Tangled up in blues when it comes to home decor these days

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Feeling blue this winter? When it comes to home decor, that’s not a bad thing at all.

Dark, moody blues are making a big statement in interior design these days, whether it’s splashed across entire rooms or in small doses. It has impact and presence without feeling cold.

“It gives you a lot of drama,” says interior designer Tom Verwest with Scott Shuptrine Interiors in Royal Oak.

The walls are painted a shade of grayish blue by Behr called Opera Glasses.

Color expert Erika Woelfel at Behr calls blue comfortable. Think of the pair of jeans you love or that denim jacket that you’ll break out again as soon as spring hits.

“Blues, we know, historically have been a color that people feel comfortable with,” said Woelfel.

I definitely feel blue. Moving into a new house last year, I knew I wanted to paint our living room a dark blue hue. The question was which dark blue.

I settled on a blueish-gray from Sherwin-Williams called Tranquil Aqua and it’s exactly what I wanted. It’s moody, cool and dramatic all at the same time. I love it.

And I’m not alone. Behr’s Color of the Year for 2019 is Blueprint, a mid-tone blue that they say allows homeowners to re-envision their home and space. It’s considered warmer than denim and softer than navy and signifies “authenticity, confidence and timelessness,” according to a press release.

Woelfel said selecting the color of the year is a yearlong process in which a team of people study various industries and trends.

“We go everywhere,” says Woelfel. “We travel to different shows, cities. We look at what’s happening in different industries. And we put together a fantasy palette and then we narrow it down to what fits our customers.”

Woelfel says it’s about selecting hues that connect with people.

“We pull together a palette and from there we try to determine what resonates and what feels the most inspirational as we’re looking ahead,” she said. “It’s not an exact science.”

What they liked about Blueprint is that it works with all of the palettes it outlined for 2019. It works with monochromatics, earth tones, pastels and jewel tones.

Woelfel says all of these palettes have colors that are easy to use but still “inspirational,” and Blueprint melds with each one.

“It’s a very usable color,” said Woelfel. “It’s not too far out there. It’s a timeless color for people to use and bring in other colors. I think it’s a great color. You can use as much or as little as you’d like — paint a chair rail or a piece of furniture, or an accent wall.”

Blue bedroom

Detroit interior design Erica Harrison of Hudson & Sterling is a fan of blue.

When she decorated a kid’s bedroom for the Junior League of Detroit’s Designers’ Show House last year, she chose a blue and white color motif. One wall was painted Benjamin Moore’s Philipsburg Blue and another Atrium White.

“I absolutely love blue,” said Harrison. “And I feel the darker tones of blue are great colors for kids to grow into. I don’t believe in having nursery rooms that are only good for just a few years of use. This is one that a child can grow into!”

Behr named Blueprint its Color of the Year for 2019.

Depending on the room and the drama she wants to create, Harrison says a favorite way to insert blue into homes is in matte blue: walls, trim, windows, ceiling — all the same finish.

“I love white as a classic combination with blue as well — very East Coast seaboard or with a high gloss black.”

True blue

Blue also makes a statement in some of Scott Shuptrine’s galleries these days. Inside its Royal Oak and Novi locations, one wall is painted a deep blue, a hue custom made by Sherwin-Williams.

Verwest says when it comes to using a dark blue, you can use it in any space — the living room or a bedroom. His only recommendation: Don’t paint the ceiling the same color.

“I never recommend you do the ceiling,” says Verwest. “I just think it’s too dark. I like to paint my ceilings a baby blue — just a whisper of blue. That way, when they do the crown molding, they typically paint that white. If you paint the ceiling white, there’s differentiation.”

As far as colors that complement deep blues, Verwest recommends orange, an apple green or even yellow works well.

“I like yellow and blue, but it reminds so many people of U of M; we don’t do a lot of it here!” he laughs.

So if you’re contemplating trying a new color in your decor and want to make a statement, consider blue. With just the right hue, you’ll be singing the blues in a good way.

Twitter: @mfeighan