written by:
January 25, 2013
Blue: the color that helped catapult the careers of artist Yves Klein and musician Miles Davis, the most-prized and most-expensive hue in the Renaissance. We also think it makes for striking design accents, from vibrant cobalts to soothing navys. Click through the slideshow to see inventive applications of the color.
Brooklyn renovation interior bathroom

The owner of a Brooklyn apartment got her hands dirty during the rehabilitation of the 19th-century duplex. She glazed and fired bright blue scalloped tiles to cover the walls and ceiling of the bathroom, giving the space a soothing, undersea vibe.

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1 / 16
Lucy Marston home in Suffolk England interior living room

The plush blue sofa in architect Lucy Marston's Suffolk farmhouse adds an electric pop of color and contrasts nicely with the bright orange pendant lights that hang above the adjacent dining table.

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2 / 16

Architect Matali Crasset transfrormed a centuries-old French farmhouse into an idyllic country getaway. The updated interiors include children's rooms cast in blue. A playful pencil-themed desk and stool combination by Pierre Sala complements the blue of the walls (courtesy of the French paint brand Zolpan) and curtains.

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3 / 16
crown heights apartment brooklyn bathroom

In the bathroom of a space-saving Brookyln renovation, almost every surface is covered in square blue tiles. The resulting space feels roomy and relaxing.

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4 / 16
modern kitchen with blue cabinets, open shelving, bertazzoni range, and glass backsplash

The cabinet system in a minimalist California kitchen features a pair of custom-built blue sliders, which turn cooking into a playful game of Tetris.

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5 / 16
Modern bathroom with irregular tiled wall

In a Brooklyn brownstone renovation, a mostly white bathroom receives some pops of blue color from a series of towel hooks, a step stool, an under-sink storage unit, and a large frame around the mirror.

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Originally appeared in The Brownstone Baked to Perfection
6 / 16
Because the original kitchen had been removed, Alexandra made the decision to widen the gallery-style room by ten inches. Floor-to-ceiling glass makes for ample natural light in the eating area, while the Vitra wall tiles provide a contemporary touch.

In a renovated apartment in Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park urban renewal project, floor-to-ceiling glass makes for ample natural light in the eating area, while the Vitra wall tiles spanning a spectrum of blues provide a contemporary touch.

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Originally appeared in Mies van der Rohe, Lafayette Park
7 / 16
Simple wall-mounted strip lighting, seen here in the cloakroom, is used throughout the house. "The beauty is the light, not the fitting," explains Van Everbroeck.

Color is important in architect Dieter Van Everbroeck’s work, and he was eager to apply his color theories, derived from modern artists like Yves Klein and that most color-oriented of modern architects, Le Corbusier, to his own home. “I always suggest using bold colors to clients,” he says. “It gives more clarity, it means you can focus on certain parts of a building." The cloakroom/bathroom block at the main entrance has been painted in blue and green on alternate walls (according to Le Corbusier, blue and green negate and dissolve space.

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Originally appeared in The Tree of Ghent
8 / 16
Modern glass-and-metal shelves

Maggie Treanor opted for charcoal-blue accents in her rural Ontario home.“In contemporary construction you have a layered approach to materials," says architect Lisa Moffitt. Everything is on top of something else. We tried to avoid that.” The house’s materials are few and hardy: polished concrete, maple, and Douglas fir, and white walls with a few bold moments of green and blue.

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Courtesy of 
© Derek Shapton
Originally appeared in The Off-Grid Home That Doesn't Worry About Too Many Gadgets
9 / 16
Modern living room with 620 Chair Programme by Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams’s modular 620 Chair Programme, Artemide’s classic Tolomeo floor lamp and a rich blue Portofino Bergère chair that was designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti hold court in the Balcones House's living room.

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Originally appeared in Hillside Mid-Century Home Renovation in Texas
10 / 16
Living and dining area with fire stove and vintage furniture

Inside iconic designer Jens Risom's Block Island prefab cabin, a relatively new Rais wood-burning stove is next to a Risom Rocker from Design Within Reach, a 2009 piece from the designer. The green-blue shelf offsets knickknacks and books displayed in the rustic interior.

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Originally appeared in Jens Risom's Block Island Family Retreat
11 / 16
Esherick-designed living room with blue B&B Italia chairs

Pieces from B&B Italia's Metropolitan line outfit the living room of a recently renovated Joseph Esherick house in the Berkeley Hills.

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Originally appeared in A Modern Prefab Addition to a Mid-Century California Classic
12 / 16
Geometric bright blue clothes rack bench

Designers Nina Tolstrup and Jack Mama kitted out their London guesthouse with many of their own designs, including this sky-blue bench and storage rack.

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Originally appeared in A Colorful, Custom-Built Guesthouse in London
13 / 16
Street view of modern 1910 house facade

The traditional facade of Doug Skidmore and Heidi Beebe's Boise home reveals little of the modern addition in the back.

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Courtesy of 
©Lincoln Barbour - All Rights Reserved
Originally appeared in An Airy Addition to a Historic Boise Home
14 / 16
Cozy clean bedroom with neutral colors

In keeping with Jaime Hayon’s goal of creating a serene and airy home, the master bedroom and sticks to a mostly neutral palette of whites and grays. The blue bench by the bed is a custom piece designed by Hayon and his wife, Nienke Klunder, and fabricated by their carpenter friend Josep Joffre.

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Originally appeared in "A Home Should Never Feel Like a Hotel Lobby"
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"We wanted something lively for the house, something spectacular but not vulgar," says Bériault of the blue hue of the modest 1,690-square-foot house.

The eye-catching blue of the modest 1,690-square-foot vacation home owned by Montrealers Yves Bériault and Diane Decoste is very much of a piece with the rest of Havre-Aux-Maisons’ vibrant residences. “We wanted something lively for the house, something spectacular but not vulgar, so we looked at yellows and reds,” says Bériault. Decoste and architect Marie-Claude Hamelin, of Montreal firm YH2, settled on a cerulean blue inspired by the sea, the sky, and, as Hamelin puts it, “a child’s chalk. The architecture on the islands is rather naive, so we wanted to evoke that childlike quality in the color.”

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Originally appeared in Blue in the Facade
16 / 16
Brooklyn renovation interior bathroom

The owner of a Brooklyn apartment got her hands dirty during the rehabilitation of the 19th-century duplex. She glazed and fired bright blue scalloped tiles to cover the walls and ceiling of the bathroom, giving the space a soothing, undersea vibe.

Photo by Paul Barbera.

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