14 rooms that prove navy blue is classic

What are your associations with navy blue? Named after the colour of uniform worn by the British Royal navy, it’s also Jane Birkin’s (and ergo Alexa Chung’s) jumper colour of choice, the perfect hue for a pair of jeans and the colour of Jimi Hendrix’s velvet lounge suit. A neutral, a classic… did you know that navy blue works just as well in your home as it does about your person? Below are some rooms selected to tempt you into agreement along with tips on how to make navy work.

Navy Blue and pattern

Pattern is a great way to add a colour in a more textured, varied and often subtle way, whether with wallpaper, tiles or printed upholstery.

Farrow & Ball’s Amime, a textured, woven print designed to evoke the idea of Japanese fishermen repairing their nets.


Arcade, a larger scale print for bigger impact. Inspired by the 1940s and specifically the art deco movement.


Tiles, perfect for kitchens and bathrooms are also appearing in hallways, living rooms, anywhere you care to add a feature. Popham pairs navy blue with white – classic – keeping the pattern and colour interest underfoot.


A restaurant in New York’s Soho bearing the name Navy and following a naval theme in its interior. Walls are upholstered in navy and mustard linen or geometric tiles and Semaphore flags from Navy warships have been reworked as room dividers.

Accent colours


India Yellow, Pink Ground, Charlotte’s Locks, Yellowcake

Navy blue as a feature colour

Use navy blue as a feature colour to pick out a single wall or pieces of furniture in a room.


Tapet Cafe marks out one navy blue wall set against a soft painted grey floor. Warmer contrast comes from the gold velvet chair.


Try Muuto for great modern sofas like the handsome Soft Blocks design in navy blue.

Navy against natural wood is classic as this De La Espada scene from Sydney furniture shop Spence & Lydia shows.

Accent colours

accent-colours-navy-rooms-the-chromologistTanner’s Brown, Skylight, India Yellow

Surround yourself with navy blue

Those wanting to go for a full-on dark room, get that paint out and go for it. Here are some great examples of how cocooning navy feels when splashed on every wall.


Crucial Trading’s densely patterned Missoni-esq carpet makes a great partner for navy blue walls  in this study.


Queen of Interiors Ilse Crawford follows the navy theme across walls, velvet curtains and even lamps and chairs in this cosy living room in Das Kranzbach hotel.


French Connection uses shades of tan and softer muted browns against a flatter navy – try Hague Blue for similar.navy-rooms-hotel-providence-paris-the-chromolgis

Bedrooms should be cosy and cocooning – see Hotel Providence in Paris (above) and the Ace Hotel in New Orleans (below) for more information.

Accent colours


Rectory Red, Red Earth, Mouse’s Back

Make navy blue entrance

Make navy blue the first and last thing you see in your home by putting it in the hallway.
navy-stairs-newroad-residence-hostem-the-chromologistFrom the people behind East London’s fashion boutique Hostem, comes the short-stay guest house New Road in a beautiful Georgian townhouse that has the ideal architecture for darker more dramatic colours like navy.navy-hall-berdoulat-breakfast-bath-the-chromologist

Meanwhile, a chic B&B in an historic building in Somerset Berdoulat Breakfast, employs navy blue up to dado height in its hallway. Above this is what the owners call “a complete paper trail history of the building,” to reference its 200 years as a masonic lodge.

Accent colours


Drop Cloth, Charlotte’s Locks

Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist