Find out what colors go with navy blue to help you know how to decorate with navy blue to achieve a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing decor.
Whatever the season, blue is one of my go-to colors for interiors. It’s serene, comforting, and equally at home in sophisticated, eclectic, and minimalist aesthetics. Navy blue is a little more challenging to live with, though, especially as the primary color in a palette.
The best neutral colors that go with navy blue are white and lighter neutrals like beige, taupe, ivory, and cream. A monochrome scheme with various shades of blue is sophisticated. For contrast, choose yellow or pink. Navy also pairs with trending earthy shades of orange, red, and green.
If pastel blue is the nursery shade, navy blue is the grown-up’s blue. This deep, rich color is currently on trend for bedrooms, family rooms, dining rooms, and even kitchens. Because it makes such a powerful statement, navy blue must be combined with other colors.
Let’s look at the best colors that match with navy blue.
White is the classic pairing with navy blue, especially if you want the deeper color to pop. One option is to drench a room in gorgeous blue and use white trim for brightness. Paint your ceiling white to prevent a cave-like atmosphere in a dark room, or highlight architectural features with this timeless combination.
Another option is to have a largely navy scheme, including soft furnishings, and to keep the floor white—a stunning minimalist effect. White curtains would also balance the inky effect—although I’d advise avoiding these if you have pets or little kids (I’m speaking from experience).
Navy and white can also look preppy and nautical, ideal for a teen’s room. Include crisp white bedding to juxtapose darker, soft furnishings.
Fresh white walls juxtapose with navy blue furniture, creating a bright and appealing effect. This combination is incredibly versatile and works for most aesthetics, particularly coastal looks.
My sister recently painted her powder room navy. The walls make a dramatic statement against the all-white fixtures and blue and white floor.
White and navy are a high-contrast pairing. Tone down the energy by adding off-white neutrals to your color palette. Cream, beige, ivory, and taupe create a different effect than white, especially if you add natural fibers like rattan, wicker, and pale wood.
As with white, neutral combinations are really versatile. The pairing is restrained and elegant in a traditional scheme with metallic elements.
Gentle contrast allows rest for the eye, particularly if you include patterned items. I collect vintage African indigo cloth which has gorgeous navy and other blue shades. Use the fabric as throws or for pillows to add depth and interest. I’ve even framed some smaller samples.
This season, neutrals have expanded to include a full range of browns, from sandy tan to dark chocolate. Brown and navy create a gorgeous tonal balance of warm and cool colors and make a luxurious impression.
Layering shades of a single color is a designer trick I’ve picked up—it creates an elegant, contemporary look. Layering navy on navy, drenching a room with an inky pigment, is striking, has a relaxing effect, and is suitable for bedrooms. Avoid overwhelming the room by adding warm wooden and copper accents.
Lighter shades of blue offer greater contrast. For example, enjoy the punch of turquoise in an eclectic living room, or combine aqua and navy for a tropical island feel.
Include pastel blue for a tranquil, cocooning effect in a bedroom or dusty blue for an elegant, formal living room.
Pairing navy blue with its complementary shade, orange, is altogether punchier than white or neutrals. Combining cool navy blue with warm orange creates a harmonious balance, whichever shade of orange you choose.
Pinkish peach and apricot tones soften navy blue and add a welcome freshness to a room painted in the darker color. I always suggest using orange in a print if you’ve never decorated with this lively shade before—it tends to become a favorite, even for die-hard neutral lovers.
Terracotta, tangerine, and burnt orange introduce a more dramatic contrast suited to Southwest, Mediterranean, retro, and eclectic aesthetics. These shades are on trend and work with other colors inspired by nature, such as mossy green or oak brown.
Bring in orange through accessories, artwork, throw pillows, rugs, or curtains. Add earthier browns to ground the color palette and bring it right up to date.
As with orange, yellow provides a warm balance and instantly lifts the mood. I know it’s never been the most popular color for interiors, but yellow is perfect for sun-starved rooms and is always my go-to for guest rooms.
While combining bright blue and yellow creates a fun vibe for a children’s room, navy blue and golden yellow have a sophisticated, luxurious effect.
Navy blue tones down the brightness of yellow, while yellow enlivens an all-navy palette. Consider pairing navy with spicy mustard or buttery yellow for pops of dynamic color.
I’ve never believed in the adage that blue and green don’t work together—you know, they “can’t be seen.” That said, blue and green are both cool colors, so pairing them in a light-starved space can be somewhat stark. Navy and green are ideally combined in a sunny, airy room.
Combine navy blue with any shade of green, depending on your desired impact. Introducing green to any room infuses it with life, increases productivity, and improves our mood. Bright leafy green, chartreuse, and lime give a navy blue a shot of energy.
Darker green and teal work beautifully with traditional, retro, and eclectic looks, especially if you introduce natural textures and fibers like rattan.
Muted greens like sage are on trend, creating a soothing, spa-like interior suitable for elegant vintage-style kitchens and bathrooms with navy blue cabinetry.
My gran always said, “Pink and blue will never do for all the boys will wink at you.” My teenage self never had a problem with that, and my love of the color combination has lasted.
Navy blue and pink may not seem the likeliest of bedfellows, but they balance each other perfectly: pink loses its feminine, baby doll element and softens navy, which can be flat and cold. Look out for pinks with a warm undertone rather than a blue tone to add warmth to your palette.
If your anchor shade is navy, add freshness through pops of pale pink. This pink functions as a neutral, similar to white or cream. I like using paintings and artworks to add an alternative color to my décor.
For a predominantly pink color palette, use navy accessories to ground the scheme and prevent it from becoming too youthful. Throw pillows and a rug instantly add sophistication.
Navy blue and coral pink create a vivid impression and work well in tropical or coastal-inspired interiors.
I’ve left red until last as I don’t recommend the combination wholeheartedly: if not handled carefully, red and navy create either Fourth of July decorations or a pirate’s ship.
Still, navy blue and red are a classic pairing, especially when you use a deep, saturated red that warms up a dull navy. This balance creates a stylish, eye-catching aesthetic, perfect for farmhouse kitchens and shabby chic living rooms.
Use muted, rusty reds for a Southwestern aesthetic or a rich burgundy for a formal living room.
Navy blue is a classic shade that continues to be popular in combination with white and neutral palettes. Layer different blues for elegant sophistication, or enjoy a pop of yellow or pink. Incorporate this season’s earth tones to update your interiors, but use rusty, muted reds and oranges to avoid overwhelm.
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