Navy Blue Navy Blue

Summertime often calls to mind this particularly dark, rich shade of blue: navy. And no wonder: it's the color of the ocean waves on a hot summer's day, and it's the color that's been used for years in summer decorating, particularly at the beach.

Think of a grand old summertime beach-side hotel, and it's easy to imagine the navy-and-white striped awning, the navy cushions on the white wicker porch furniture, and the navy-and-white striped placemats on which are set a cold tuna salad platter and a lemonade.

  • Tip: Navy blue, especially combined with bright white, gives a crisp, clean feeling to any room. One great summer decorating idea is to re-do a bathroom in this color, starting by painting the ceiling navy blue. Next, choose a wallpaper that is in a navy-and-white pattern; if you're really going for the nautical effect, choose a pattern of seashells or life preservers. For something more subtle, you can find navy and white wall paper in every pattern from toile to floral prints to a checkerboard design.

Next, consider the flooring. White and navy tiles will go a long way toward emphasizing the clean look of navy blue. The fixtures should be stand-out white: an old-fashioned white basin, white toilet, and white tub will look great, and they won't be troublesome to use in the room's next incarnation. You can easily find a shower curtain with a navy pattern, and then you can install louvered window shades painted white, or a simple white cloth shade.

Finally, choose the towels and bathmat to match. When you're done, you'll have a bathroom that's ship-shape and ready for sailing!

Even if you're not in a seaside getaway, navy can also be used in your home's other rooms, for a cooling, calming effect. Depending on the color scheme you have now, you could try replacing your area rug with something in navy and white. Add vases or curtains in navy, and a couple of throw pillows in navy and one of the colors already dominate in the room.

If you want to tone down the navy in a room, add a little pale yellow; this will offset the navy without detracting from it. A navy vase with yellow carnations is a favorite among lovers of navy blue.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Interior Design

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