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BlueColour Trends

Trend Alert: Blue is getting Brighter and Happier

By 07/17/2012January 28th, 201737 Comments

Photo by Maria Killam

At one of the CMG Conferences a speaker once said ‘If you want to know which direction colour is going, check out the towel department.’

So a couple weeks ago I snapped this photo of a stack of bright blue and yellow towels when I was out sourcing accessories for a client.

Towels don’t collect dust sitting on shelves like other products do so it makes sense that there’s more turnover in product, therefore new colours can appear faster. (That’s my take, if you have a more accurate one, please post a comment below).


Isn’t this blue entry breathtaking? The styling certainly helps but this photo is a great example of happy blues taking over from gray blues.

For years the only place I’ve ever chosen a blue like this was for a kids room. When I saw those blue and yellow towels, I had this sudden urge to run home and paint my main bathroom this exact colour.

Remember the post I wrote ‘What everyone should know about blue‘? The bottom line was that light blues need to be sufficiently grayed so that they don’t look like baby blue on the walls. But if you take that same gray blue and go darker, you end up with a mans den or teenage boys room.


Take a brighter blue though and go darker like the above photo and you end up with happy!

What do you think? Do you see this blue making it’s way into your house anytime soon?

Check out my ‘Styled Interiors‘ Pinterest boards for more styling inspiration!

Related posts:

Trend Alert: Is Navy the New Black?

Three Ways to Update a Brand New House

How to Get a Designer Living Room on a Budget

Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s All in the Undertones, to get colour to do what you want.

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.

4 pins


  • teresa says:

    It’s already in one of my bathrooms…with yellow! CTD

  • Mira Crisp says:

    My next project is my hallway and guest bathroom and I want to paint them blue. I am thinking of more navy blue this brighter blue looks lovely too. Do you happen to know which shade are these blues in your post? Thanks!

  • This is most definitely wonderful news!! Much better than the gray of a day or two ago 😉

  • The only place I’ll put blue is in my bathroom. I have Whythe Blue there now and am loving it. Although it’s actually more turquoise than real blue. I may be stuck in the past, but I’m an earthtone girl. Like warm colours instead of cool. Especially in January in Canada.

    • teresa says:

      I can relate, but that’s the beauty of blue! Just look at the sky and think how well it complements the earth!:) Turquoise and an orange/rust/peach tone is a perfect example of its versatility.

  • Bonnie says:

    I just painted the master bedroom a very pale blue and I just love it! It is so restful!

  • kathy says:

    Amazing, how almost every post you make is right along with what I am thinking about, or doing. Just chose 3 blues for my master bedroom, bath and behind the built in bookcase in the master hall…

  • Shelley says:

    Hip hip hooray! I can’t wait for these happy blues to become more mainstream! When we moved into our new/old house, I started working on incorporating these shades into our rooms, but it’s next to impossible to find ready-made items in light and medium clear blues. Those gray-blues are so dingy-looking. I’ve had to resort to selectively ordering custom curtains and painting my own small area rugs (that’s a whole other story!).

  • Q says:

    The blues in this post look like the color of my bedroom! I love it.

  • Hi Maria.

    I love this shade of blue; it almost reminds me of perriwinkle.

    I think you are right about the reasoning behind why towels are great indicators of color– there must be rapid turnover.

    Take care.

    Demetria N. Loukas
    Washington, D.C.

  • Very interesting comment about the towels. I’m going to remember that!

  • Priscilla says:

    This is beautiful Maria! What color do you think it is?

  • Nancy O'Brien says:

    I did my bathroom which is small in the same blue as that entryway. I used lots of white accents and hits of fresh apple green. Love it!

  • SandyCGC says:

    I’ve noticed too that towels are a good indicator of the latest “in” colors although I hadn’t really thought about it. Can be great if you like those colors, not so great if you don’t. Unfortunately, as beautiful as your blue room pics are, blue won’t be in my home because it’s simply not my color, though I have a couple of paintings I like mucho which feature a prominent aqua blue sky that haven’t been hanging for the last 10 years because they don’t work with my color palette or subject matter. I’m a green gal, but again the blue rooms are very pretty, and there is something absolutely heavenly about that pale blue in your bathroom with the while and the green plants, Maria. If I could work it in to my palette, I might well be tempted.

  • Mia Staysko says:

    The older I get, the more I seem to resonate with blue. I’ve yet to use it anywhere but on my bed though and even there it is a very grayed-blue.

  • Katy says:

    This is why I buy white towels. It stinks when you’re in love with color but all the stores are selling muddy earth-toned towels. That was pretty much my life from 2000 to 2009

  • Karen says:

    I love those colors together. That’s what we have in our bedroom. Our garden shed is that bright blue with a bright hot pink door! I am thinking a bright yellow for the door next time though! Good choices!

  • Squeak says:

    I’m not fond of bright colours. I much prefer moody greyish blues and greens. Since they’re obviously going out of style, I’ll be saving lots of money in the next few years!

  • Cris Angsten says:

    I’m definitely more into navy than the brighter hues of blue, though that dining room is superb.

  • Wendy says:

    Yep, “New Hope Gray” is a periwinkle that is to die for! Just put it in a kitchen and it is smashing.

  • I’m not a blue person myself, but have several older clients who still have darker, richer blues on their walls. The homes are big, “old money”, and it works with that style: antiques and Oriental carpets. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • Pam says:

    I always look to fashion …it’s always a year ahead. The problem lies in how to find the accessories in the right color before it’s mainstream ie. no longer edgy. Unless you live in London it can be a struggle!

  • Linda V says:

    Veeeery interesting. Perhaps I should bring out that couch from the 90’s we own, that’s been hiding in the back bedroom. It’s almost the same blue as the rooms featured, perhaps just a touch greyer. Everything old is new again. : – )

  • I am definitely a blue person – I love to wear it, I love to decorate with it! My designer wanted a stronger blue for my daughter’s room, but she did not like it and we went with a soft blue. However, I have some strong happy blues in my butler’s pantry and my family room!

    I updated my blog roll, and corrected your feed to the right address!

    I have a bit of blue on my blog today – a good complement to your post today!

    – Holly

  • molly says:

    I’ve noticed that suddenly one of the most popular pins is a periwinkle blue that I pinned a few months ago. It was something I liked but which seemed to me hopelessly outdated, perhaps too close to the 80’s cornflower blue. Glad to see the brighter, happier blues making a comeback…although I can also see it being short-lived and being deemed corny or twee…

  • I loved the gray-blues of recent years and the bright happy blues coming soon – basically I love any blue.

  • To begin, I have always had a love affair with blue.
    The colour in the towels you are showing are reading on my monitor very similar to what I may have in my kitchen at present. (A custom colour.) Only problem is, I love it during the daytime but detest it at night when it has a purple undertone. Perhaps because it is paired with Navy? Would I want it in my living room the answer is no. Even though I love shades of purple as well, accessories would be far too difficult to co-ordinate (and I sew). Unfortunately, the public often does not have the same access to fabrics etc. as Interior (or even Fashion) Designers do. With all that said, I have to agree with the comment made by “Pam”.

  • Julie S says:

    I used to only like colors I can wear very well, in my case muted jewel tones like rust, blue-greens, moss, and “autumn” colors (not a terrible rule of thumb since your house does surround you, but a tad limiting). In the last couple years I am appreciating a few colors I can’t wear… especially clear, bright cobalt blue! I don’t think I can ever like this shade of cornflower, though. At least outside of a wildflower bouquet.

  • Patsy says:

    So where do the color trends begin? Why do you see the colors showing up in towels first? Who decides? When I find a color and combination I like, I tend to stay with it a loooong time, and then I can’t find updates or replacements of towel and pillows and such in the colors I already have. Frustrating.

  • Cheryl says:

    One of the communities whom I have seen color handle well are the Indians. They have no seasons, no trends – color is part of them and wear it with gutso.

    The Indian Yarn blog is a good testament to it .

  • oak123 says:

    My finished basement was recently in BM Sweet Bluette in matte finish and I love it. A decorator told me that light blue can become unsophisticated… How so? Who makes these rules anyway? It’s a dreamy sky blue, looks gorgeous in my recessed lighting as well as during the day. My basement was a medium/dark shade of beige (BM blond wood) previously, and is looks so much brighter, fresher and happier now. I am done with beiges. Also have chair rails and painted them and the walls below in BM Superwhite in semigloss. Love it and it reflects light beautifully. My only issue now is choosing the right carpet color. I have chosen something that looks close to a straw hat color, a sort of warm reddish beige. Any ideas folks?

  • Wyn says:

    I painted the bathroom at our former apartment this colour, or its cousin. It had almond cabinetry with a pink-beige fake marble top, a horrible yellowish linoleum floor, grayish tile with pink flowers, and white and chrome everything else. There was nothing I could do about the floor, the tile, or the vanity. At first I thought of painting it white, but soon realized that would only make the ugly bits stand out worse. We then did brilliant blue with bright white trim (orange undertone) and it looked much better. If I get to do a bath completely, I think I’d like white with either cobalt, turquoise, or aqua.

  • Lucy HAINES says:

    There was a time when you could not find blue anywhere. Now it is back with a vengeance. Here in California it probably makes sense because of the proximity to the ocean. I use to have clients who craved blue and try as I would, it was almost impossible to find anything. I am so happy that it has finally come around. The bright colors that are used with it gives it such a happy feel!! Good post Maria as usual!

  • T. Wright says:

    As I recently painted our exterior doors as well as the ‘sailboat cutout shutters’ I made, in Behr’s ‘Starless Night’, have a Dark Navy & med grey rug for the enclosed porch with white wicker chairs, generally love any shade if blue, I’m delighted to see your recent posts on indigo and happy blues making a comeback!
    Maybe it’s bc we’re right by the Gulf here at the cottage, regardless of trend, over my husband’s qualms, I painted on, I’m loving the dark navy and Ultra Pure White combo and now that it’s up my husband is liking it as well., Phew, dodged a bullet there, joking – he usually has no comment but thought the navy was too dark…… happy he decided it looked good.
    Undecided about some interior choices now so will be calling on you soon for some assistance!
    Great posts, I enjoyed the ‘is Navy the new black?’ post as well and like the navy sectional very much. I am looking forward to seeing more of that summer home! Thanks for sharing your talent!

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