When it comes to interiors, blue is a colour that never goes out of fashion

If you feel an attack of the blues coming on, you’re on the right track. When it comes to interiors, blue is in. In fact, it’s always in. “Blue tops and tails our environment in the wide skies and shifting oceans, so you simply can’t go wrong using it in a coastal country such as ours,” says colour consultant and interior designer Sarah Kerr.

advice6-1People who choose blue as their favourite colour value honesty, loyalty and compassion. They also tend to enjoy their own company. Blue is the colour of contemplation and commitment. It soothes those prone to anxiety and stress. On a more prosaic note, it has historically been favoured in kitchens because it was thought to keep the flies away. But if flies are a problem, buy some heavy duty fly spray and ditch the blue cupboard doors. It may be in fashion, but blue needs to be used wisely.

“The ‘90s trend for blue cabinetry is O for over,” says Kerr. “But blue still features in the hub of the home. Often it’s in a traditional way, paired with off-white where colour cues are taken from Deft or English pottery or French provincial tiles.” You’re also drifting into 1990s-blue territory if your lounge still sports one of those rolled-arm sofas in petrol blue velour.

It’s time to update to a neutral couch and use blue on the walls or to accessorise. Blue works well in a living area, despite its reputation for being cold. It needn’t be. Blue with undertones of green or yellow, actually warms up a room. And grey-blue looks gorgeous teamed with taupe in a sunny living area.

Blue and white is a classic living room combination – have a little fun by combining patterns such as spots, stripes or checks. Or, if you’re looking for a thoroughly contemporary look, try the chocolate and aqua mix. Try walls painted pale aqua (such as Dulux ‘Blue Dam’) with rich brown sofas and scatter cushions that pick up these two tones.

If you want blue at its most relaxing, consider channelling summer all year round with walls in a seaside blue (such as Resene ‘Breakwater’), bleached timber floors and whitewashed furniture with accents of navy in drapes or cushions. “You’ll feel like you’re at the beach even in suburbia,” says Kerr.


  • thread design blue beddingBlue is the ideal colour for garden buildings or outdoor furniture. A touch of blue amid the green reflects the sky and is calming on wild days.
  • Blue and orange are a perfect match for outdoors. Think orange canvas bean bags beside a sparkling blue pool.
  • Navy stripes combine with limes, turquoise, whites and reds to add a bold streak of colour to any outdoor setting.


  • Blue’s soothing, reflective qualities make it perfect for the bedroom. Choose from a masculine midnight blue such as Resene ‘True Blue’, or a feminine aqua such as Dulux ‘Aqualogic’.
  • Remember to offset a mid-to-dark blue with plenty of light, otherwise it will be too intense. Add mirrors and silver finishes on furniture or accessories.
  • Boys of all ages love a blue bedroom. Get the shade right and you won’t have to repaint for years.Try Dulux “ Newman’s Eye” a popular blue paint colour for boys aged 4 to 16.


  • White with blue accents always looks good in the bathroom, but you can get the same clean look by using a darker blue tile with crisp white towels and bright white bathroom suite.
  • Pale washes of sky blue (such as Resene ‘Comfort Zone’) bring tranquillity and helps create a bathroom you’ll be able to relax in.
  • Bear in mind that a deep, dark blue can cast a glow onto white walls or tiles making them appear slightly grey.