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BlueHow to Choose Colour

Will the real French Blue please Stand up?

By 02/23/2010January 28th, 201769 Comments

I found it, tweaked it a little bit and as promised in my earlier post this week, I am happy to announce, it’s here, along with some great images to show it off!

Image from Design Ties

Everyone’s posting about blue lately (which is the world’s most favourite colour), and it could be that House Beautiful’s latest issue headlined, ‘All About Blue” has the blog world all excited! Design Ties just wrote a wonderful post which you can read here.

This is the chest my client is installing in her powder room! It actually looks more purple in the the above image than the ‘real french’ blue but in our travels in the two days I was in Houston we found the one she wanted for the walls in her bedroom as well as on the above chest!

Snapped from a magazine sorry about the glare

Here is a sample of what the ceiling in her entry will look like! The colour palette we chose throughout her house includes all these colours but we needed that exact french blue shade!

French blue carpet (photo by Maria Killam)

Here is the broadloom we found for the master bedroom walk in closets! The first colour I had picked was BM Gray Wisp. I thought it was a perfect match to the pillow she showed me from her living room (below) but it ended up looking to clean (for her) once we tested it.

Sorry I only have a small picture of her pillow (who knew I would be blogging about French blue until I got home!). See how grayed it is?

Now the pillows on the sofa (below) look similar to the pillow above. The wall colour (I’m sure being affected by the photography and the lighting of the room) is more green than the pillows!

Image from Design Ties

Here’s the darker shade of French blue on this chair (below) and a great post (incl. image) on darker blue’s from Patricia Gray:

Okay enough already? Here it is, the French blue found on most furniture mostly ‘washed’ or ‘glazed’ with other tones (don’t ask me what they are; I got into the colour business right when faux finishing was going out, out, out).

It’s BM 1558 Fieldstone, the closest colour to this one with Sherwin Williams is SW 7058 Magnetic Gray. In the end this one was the perfect match to my clients pillow!

Image from Cote de Texas (Goddess of French Design)

I’m taking a wild guess that this wall colour (above) is what it looks like because it certainly looked like this on the furniture I saw while in Houston!

Since blue is the overwhelming favourite colour for most people, I’m doing a poll, is it your favourite too?

Need help choosing the right neutral or colour?  My How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s all in the Undertones ebook takes the hundreds of choices down to 9 neutral undertones along with list of all my other go-to best grays, broken down into 3 undertones, green, blue and purple. The beige undertones of pink, yellow, green, gold, orange and taupe along with the best greens and blues. 

My bonus book of  colours is worth the price of the ebook alone but you will also get my system of understanding undertones so you can stop making mistakes when sourcing tile, carpet, countertops, etc.

If you would like to transform the way you see colour, become a True Colour Expert.


Related posts:

What Everyone should Know about Gray

Exterior Colour Before & After; Blue to Brown

My Favourite Antique French Sofa

Dreamy Blue Bedroom

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  • Nicole says:

    I must be one of the rare few that don't have blue as a favorite. I am more inclined to move towards red and gold tones.

  • Victoria@WhimsybyVictoria says:

    It is one of my favorites! I have been using blues of various tones throughout my home. I created my Whimsy French Blue in my kitchen, I couldn't find anything that came close to what I had in mind. It turned out beautiful. A little grey, but more blue than dull. Great post!


  • Trouvais says:

    The Fieldstone is gorgeous…I suppose I am a blue person, if its grayed down sufficiently. Trish

  • pve design says:

    I adore blue, and that fieldstone is stunning.
    I have blue eyes and now want that fieldstone color for my wardrobe, in fact I just bought a military/ linen jacket in that color. I plan to combine it with that palladium blue.

  • pve design says:

    love blu and green!

  • Ginger@cottageonrosewood says:

    Blue is my absolute favorite color. Stop by my blog if you ever get a chance. I love every shade of blue I can find. Gorgeous.

  • guylaine rondeau says:

    yep… it’s my favourite colour too!
    and light french blue is my favourite blue (although the bottom wall picture and colour sample don’t quite look blue to me… rather grey — could be media reproduction).
    i usually describe it as antique blue… it feels worn out and greyish, and at the same time soft and delicate, and romantic. and of course it is often seen in antique french stuff… i love love that blue.
    now my favousite dark blue is another story for another day…


  • Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    I like some gray in my blue! I had a blue I used one time in a model {bedroom} and I can't remember if it was called Heather Blue or if I just dubbed it heather blue because that was what it made me think of. At any rate, it went over very well and even the construction workers loved it!

  • Maria Killam says:

    Good point you brought up, since gray always has an undertone of blue, green or purple, fieldstone has a blue undertone! That will clarify it for anyone else that perhaps hasn't read my post "What everyone should know about Gray"

  • AB HOME Interiors says:

    Im not much of a blue fan. Is there something wrong with me? Probably! I never have fit in! LOL! Great post. I saw all these photos over the course of a week in bloggy world, felt like de'ja' vu. Hey I sent you a text. Did you get it?

  • Annie @ The House That Jade Built says:

    I am really not a blue person. Now a deep turquoise blue I adore like Pantone's color of the year, but a regular blue (navy, light blue, etc) – I just am not that into. I like more of the reds, greens, yellows & oranges. I like poppy and fun colors 🙂

  • Design Esquire says:

    You are so right! I just did a post on blue earlier this week, and I've seen a lot of other blog posts on it recently too.

    Your client's home is going to look gorgeous.

  • kimberly says:

    Maria, are you going to use Fieldstone on walls and/or furniture/cabinetry? I have admired that color since seeing it on several blogs, but when I see it and the colors below it (on the sample card), it looks so green. to me, nothing about it reads blue, but obviously, i have no sense of color.

    • Florence says:


      You do know a lot about color! Having worked in BM stores and currently have my own business as an Architectural Color Consultant this color reads a green gray. However, color is subjective and people see color differently.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nope – no blue for me, although I don't hate it. I am a purple with hints of grey kind of person.

  • Sara @ Russet Street Reno says:

    I do love blue, but it shouldn't be overdone like in the House Beautiful issue. I don't think anyone needs a blue rug, blue walls, blue sofa and blue throw pillows in one living room! I prefer aquas or deep blues if I use it. I'm not a fan of light blue, baby blue, or royal blue. Oh, and I also love navy blue rooms, which is why I chose BM Hale Navy for my art space!

  • mustang says:

    I like almost all shades of blue – robin's egg, sky, blue with grey, but turquoise is my favorite. Especially with white.

  • Acanthus and Acorn says:

    I seriously can not image life without blues, grays and greens! I love nearly all shades of each. Today I saw a small desk by Darryl Carter in French blue and I took a picture…so I could obsess over it when I got home!

  • Red Door Home says:

    Yes, I do like blue. At the moment though there doesn't seem to much blue and white dishes I registered for my wedding.

  • House Painting Tutorials says:

    Oh, blue is my all-time favorite in any shade, I can never get enough of it.

    There was a point in my life where my entire wardrobe was blue (different shades) – I mean everything! 🙂

    I still love to see this color, wear it and be surrounded by it.


  • Ideezine says:

    Love French blue with a hint of silver in it. It truly is a stunner! Love the snaps.


  • Marija says:

    This is certainly a blue I could get used to looking at every day! Silvery enough that I don't think I would regret the choice on a dreary day. BTW, I find myself thinking about your post on gray almost every time I'm working on colors now! 🙂


  • Cristin says:

    I am a huge fan of blue – particularly French blue, aqua and turquoise – the shades that lean a little toward green.

    BTW – your new photo is gorgeous. You look like a super model! True beauty inside and out.


  • Nichole says:

    While I consider red to be my favorite color, 1/3 of the rooms in my new house are blue (this includes bathrooms). Only one of these rooms is a color left over from the old owners. My old house had no blue rooms. I'm clearly moving into my "blue period".

  • My House, My Garden says:

    Okay, Maria, I love it. I am not a blue person USUALLY. But lately, redoing my home, I am into greys, blue-greens, etc. Lovely post. Just came across your blog and about to spend some time reading old posts about color!

  • Boxwood Terrace says:

    Wow, beautiful choices you've made–really love the chest too! Look forward to seeing the finished project. I do like blue and currently have two light blue slipcovered Bayside Chairs from Crate and Barrel in my living room. I'm thinking of buying white slipcovers for them now though so I can bring some pink into the room (current obsession is Joni Webb's 5/09 post about Suellen Gregory's "pink house").

  • Laurie - Little Blue Chairs says:

    Yes, blue is my favorite color, not a navy blue, but the lighter and mid range blues.

    I have always stayed away form them on my decorating, but in this new house I am embracing the blue.

  • "Yeah, that works..!" says:

    The french blue looks almost like what could be called cornflower or even a periwinkle – could that be right?? Anyway, I'm not a huge blue fan unless it's greyed up quite a bit and deep in tone. Or, so dark that it almost looks black. Blue jeans are of course always the exception!!!

  • Lynne says:

    blue tones? yes, always, I'm a cool colour person. But I prefer purples, silver greys and soft greens for decorating.

  • Marlo says:

    I go through phases with blue – sometimes I love it and sometimes I miss yellow because it’s sunnier and happier than the blue – to me.

    I have the House Beautiful issue about Blues and I was very surprised to read the last page where designers commented on what they think of blue – most of them don’t like it. Do you think that’s true or did the magazine choose to print only the negative comments?

  • Holly says:

    I am a green girl. Blue is probably the color I am most "afraid of". Or maybe I just don't like it.

  • Poindexter says:

    I love having blue present in every room, even though it is not the dominant color anywhere. Navy stripe through a linen pillow cover, blue tones in the background of my floor tile, antique turqoise blue accessories.

  • elisabeth (bovagoods) says:

    yup…love blues! all of them!

  • Lynn says:

    I actually love green – although I don't decorate with it much. I also appreciate gray – especially if it has a strong green or blue undertone. Plum & eggplant are also an absolute love. Guess I don't really have a favorite!

  • DesignTies says:

    Thanks for including a couple of pictures from DesignTies in your post 🙂

    I do love blue. We don't have much blue in our house, but we have a lot of greys with blue undertones.

    I'm currently trying to find a light greeny blue for the laundry room. It's crazy what halogen light does to colour — the perfect colour ends up looking bright blue or purple under the halogens.


  • E @ Oh! Apostrophe says:

    Yup, it's my favorite (except for clothing, then I'm a PINK person, cliche as it is).

    It was the color of our wedding, and the hubs and I are having trouble painting rooms in our house colors OTHER than blue… but we're trying 🙂

  • Jamielyn says:

    I just found your blog and I love it! Thanks for all your great ideas. I'm in the process of remodeling, so i am getting some great ideas!

  • Color and Style says:

    I like blue and did a post on it a couple of weeks ago. It is a great color can take on many personalities but you have to be careful using it. It can turn down the tempreture of the room. Great post thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see the final photos of the project

  • Karena says:

    I love blues of all kinds, as you can probably see in my paintings. from the Cobalt, aquamarine Cerulean, Violet blue, all from light to dark depending on the setting. Oh and Love the Paynes gray with the deep blue tone.


  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Kimberley,
    The only way to really see the blue is to compare it to another one. I agree that it doesn't read 'blue' upon first glance but it is the true French blue!

  • Heather @ what's blooming this week says:

    Sorry Maria = blue is not one of my favorites. I find it too cold to live in on a daily basis especially in the winter months. But these images are beautiful and I'm sure the bathroom and bedroom in your client's house will be amazing under your guidance.

  • Susan says:

    I love love love blue…. My favorites are greyed blues like BM Snowball, BM Stratton Blue they look especially nice with white.

    I use it quite a bit on projects as clients love it too. Must be our location beside the water…

    It's definitely my favorite colour.


  • Tammy@InStitches says:

    Blue and grey are both growing on me. My master bath, drapery panels and my son's room are all blue !

  • Tara says:

    Blue is a favorite but in close competition with Green! Does that count? Our last house was almost entirely blue and green. Blue glass tiles in bathroom, Navy/white bedding, blue/turquoise dishes. Blue or green walls and fabrics on chairs. It was beautiful. This house I'm renovating now just needs a calmer pallet, except for the Turquoise Bathroom my husband cannot live without. Oh- His favorite is Blue. and my daughter has officially changed from pink to blue (b/c of Cinderella)

  • Marti says:

    I love light blue, particularly with white molding. I have painted my bedroom and sometimes my living room light blue in at least 4 apartments I have lived in. I am so happy blue is coming back in style more. I could not find any art to go with my last blue living room. Plus everything in the furniture stores has been this muddy-olive greeny-browny-mushroomy color.

    I like stone a lot and am thinking about using a grayish stone with blue and white but have not seen very many examples so I don't know if it will work. It was great to see the stone in the 1st picture of the kitchen. If anyone knows of any more, please send me that website.

  • Jürgen says:

    No, blue is not in any way my favorite color, I like lthough lately ..
    Suddenly everything is blue. Must be the effect avatar … advertising works miracles.

  • Urban Jewel says:

    Interesting diverse comments. I have never been a fan of blue…in fact hated it until recently. Maybe because I have seen things in blogs that are irresitable I am now warming up to it. Not ready to use it in my own home yet. I am more of a green person. I never wear blue unless it is navy and that is rare. But that's the joy of color…we have so many from which to pick.

  • Roxy Te Owens says:

    I wrote about my love for blue!! I didn't realize how much I surround myself with it until I saw House Beautiful's March cover.

  • Gwen says:

    I love blue, but a deep red makes my heart skip a beat.

  • Susan says:

    Crazy for SW7058 Magnetic Grey right now!
    I wanted so to use it in my current project, but alas it just wasnt it…
    But I will find the space for that beautiful color yet 😉

  • rb says:

    I like to look at blue, but I don't love it for decor except as accents.

    I like warmer, more muted colors.

  • Ruthie's Renewed Treasures says:

    I'm not a real blue lover but do love "ice blue" and a gray blue. Susan above mentioned "Magnetic Grey" and I just recommended that color to a client today for her bathroom. I'm positive it will be stunning on her walls and ceiling in her powder bath.

  • The Shiny Pebble says:

    Love blue! The past five years my house was done in the reds, golds and greens that I inhereted when I bought the house. Now that I moved, I went back to blue, blue, blue!

  • Joyce says:

    WOW!! Blue is one of my favorite colors but the funny thing is I don't have much of it in our home. I love the chest!! xo

  • The Zhush says:

    I love blue so much…its my oldest daughter's middle name!

  • Renae says:

    I am not a blue person at all in a grand scale. I don't mind a touch here or there. I prefer grays and greens, although I do like the Ralph Lauren look of deep navy blue with crisp white as accents. I defnitely would never do a blue wall.

  • Grace says:

    I love blue, always have, and likely always will. It is one of the few colours that I like every single shade of – with others (say green) I like some greens but really dislike others.

  • *Chic Provence* says:

    I like a little blue in interiors…but mostly to complement the warmer hues of coral, persimmon, ivory, etc.

    I do like a dark, dark blue walls with white trim and rich dark floors, tho!

    But in summer clothing I love love love blue! blue and white.

    I love your blog and find color endlessly fascinating too!



  • Picture of Elegance says:

    I love blue, especially the chic French blue. Great post.

  • LesleySW says:

    Nope. Blue is not one of my favorite colors at all. I do have one room painted a gray-blue and I do really love it. But I tend much more to yellows, oranges and reds.

    I must admit, however, that I've been absolutely seduced by the House of Turquoise blog. Everything is beautiful!

  • Kathy says:

    French blue is probably the only blue I like….in the 80's I had blue and pink and I was fine with that…but now I need warm colors, I don't know why but they just relax me….i am usually the last one to enjoy the new styles though so maybe in 5 years I will be ready to embrace blues.

  • chanteusevca says:


    I love so many colors that it's difficult for me to say that one color is my absolute favorite. I think I have to relate the color to what the color is in or on. Dreamy blue skies? Oh yes! Love that blue. Turquoise blue waters? Definitely! Sapphire ring? Yes, please! I will say that I tend to love a turquoise blue or a blend of blue/green in many things — mostly my clothing and I own a lot of turquoise jewelry. And I tend to want to wear navy blue a lot in suits and coats instead of black so much at my age. I once heard Ivana Trump saying that navy is much softer and easier on the skin once you are of a certain age. Also, I tend to save those beautiful Tiffany blue boxes and bags from the jewelry store. Love that color too. But I love red as well, and yellow. I love a soft silvery blue color on my bedroom walls. It gives a soothing, cool vibe where I can drift off to sleep. But I don't think I would like it in my family room or kitchen.

  • Lauren says:

    green's my fav but blue is always a really close 2nd… sometimes beating green 😉

  • Developing Designs says:

    First, love the title btw. 🙂
    Funny, I love blue for others and love seeing it, such as in the fabulous dreamy kitchen you show. I have used it in design many times and it is beautiful. I am also amazed how much you can do with it to achieve different looks. But, personally, I have never used it for myself. Made me think about it though why I haven't, probably because then everything else would have to change to achieve the right flow…..hmmmm, perhaps in that beach house I'm dreaming of owning soneday. 🙂 xo

  • Carolyn Baker says:

    need the name of the French blue color advertized on this page by Design Ties.
    ASAP please.
    want to paint a kitchen/family room at our cabin in this soft French Blue.

  • Carolyn Baker says:

    looking for a soft french blue for kitchen area like the one used by design Ties

  • Julie Welty says:

    I don’t see fieldstone as blue at all- it doesn’t seem to even really have blue in it. It is a greenish grey with a lot of brown. Is fieldstone the right color for this post or was a mistake made? I would love to know a color for a French blue-green. Thanks!

    • Maria Killam says:

      It’s definitely the right colour. If you google fieldstone and hit images, you’ll see it all over the internet. Maria

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