The Meaning Behind the Color
Navy is a classic, cool-to-neutral color that can take on numerous personalities – anything from moody to elegant to casually chic. The name itself comes from the British Royal Navy with its dark blue uniforms; first usage of navy blue as a color appeared in the early 1800s.
Which navy personality comes out will depend on other colors you use and the patterns and textures you work with.
What Goes With Navy?
Pair navy with vibrant greens, yellows and reds to bring out its hidden vitality, or choose navy and bright white (or cream) for a traditional yet elegant look.
You can also match navy with lighter shades of blue – reminiscent of the sun-splashed coast – or a combination of blues and greens for that seductive underwater charm. Prefer to keep it simple? Use navy and neutrals, but add a pop of color with a lamp, vase, bouquet of flowers or a pretty painting.
Unless you love the look of painted wood furniture or are confident that your tastes won’t change for many years, your best bet is to skip the painted dressers and bed frames and instead focus on navy in your fabrics and decor. You can incorporate navy in your throw blankets, sofa beds, accent pillows, rugs and table lamps, or you could put more of your focus on the walls and the artwork.
But remember, too much blue will certainly overwhelm. If you want blue walls, keep your accent blues more modest – perhaps a navy blue rug, curtains and decorative pillows.
Navy for the Living Room
As you decorate the living room, try to add navy via the furniture and decor, not the walls. Navy walls can have quite a commanding presence, and while they come across cozy in a bedroom, they can be overpowering in a living room. One accent wall, though, would be a striking compromise.
Navy for the Dining Room
Like the living room, a dining room with all walls painted navy blue can become too cave-like. You might use gorgeous navy-patterned wallpaper on an accent wall, and then match those tones in your dining room chair cushions or a large area rug. Artwork and centerpieces can also incorporate small dashes of navy blue.