In The Navy

Our study painted Farrow & Ball ‘Hague Blue’. Leather office chair: West Elm. Side table: La Redoute (sold out).

Navy has always been my favourite colour – it’s just so chic. However, I’ve never really been bold enough to use too much of it in our home interiors. Before now, that is.

Because currently, my answer to every colour scheme/wall paint/furniture colour is “how about a dark blue?’. Yes, it’s a very dark colour, yes we nearly always have to turn the light on when in this room (it’s okay, we have a lovely light) but I love the cosy tones of a deep, rich blue – there’s an almost Dutch painting quality to our study and I love it.

After we painted this room, we made the decision to paint the hallway even darker, using ‘Railings’ for the bottom half (up to the dado rail) and then white upwards, and then our bedroom will be white with dark blue skirtings. I also love the idea of painting the doors of a light room…

The hints of blue are great for when you’re not too sure on how much to commit – our front bedroom gets so much light and I wanted to keep it airy, but after a pure white bedroom in our last flat I knew I wanted to integrate some darker tones. After staying in ‘Lokal’ in Philadelphia (THE best hotel for interiors style) I was truly inspired.

Loved the light palette with dark skirting boards…

I’m also looking at Dulux’s range – ‘Sapphire Salute’ and ‘Breton Blue’ are both favourites, we’ll be trying Breton Blue in the ensuite – a small room but with natural light so think it will be able to take the darkness.

Images: Dulux

And I’m in good company, as when I put this post live, an email popped into my inbox from Farrow & Ball with almost the same concept (you can see their imagery here).

Brass and wood help to really compliment navy, and I love the pairing of modern light fittings with mid century furniture – here are a few things I’ve been looking at lately:

1. Blanket: £34.99, H&M Home.

2. Brass light: £199, Marks & Spencer.

3. Print: £96.73, Lola Donoghue at Etsy.

4. Brass curtain rail: £34.99, Wickes.

5. Washed linen curtains: £34.99, H&M Home.

6. Sideboard: £411.75, La Redoute.

7. Raffia basket: £19, Oliver Bonas.

8. Velvet cushion: £6.99, H&M Home.

9. Glass dome: £17.99, H&M Home.

10. Velvet pouffe: £85, Ikea.


  1. Lovely! I am embarking on decorating our new home (Victorian terrace) and was considering using dark blue and / or teal for some “wow” factor. This has confirmed it! x

  2. Hi Alex have been following your blog for a while now -it’s great! You have such style. I love navy too and have just decorated our bedroom with farrow & ball Stiffkey blue and navy Cole & Son flamingoes wallpaper – I was a bit apprehensive but am delighted with the end result. I am looking forwards to seeing your new renovations

    1. It’s so great when it all comes together – we’re thinking of doing our side gate in Stiffkey Blue (I’m just so excited, now we’re in a house, to have so many options of things to paint!!) x

  3. Love your posts on home decoration. Yours looks lovely!
    We are into it as well, especially in Farrow&Ball paintings (it is even a kind of a madness, we are in the boutique every spare day! the colours, the quality,..) And strong by this experience, i totally agree that this blue, as well as other dark bold colours, give a lot of relief and personnality.
    Bon courage for the rest of your renovation! and for new beginnings ??

  4. Looks stunning. I’ve always wondered how well a dark colour would work in small rooms – doesn’t it make them feel even smaller?

    1. I read an article years ago about a tiny apartment in New York, the living room was painted dark brown. It seemed to make the corners disappear, making the room look larger. I seem to remember a lot of mirrors too, so that light was bounced around more.
      What do you say Alex, do you get a feeling of more space than there really is?

      1. So interesting about making the room appear larger – we painted the skirting boards to help show off the height of the room – and actually Kate from Mad About the House suggests mirrors, especially in a small dark room xx

  5. I thought I would never wear navy blue again as it was the colour of my school uniform! However, like you, I now love it and wear it a lot. It’s much softer than black and seems to bring out the colour of my eyes too. So well done for being brave with the paint. I have always had a secret longing for dark blue walls but still working on that. Maybe a feature wall is the way forward for me? It all looks very stylish and I love the Oliver Bonas basket too. Very good value for this current trend.

  6. I love your office, and the idea of dark doors.
    I’ve seen a great guest toilet with a feature wall in dark patterned wallpaper, and the ceiling, other walls, door, skirting etc painted in the same shade. It looked so dramatic, and a good way to try out a dark room as you dont spend too long in a cloakroom!
    I’ve been stalking blue interiors on Pinterest for ages now, not sure I’ll convince my OH though! I would love a feature blue wall in our bedroom, it would look great with our walnut furniture and vintage washstand , not to mention our bedding in shades of blue and red.

  7. Just wondering where you sourced your parquet? Trying to find a suitable parquet for our living room that is vaguely affordable! Love the blue.

  8. Alex, I love your interior updates! I’ve a regular 3 bed semi in Dublin. I’ve just painted my downstairs bathroom in Benjamin Moore Graphite I even did the ceiling! I finally bought my first Lola Donoghue canvas this month Pink Ladscape, her work is amazing, I think the canvases are super quality. And then get them stretched and put in a tray frame . Karen in Dublin x

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