
— Use natural bamboo shades to add texture and to keep the blue from looking overdone.
— Choose a warm accent color and sneak it in, like the yellow strip on the armchair and the checked rug.
— Vary the patterns on the larger elements in the room. Go with solid on the wall, striped on the chair, and a casual floral for the headboard.

Temporary Fixes

Get cool color for a season by focusing on swappable items and slipcovers.
Make it work for you:
— Cover pillows in fabric remnants or sew actual covers for them in Dutch blue.
— Tone down an all-blue couch by slipcovering the body; the blue in the cushions is just right.
— Tie the slipcover with blue fabric ribbons for a girly touch.

Black and Blue

Forget what fashion dictates: blue and black look great together.
Make it work for you:
— Select a vivid shade to go with your dark furniture. A light shade would look out of place and a deep shade would darken the room.
— Paint the trim white to balance the blue and black.
— Fill the room with dark furniture without feeling guilty.

Three’s Company

This bedroom freely mixes blue lavender, royal blue, and green.
Make it work for you:
— Is it blue or is it lavender? Choose a wall color that goes both ways.
— Accent with a deeper shade of the wall color, either deep purple or royal blue (the choice in this bedroom).
— Pick another cool color to accent. Mimic the light/dark of the blue with photo mats in different shades.

Sweet and Savvy

The look is all ladylike in this powder blue room.
Make it your own:
— Wallpaper covers the walls and ceiling of this room, but it’s easier to use a large-scale stencil to get the sweet motif.
— Foil the treacly blue-and-white combo with dark wood furniture for high contrast.
— Add a slipcovered green chair for just the right amount of bold color.

Fresh Yet Traditional

Floral fabrics + striped wallpaper + fresh green color = an updated traditional style.
Make it work for you:
— Go for fresh hues: The subtly patterned wallpaper would be blah save for its delicious mint green color.
— Partner all the green with cheery yellow. It picks up the stripe in the wallpaper, too.
— As always, white trim and furniture adds just the right balance for the smattering of colors.

Color Treat

Periwinkle packs an unexpected punch on a kitchen island.
Make it work for you:
— Try a fun color like this in a neutral setting so it really pops.

Come Together

Modern and traditional pieces live together in peace in this blue living room.
Make it work for you:
— The key to pulling pieces from different eras together is a unifying color. Dutch blue works for the white, clean-line sofa and the yellow-tinged antiques.

Match with Skill

Matchy-matchy works when you vary your use of color.
Make it work for you:
— Furniture shouldn’t all be slipcovered in white with matching accent pillows; try putting a solid slipcover on a chair cushion and blue trim on the sofa.
— Mix patterns, too. Blue floral curtains add interest but don’t clash with the more graphic accent pillow.

Starring White

Don’t forget white! No color says “summer” as clearly as breezy white.
Make it work for you:
— Washable slipcovers make white kid-friendly…really.
— Add a variety of textures to an all-white room; for example, the shiny ottoman and distressed antique white chairs shown here.

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