The best shades of blue, according to designers

Of all the colors in the rainbow, blue is undoubtedly the home decor industry’s darling. And with good reason: the hue is known for inducing feelings of calm and relaxation, suggesting that a single color could be key to creating a serene, sanctuary-like space.

But while blue may be a favorite, it’s not a one-tone wonder. It can look good almost anywhere, and there are a variety of hues to consider – from the powdery hue of the Musée Carnavalet in the Marais to the blue of the City Palace’s swimming pool in Udaipur, India. So what will it be?

Before applying foundation, consider factors such as the room layout, the amount of natural sunlight a room receives, and your preferred undertones. To narrow your search even further, AD PRO asked seven designers about their favorite blues. Read on for her top picks.

One of the best shades of blue, according to Ariel Okin, is Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light, which graces the ceiling of one of the designer’s breakfast rooms.

Photo: Donna Dotan

Borrowed light from Farrow & Ball.

Mark D. Sikes, who also prefers Borrowed Light, used the color in this seating area.

Photo: Amy Neunsinger

Borrowed light from Farrow & Ball

Borrowed Light is such a reflective, beautiful light blue – it looks great in a high gloss and mimics the feel of an open sky when hanging from a ceiling.” – Ariel Okin

“I like Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light because it reminds me of a clear, sunny sky. i love that too [this] shade of blue [goes] With everything.” – Mark D. Sikes

The best blue color, says Andre Jordan Hilton, is Cyberspace by Sherwin-Williams. Here he animates the walls of a designer’s living room.

Photo: Andre Jordan Hilton

Cyberspace by Sherwin-Williams is an elusive hue that oscillates between blue and grey.

Cyberspace by Sherwin-Williams

Cyberspace by Sherwin-Williams is mysterious, sexy, sophisticated, royal, fancy and inviting all in one. It’s the perfect neutral color that leaves you guessing black, gray or blue and its versatility that makes it functional in any setting.” – André Jordan Hilton

Parma Gray by Farrow & Ball is the best shade of blue according to designer Mary Patton.

Photo: Molly Culver

Parma Gray by Farrow & Ball offers a light, muted shade of blue.

Parma gray from Farrow & Ball

“My favorite color is blue Parma gray from Farrow & Ball. This soft yet cool blue works well in a variety of spaces – like bathrooms and bedrooms – and pairs well with white for a fresh finish that evokes a sense of calm.” – Mary Patton

This office is decked out in De Nimes by Farrow & Ball, the best blue color according to Melissa Lee of Bespoke Only.

Photo: Nicole Franzen

A moodier hue than some of the others on the list is De Nimes by Farrow & Ball.

De Nimes by Farrow & Ball

De Nimes by Farrow & Ball is an intriguing blue-green that’s almost chameleon-like. It absorbs and reflects light in a stunning way. Even in the same room, you can clearly see how color reacts differently depending on the light, which then creates different moods within a room. I particularly appreciate the green hue in it, poetically grounded with a ton of black. Its complexity and depth really give this hard-to-describe color an edge that feels masculine and elegant at the same time.” —Melissa Lee, only made to measure

In a project by Tom Stringer, a chimney surround is coated with Benjamin Moore’s Van Deusen Blue.

Photo: Wittefini

A statelier shade is Van Deusen Blue by Benjamin Moore.

Van Deusen Blue by Benjamin Moore

“This library shares the lake view, so we wanted to bring the deep blue tones into the space by replicating a Prussian blue pigment and create a relaxing environment. Prussian Blue is an authentic 18th century pigment with deep blue tones and a slight green undertone that was perfect for this space. That colorplus an overglaze gave us exactly what we were looking for.” – Tom Stringer

In this bedroom, designer Louis Duncan-He used one of his favorite shades of blue: Benjamin Moore’s Buckland Blue.

Photo: Heather Dunbar

Buckland Blue by Benjamin Moore.

Buckland Blue by Benjamin Moore

Buckland Blue by Benjamin Moore was perfect for this project because I was designing a room for a couple who wanted the bedroom to go in slightly different directions – a mix of mid-century modern style and a coastal farmhouse. In the end, this blue was perfect as it has a bit of that whimsy that goes so well with the mid-century, but also had some lovely slightly gray undertones that also brought in a coastal sensibility. I wanted to choose a color that wasn’t as overpowering but also bold enough to stand out from the other elements of the room.” —Louis Duncan-He

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