How To Embrace Navy Blue Design

How To Embrace Navy Blue Design

Navy blue is often considered traditional when it comes to interior design. However, tradition usually implies that the element is more rigid and less versatile.

That’s not the case with navy blue.

A use of navy covering a feature wall can be a statement and add drama, but we’re also seeing navy considered as a “new neutral” that can be used in a variety of style choices and moods. 

Are you considering the switch to navy—let’s discuss all this color has to offer. 

What Design Styles Work Best With Navy

Navy blue has been an important part of the history of design from the Romans in their mosaics to the Egyptians who used it in their tombs. 

One style of interior design that integrates a navy color scheme is Scandinavian. It’s a minimalist style that generally has a light color palette, with white and wood tones. Scandinavian design uses dark accent colors including navy blue, black, brown, and dark green.

But truly, there is no design style that doesn’t play well with navy blue. It can be found everywhere from French classicism to mid-century modern to farmhouse. If you’re looking to add navy blue to your home’s color palette, the choice of materials and form is what will make it fit your interior style. 

Exactly What Color Is Navy?

Named originally for the uniforms created for the Royal British Navy, true navy is a deep, rich blue. But today’s navy options include a range of dark shades of blues. You can adjust these elements to find exactly what you need:

  • Value – Navy can range from a medium-deep blue on the lighter end, to a near-black.

  • Temperature – Move true navy a little toward purple and it becomes a warmer color; a little toward teal and it cools down.1

  • Saturation – From a clear, brilliant navy, adding gray can produce a smoky, muted tone. 

Whether you’re looking for a classic, traditional navy blue design or a more modern, vibrant navy blue, there is one that will suit you. 

What Other Colors Go With Navy

Navy blends well with a range of colors and, depending on the materials used, can suggest anything from casual seaside to sophisticated elegance. 

Go-to color combinations with navy include: 

  • White and navy – Clear, bright navy paired with white for a clean, classic look.

  • Yellow and navy – Pairing colors opposite each other on the color wheel generates visual excitement with high contrast. Mustard yellow works well with a smoky navy, while clear sunny yellow complements a bright navy.2

  • Greens to blues – With navy as the darkest anchor point, this analogous color scheme can provide a dreamy, welcoming setting.

  • Metallics with navy – Gold trim with dark navy is a regal classic, but a cool navy pairs well with silver accents. 

Navy Blue Style Considerations

Any deep color can be either dramatic or overwhelming, depending on its setting. 

Be sure you understand how much natural light falls into the space, how it’s lighted in the evening, and how much functional light you may need. With a deeper color, also pay attention to how the shade of navy you want to use interacts with the colors of wood and other materials present in the space. 

Possibilities for introducing navy into your space include: 

  • Walls – Navy walls can be great in a room you want to feel cozy, warm, and welcoming, but they will make a tight space feel smaller. An accent wall, or the use of navy in conjunction with lighter colors, may be a better opportunity for some areas.

  • Tiling – Consider navy blue for floor, accent, or wet room tiling. A high-luster tile with some gradient shading can make navy both luxurious and welcoming. 

  • Furniture – A velvet navy couch is a great example of how this traditional color can provide a rich and lush tone to your design. Find opportunities to provide contrast by placing navy furniture against lighter walls or floors.

How Does Navy Make You Feel?

While it may seem like a basic color, navy blue suggests a range of moods and psychological suggestions depending on how it’s used. 

Based in part on its frequent use in military uniforms, navy blue has a connotation of authority and power. It’s frequently selected for corporate design and environments, from logos to the many executives still favoring a classic navy blue suit. Navy can be a tool in creating a classic, well-ordered place of comfort and stability.3

Navy blue is also a color of the late twilight sky and sea. Particularly when paired with lighter blues, navy can summon both the tranquility and the fluidity of these natural elements.4

Blue general promotes: 

  • Calm, tranquil, and orderly moods on the lighter side

  • Reliable, stable, and nonthreatening on the darker side

  • Balance when in the middle

Add Color To Your Home With Materials Marketing

What do you like best about navy blue design? Is it the timelessness of the color, the way it complements other colors, or how it looks with gold accents? Or is it that navy blue is a hue that feels both classic and chic at once? 

Whatever your reaction, decorating with a navy color scheme is a design choice that can add luxury and warmth to your perfect home. 

Here at MATERIAL, we’ve been making dreams come true for family homes since 1965. We stay on top of color and other design trends while also understanding how to build luxury that lasts a lifetime with the latest technology. 

To learn more about our design services and the top-quality products we offer, visit one of our eight showrooms or speak with our team of designers to get started. We’re here to discuss topics ranging from texture in interior design, modern craftsman design approach and more. Call today!


  1. John Paul Caponigro Mindful of Nature. The Temperature of Color – Warm or Cool.

  2. Invision Inside Design. Understanding color theory: the color wheel and finding complementary colors.

  3. Inside Out Style. What is Navy and What Colours Work Well With It?

  4. Very Well Mind. The Psychology of Blue.

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