Blue and White Rooms and Decorating with Blue and White

Blue and White Rooms

Thinking about decorating your room in blue and white? This color union is a match mirrored in the sky and clouds, the snowy mountains, the ocean and breaker waves. Perhaps this sympathy with nature is why blue and white decorating schemes have always been popular, from George and Martha Washington's dining room, to Louisa May Alcott's artistic sister's bedroom, to mansion living rooms in the deep south, and most recently, my own bedroom, freshly painted in an antique gray-blue and light cream last summer.

Blue and White Mount Vernon Dining Room

The Mount Vernon dining room is a dark turquoise-blue on the upper half of the walls, and has a white chair rail trim separating the lower half of the wall, which is a creamy white. This color was common in the deep south, where heat and sun sent richly dressed gentlemen and ladies into the plantation's mansion looking for refreshment in a cool, dimly lit room, made cooler and darker by the dark turquoise walls.

Mount Vernon Blue and White Dining Room

http://dc.about.com/od/photos/ss/MVCandlePhotos_2.htm
http://dc.about.com/od/photos/ss/MVCandlePhotos_2.htm

Blue and White Room in Louisa May Alcott's Home

louisamayalcott.org
louisamayalcott.org

Louisa May Alcott's Home

Louisa May Alcott's sister, May, was artistic and imaginative. Her room is a truly antiqued white plaster, with painted white panelling on some walls. High at the top of the walls, along the edge where the wall meets the ceiling, is a thin strip of dusky blue. On a few parts of various sloping walls, a faded creamy patchwork wallpaper adds some delicate texture. By far the best part of her room is her artwork, most of which she sketched directly on the walls or closet doors. Sloping ceilings complete the quaint picture.

Take a virtual panoramic tour of May Alcott's Room here

Blue and White Rooms in the Regency Era

This miniature eggshell blue and white room (below) mirrors the elegant room décor found in a majority of high-society houses during the Regency Era (the period when Jane Austen's books were written and published). The gold accents sectioning off portions of the wall and the white crown molding near the ceiling were often seen in parlors and dining rooms. This dusky eggshell blue color had many advantages. It was light enough to keep the room from absorbing all daylight, and it mirrored the sky outside, giving the sitting room a cheery, natural atmosphere. Richly colored paintings often adorned the walls, and thick rugs on the floor cushioned and softened footsteps.

Decorating in Eggshell Blue and White Molding

http://cynthiahoweminiatures.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=21&products_id=770
http://cynthiahoweminiatures.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=21&products_id=770

Modern "Regency Style" Blue and White Dining Room

This blue and white dining room, below, is an excellent example of a modern rendition of the old, classic style. Notice the same white molding and trim accents, and the same dusky blue on the walls. However, this modern room has cleaner lines, less filling up the wall space, less heavy upholstery and rugs, and accents in black and silvery gray instead of gold and cream. Modern interior decorators are finding that the timeless Regency Era styles have returned, to the delight of many.

Blue and White Dining Room Image

http://www.pilbeamconstruction.co.uk/kemp_townhouse.html
http://www.pilbeamconstruction.co.uk/kemp_townhouse.html

Blue and White Rooms with Delft

http://www.seasonsforallathome.com/red/
http://www.seasonsforallathome.com/red/

Blue and White Delft Decorating

Dutch ceramics, delft, and china add simple blue accents to a plain white room. Rather than painting walls a bold color or having to drastically change the make-up of the room, just stick with your plain white walls and add shelf or wall décor in the elegant and simple dark-blue delft, which is intricate in its design without being gaudy or over-done. Some have even added delft to rooms with a third color, and come away with a quaint and homey atmosphere reminiscent of country homes in America's heartland.

The appealing thing about delft, whether Dutch, Chinese, or Swedish, is that it is easy to find inexpensively if you're not a purist for the manufacturing brand. Thrift stores and flea markets, not to mention garage sales, have delft ceramics of every type. You're bound to find exactly what you're looking for at a price you're more than willing to pay.

Decorating with Delft in the Bathroom

Delft-style wallpaper covers the lower half of this small bathroom's walls, giving it the appearance of a larger room through its horizontal sectioning. A quaint delft vase is filled with colorful wooden tulips and a small stack of miniature delft plates graces the counter. Though the overabundance of blue and white in this bathroom could easily overpower the small space, the entrance of a third color into the mix calms and cheers the scene. Butter yellow towels, floor mat, and toilet-seat cover provide just the right balance of color.

Bathroom with Blue Accents

Blue and White Bathroom

Dark blue glass bottles and luminescent blue butterfly wings in a frame are the focal points in this second blue and white bathroom (below), made whiter by the fact that there are really no other colors in the room, except for a few streamlined stainless-steel accessories and a slightly mottled beige floor. The striking contrast between snow-white and vivid blue as seen in this room brings to mind the pure white buildings and brilliant blue roofs of Santorini, Greece.

White and Blue Bathroom Photos

http://www.annesage.com/blog/books/
http://www.annesage.com/blog/books/
Source
Source
Source

Subtle Blue and White Rooms

One of the lovely attributes of the color blue is that it comes in many different shades that range from bold sapphire and basic navy to subtle gray-green blues and softer periwinkles. The rooms or accessories below show a more delicate blue and white scheme, often combined with a washed-out green, cream, or gray for a gentler look. 

Blue, White, and Gray/Green Room Photo

http://sfair.blogspot.com/2009_06_01_archive.html
http://sfair.blogspot.com/2009_06_01_archive.html

Eggshell Blue and White: My Design

Source
Source

The designs in the four surrounding photos are from a bedroom I recently designed and decorated myself. I wanted to imitate the Regency Era colors and white woodwork while retaining the cozier English-cottage style of living. The blue color has just a touch of aqua and gray that makes it not seem too moody or cold: a very cheerful blue during most hours of the day! I chose to use Anna French "Songbirds" wallpaper on the wall opposite the window to reflect the sunlight and keep the atmosphere from getting too dim or saturated. Though the wallpaper actually has no blue in it, the silvery overtones and delicate green hints in the leaves make the perfect complement to my blue walls. I was thrilled to find curtains (Chris Madden, "Mystique Embroidery") that matched my wallpaper and looked brilliant against my blue walls.

Source
My nightstand, fully equipped with the best decoration accessory: old books! (Furniture from American Furniture Warehouse)
My nightstand, fully equipped with the best decoration accessory: old books! (Furniture from American Furniture Warehouse)

The Mood of Blue and White Rooms

One piece of caution I have for you regarding decorating in blue and white is to be careful not to overdo the blue. Blue is known for being a calming, soothing, relaxing color, and it will automatically do exactly that to the atmosphere of the room you bring it into! Therefore, blue is best for bedrooms and bathrooms, where the atmosphere should be tranquil and peaceful. Choose your color and placing of the color wisely. Too saturated of a blue can seem so low-key that it can actually feel depressing or saddening (hence the musical genre: "the Blues").

Too dark or too much of blue will make a room frigid or icy, dark or dim. Blue is on the "cool" side of the color wheel, along with green and purple, so it is best in rooms that are naturally warm, sunny, and cheerful. When I use a large amount of blue in a room I like to balance it with brighter, warmer colors (gold, yellow, red, orange, spring green), or I choose a shade of blue that has warmer colors mixed in. Shades of turquoise blue or sea blue are wonderful for this because they have a bit of yellow added to their blue, and yellow is a warm color. With lighter colors of blue I like a creamier white instead of shocking snow-white because this also "warms" up the color tone of the room.

White is known for purity, cleanliness, innocence, health, sanitation, and sterilization. For this reason, white is great in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and craft rooms! Add a bit of navy blue to your white and you'll get an atmosphere that is pure, refreshing, and soothing.

© 2010 Jane Grey

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Comments 63 comments

Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan

This is such a great article, and I enjoyed every inch of it! Such an abundance of great photos, too. The bedroom that you redecorated turned out beautiful; thanks so much for sharing it with us! You are quite the decorater :)


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Thank you, Rose! Many of the photos came from my own home, which made it easy to have such an 'abundance'. I'm glad you liked my room! I am still working on getting wall décor for a few of my walls, but I'll take full-room pictures too when I get that far! As far as being a decorator goes, I am learning as I go, and I mostly decorate in styles and colors that I like, which anybody can do!


PaulaK profile image

PaulaK 6 years ago from Austin. Texas

I love decorating hubs. This is a great one, love the combination of colors. Good reading.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Glad you enjoyed it, Paula! I know that many people get ideas from seeing pictures more than reading, so I try to always include plenty of eye candy for visual idea generators! Thanks for reading.


MrTooree profile image

MrTooree 6 years ago

Great Hub !!! I just love Blue and White. It's timeless and will never go out of style.


Wanda Hudgins 6 years ago

I love decorating and I loved your article. Great Job.....

I have a powder room that I've done in white and blue......

Great pictures........

Keep writing about decorating, you did well.....

Best Wanda


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Mr. Tooree, you're definitely right about the timelessness of blue and white. It's been around since God created the blue sky and white clouds, and I think it will continue to be a favorite.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Thank you, Wanda!

Your complement really means something, coming from you, for I know you have quite the eye for artistic decorating yourself. Your powder room in white and blue sounds heavenly. That would be just the right sort of room to do in blue and white.


IdaKenelm profile image

IdaKenelm 6 years ago

What a beautiful room you put together. I love the washbasin and books.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Thank you, Ida Kenelm! The washbasin was a garage sale find, and the books are just a part of my collection of literature classics! I think books automatically dress up a room, wherever you put them, especially the old books with cloth covers.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 6 years ago from Central Texas

Great Hub -- blue and white gives one so many options and still remains "comforting" -- thanks for some new ideas! Best, Sis


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

I appreciate you stopping by, Angela! I have always been a fan of the classic and "comforting" style of blue and white. I think blue and white makes up half my wardrobe as well as half the rooms in my family's house!


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

Well done! Love what you did - and the virtual tour of Louisa May Alcott's room was a lovely and unexpected touch.

Speaking of touch - seems you have it when it comes to redecorating. Too bad you didn't live closer!


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Hello Duchess!

I'm so pleased to have you visit! I loved the Alcott room too, especially because all sides of her room are lovely but there are so few pictures taken of the interior.

Is there any room in particular you are thinking of decorating? Perhaps we could brainstorm together sometime!


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

Lovely thought Jane Grey. I'd love to redo our bedroom. It's huge! And of course, the ensuite would have to be done at the same time right? LOL


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Hm... a huge bedroom could be fun. The first thing I would decide on is the shade of color. How much natural lighting comes into the room should determine how much color other than white you want. White reflects light and color absorbs it, so that might be something to think about! :)


nadp profile image

nadp 6 years ago from WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

I loved reading this hub. I have a special interest in color and decorating - not professionally, but it just turns me on. My dining room is turquoise, my living room is lime green and kind of a blueberry color, and my bedroom is a very pale, pale blue. I hadn't stopped to think of it before now how much blue has crept into my surroundings. My last house had a lot of red, but now I'm getting away from that.

I'm looking forward to reading your other articles.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

nadp,

Your house sounds lovely! I would really enjoy all those different shades of blue. I'm like you, I think-- not a professional by any name or creed, but I have studied and taught art, I love color and notice it in everything around me, and decorating has always excited me, like it does you! Thanks for your comment; I loved hearing about your home. Perhaps you'll have to write a hub on the rooms in your house and what inspired them! I would enjoy that.

Jane


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

Nice hub and I have always loved blue and white. In fact I have some in my home now. It is very nice and comforting.

Thank for sharing.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Thank you for reading, lctodd1947. I agree, there is something very tranquil and calming about the combination. That's what makes it so great for bedrooms and bathrooms.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

This is so much better than the average decorating hub because it is full of detail. The historical examples are very interesting especially for those of us not in the USA.


Journey * profile image

Journey * 6 years ago from USA

Hi Jane,

A favorite combination of mine is blue and white. I enjoyed this hub. Great pics. Thanks.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Thank you, Patricia! The USA does have many examples of blue and white décor, though most of it is in the Southern plantation mansions or in the older New England homes. I love the blue and white of the cottages of England, though, because they seem cozier and quaint. Most of my ideas for the room I decorated were from rooms I had seen in authentic historical movies such as BBC's Jane Austen movies. Where do you hale from, and is blue and white common where you are?

Thank you for your complement! I love detail myself, so it would be hard not to put detail into any hub that addresses home decorating.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Journey,

So glad you stopped by! It is a favorite of mine as well, as I'm sure you can tell. :)

Jane


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 6 years ago from The English Midlands

I like blue and white rooms.

That is usually our colour-scheme choice for our main sitting room.

Nice photos :)


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Thanks, Trish! That would make a lovely sitting room choice. I wish I could see pictures of your own rooms!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Lovely hub. I love the pictures, and you did a fine job decorating in blue and white. I am doing my living room in blue and white but found that the wall all blue is a bit too much. Thinking about doing some hand-painted trees in beige and white on the wall to lighten it up. Love that french blue!

Thumbs up for a great hub.


ajbarnett 6 years ago

What a lovely Hub. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Dorsi,

I think your idea of beige trees sounds perfect! Are you thinking branches and/or leaves in silhouette (kind of like the picture above in the gray/green and blue room)? What you can also do to lighten it up is to make one wall a light color of paint (white!) or a wallpaper with white designs, to reflect more of the light back into the room instead of absorbing it. Light colored décor on the walls also helps a lot too, and is a very easy way to quickly transform the mood or temperature of the room.

Thanks for your kind comments!


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

AJBarnett,

So glad you found it interesting! Thank you for leaving your comment.

Jane


AdamGee profile image

AdamGee 6 years ago

Great article :) Wonderful pictures, particularly your own work.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Thanks Adam,

So kind of you to say so!


2Tony profile image

2Tony 6 years ago from Manchester U.K.

Your avatar, are those UK houses or do they have houses like that in Colorado; our hub sites really compliment each other, wondered if you'd like to exchange links.

http://hubpages.com/living/Painting-Tips-and-Trick

T, UK


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Tony,

My profile picture was not taken in Colorado, which is really too bad! I took the picture of those doors when I was in Highbury, London two years ago. I have always loved the British colored doors that stand out from the grays and neutrals that most of their buildings are painted in!


2Tony profile image

2Tony 6 years ago from Manchester U.K.

Hi Jane

You where right, a bit much, I hope everything ok now.

Let me know which of your hubs you'd like me to link to.

T


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

You're welcome to link to any of my hubs Tony! Thank you for offering; I really appreciate it!


borge_009 profile image

borge_009 6 years ago from Philippines

Wow. Great Hub. Blue and White colors complement each other. Actually my room's color is blue and white. Thanks for this wonderful hub.


basejumper profile image

basejumper 6 years ago

My girlfriend's really into blue-white. Which means I am also into it...


Pro Design Source profile image

Pro Design Source 6 years ago

Nice article! I was recently in Mt. Vernon, and I have to say I probably wouldn't choose that shade of blue!


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Pro Design Source,

I agree. It's a bit too bizarre and doesn't have the soothing effect that combos of green and blue usually do. That's why I chose a lighter blue for my room. I loved Mt. Vernon, though, and thought that it was lovely in that setting in the south.


Tracy Monroy 6 years ago

I'm curious about which shade of blue pro design is referring to. I've never been to Mt. Vernon so I guess I don't understand the reference in this scenario. Great hub however I enjoy the photos!


Maryanne Maguire profile image

Maryanne Maguire 6 years ago from Santa Monica, CA

Different colors of antique white on white are beautiful! Nice hub!


msthurnell 6 years ago

My daughter bought me a great book called Blue and White Japan. I've always loved the blue and white look often with the addition of orange.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Tracy,

Sorry it's taken me awhile to reply to your question! I appreciate your comment, though. Pro Design is referring to the shade of green/blue in the picture that is second from the top in my article. That photo is the dining room in Mt. Vernon. It is a vivid, dark shade of turquoise. I'm sure you could find more pictures of it in different lighting on the internet if you're interested in researching that color further.

Jane


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Maryanne, I've always liked shades of white on white as well! It gives a cool, clean look and always seems to lighten a room.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Msthurnell, I was not aware the blue and white is a common theme in Japanese décor! I'll have to look into that. Thanks for telling me about it. I also like orange, but I tend to use it sparingly in decorating because it is so vivacious. I'm not sure I can envision it going well with blue and white, but I would definitely consider using it with earth tones or other warm colors such as pink, coral, yellow, and red.

Good stuff! Thanks for your thoughts.

Jane


goosey kimber profile image

goosey kimber 6 years ago

make more designing hubs. I love sewing!


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon Author

Goosey, thanks for the encouragement! I hope to produce more home design hubs as soon as I get the chance to. Any ideas about a particular design topic or color scheme that you would like to know about?


Jesus_saves_us_7 profile image

Jesus_saves_us_7 6 years ago from Seeking Salvation

Great and informative article...thank you for sharing.


rugsdynamic profile image

rugsdynamic 6 years ago

I am loving how you incorporate blue in your post. Nice.


sidemirror 5 years ago

Hi i see your hub this is nice.If you want a best side mirror glass please visit our site.


BonnieDrew 5 years ago

Will you tell me what paint brands and names of the colors you used for the room :eggshell blue and white: my design"? I think these colors are beautiful together!


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 5 years ago from Oregon Author

Hi Bonnie,

The cream color is Color Place International, Satin finish, English Ivory color, from Walgreens. The blue is from Guirey's, and I think was called "china blue" or something similar. I often see this color called a muted "Tiffany" blue, like the Tiffany Jewelers logo. Best wishes on your decorating! Let me know if I can help you out with any other questions.


mobile themes 5 years ago

color choice maturity is very necessary for this skill...


Maria Harris profile image

Maria Harris 5 years ago from Houston

Blue and white combination is one of my favorites as it creates a very elegant interior décor style. Thanks for the excellent hub.


Liana 5 years ago

hi, I love the colours on this. For school we have to do a project and I chose interior designing. I need a nice blue to go with a cream we have upstairs. Because we already have green upstairs. It needs to be a family colour, maybe a dark blue. Please help me


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 5 years ago from Oregon Author

Hello Liana,

The most important thing you have to think about when choosing a colour is how much light there is in the room you will be painting. Notice in the photo of the dining room towards the top of this page, there is a gigantic bay window that lets in a lot of nice light for such a darkly painted room. I rarely recommend a colour as dark as that unless you have a large room that won't feel like it's closing in on you when it is painted darker, and when it has plenty of light for most hours of the day. South and East facing windows are best for that.

My recommendation for you? Choose a "warm" color of blue, such as one with hints of green or purple in it, and not too bright (toned down with gray or brown). That will almost always work for a new decorator. Make sure to ask for a sample of the paint you want so that you can put it directly on the wall and observe it in all different times of the day before you paint your entire room that colour.

Hope that helps!

~Jane


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I love blue and white and your photos are just marvelous!

You have given some great advice here and I intend to use it...so I am bookmarking your hub.

I am a fan. Thank you for sharing your talent! Big UP!


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 5 years ago from Oregon Author

Vocalcoach, I'm so pleased to have you stop by and tour "my" rooms! Blue and white is a favorite of mine too-- I think it always will be. Stop back and and leave a note when you begin your projects! I would love to hear about what you are doing in your home.

Thanks for your vote! Much appreciated!


SUSANJK profile image

SUSANJK 4 years ago from Florida

I love your bathroom ideas. Great photos.


Sarah 4 years ago

Hi! I was wondering (if it is possible) if I could print one of the pictures you have here on your article of blue and white room décor? I am supposed to be finishing up a home ec. prject. :-) Nothing that I have looked at before has appealed to me like your photos do. So if it is possible, then that is great, if not I'll keep looking.

Oh and I LOVE your bedroom décor!! Lovely!! :-)


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 4 years ago from Oregon Author

Hi Sarah,

That's fine with me as long as you aren't going to be publishing it as your own work or making money off of it. :) Not all the pictures in this article are my own-- I think I noted which ones were from somewhere else if they weren't mine. Let me know if it's not clear which ones are mine and which ones are others, and I'll mark it more clearly for you!

Have fun on your project! Sounds like something I would enjoy doing as well! :) Thanks for your complement on my bedroom décor!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Refreshing look for the New Year... :) Beautiful themes of blue you've shared--thanks!

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