Living Room

Blues & Greens — My Favorite Color Combo

Working at the condo lately has been really good for me.  It has given me a much needed break from the house, but most importantly, it has reminded me how much I love color, and need color in my life and in my home.  I think in my planning for my living room, I’ve been playing it way too safe.  My condo is a good reminder that safe, for me, is boring.

One thing that hasn’t changed from the condo to the house is my love for just about any shade of blue, green, and blue-green.  I love blues and greens used together, or even mixed together into one color, from the darkest, deepest teal to the lightest aqua and everything in between.

I need to stop playing it safe, because when I see blues, greens, and blue-greens used together in a room with wild abandon, it puts a big smile on my face.  I want to feel that way when I walk into my home.

green and blue decorating - via Quadrille Fabricsvia Quadrille Fabrics

green and blue decorating - via Liberty Cottage Homevia Liberty Cottage Home

green and blue decorating - via HGTV Dream Home 2013 - bedroomvia HGTV

green and blue decorating - via HGTV Dream Home 2013 - bathroomvia HGTV

green and blue decorating - via House & Homevia House & Home

green and blue decorating - via BHGvia BHG

green and blue decorating - via Wayfairvia Wayfair

green and blue decorating - via Horchowvia Horchow

green and blue decorating - Bowley Builders via HouzzBeach Style Living Room by Kennebunk Design-Build Firms Bowley Builders

green and blue decorating - via Bright Bazaar Blogvia Bright Bazaar

I definitely need more color, and less playing it safe.  I’m just having trouble finding that balance between the sophisticated, more mature look that I’m after in the house, while still maintaining the colorful, playful, lighthearted feel that I love so much about the condo.  Is it even possible to have a room/home that is both sophisticated and mature, while also being playful and lighthearted?  I don’t even know.  Even the rooms above seem to be either one or the other in my opinion.  Maybe it’s not possible, and perhaps that’s why I’m having such a creative block with my living room and breakfast room.



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44 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Andrea
    December 11, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Pretty sure it can be done- and you’ll be able to get that perfect balance. My current look is impregnated pet hair and cat barf stains, nothing says laid back and playful like pet hair and barf stains. 😉 *sigh*

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kimberly
      December 11, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      Wow, Andrea, I didn’t know I had a roommate and that you lived at my place with me! LOL! We have the same current look going on! Goodness knows I love my kitties, but I am SOOOO tired of the hair, the barf, and the shredded furniture. I’ve got 3 of them, and am constantly cleaning up after them, I swear kids would’ve been easier!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Linda
        December 12, 2014 at 9:51 pm

        I agree with both of you. I love my kitties as well. But my furniture is kitty friendly, meaning, they use it like their own. I do love all the pictures above, as my favorite colors are blues, then greens, so you have another soul sister 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Darnell Baker
    December 11, 2014 at 11:32 am

    The image from House and Home with the dark teal walls and white fireplace is gorgeous and absolutely a good example of color and sophistication.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chris
    December 11, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Bright colors scream playful/lighthearted as do trendy patterns. Darker colors scream sophistication/maturity. Combine darker colors with playful patterns and splashes of the lighter colors….and I think you cane absolutely make it work!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sonya
    December 11, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I would replicate the image from House and Home down to the last nail, if I could. Stunning.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Robin
    December 11, 2014 at 11:44 am

    You know, you’re absolutely right. And I’ve been doing exactly the same thing. I really needed this reminder of how much I love color. I’m going to start working on the master bedroom shortly and I needed this post. Thank you so much.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    gina
    December 11, 2014 at 11:45 am

    You may already be aware of this, but the fabric used in the picture from Wayfair is the blue/green version of one of the neutral fabrics that you were considering for your loving room drapes. It is beautiful. Just sayin’

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 11, 2014 at 11:48 am

      I noticed that too! I didn’t realize that fabric came in different colorways. I only saw it in the neutral, but not in the light green and turquoise colors.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Syble Mc
    December 11, 2014 at 11:45 am

    I love blue and green together also. I like the bedroom above with the emerald walls and navy bedding. I have that wall in my living room and I use lots of cobalt accents and gold metals. My room is mostly Art Deco in style and I think it is very elegant.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susie
    December 11, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I love color, too….. And have learned that styles come and go….as do color trends….so just do what you like and enjoy your home. It took me years to relax, love my home, and let it be lived in…. I am sad that so many years were wasted trying to be in style. A room that is well done is always in style…right? And everything you do, Kristi, is always well done. Your blue and green plan will be simply grand.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jenn Huber
    December 11, 2014 at 11:49 am

    It seems to depend on the shade – the lighter combos to me seem more beachy and relaxed, casual. The darker, richer tones are more sophisticated. Maybe mixing the darker sophisticated with some lighter casual tones will give you the right mix?

    I LOVE your color combos, by the way! My MIL once said in a rather snotty tone “I don’t know why anyone would decorate with blue.” I knew right then there was a certain dividing line between her and I!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Susie
      December 11, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      You make a great point. A mix of colors and saturations could be just the right combo. The darks seems too heavy to me and the lights …too teen…or beachy. I’m trying to dilute the heaviness from dark yet rich colors right now and didn’t want to swing from one side of the pendulum to the other.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Anne Looby
    December 11, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Sure you can do it! You know your colors, so that is a huge start. Take your kitchen a beautiful shade of green. So you love blue, instead of going with the black idea that you had, make it a navy. Check out Needlepoint Navy at SW. It is exactly what it sounds like. Picture a beautiful piece of needlepoint with navy threads. It is Navy but not sailor suit navy. I have it in my master suite. I am all blue and white with accents of red. However it could just as easily be green. How do you feel about Toile. It has made such a huge comeback, but has always been popular in high end home. I have a friend who did a guest bathroom in green and white Toile wallpaper and got the fabric and made a shower curtain. It is absolutely stunning, but also crisp, clean, and fun at the same time. Try navy walls in the breakfast room with a cream stencil. Do your curtains in a Stripe to make the ceiling appear higher and incorporate shades of blue, green and off white. Paint the floor in the off white and get a really funky rug with your colors. It would be beautiful and blend so well with your kitchen. You can then use your fabulous teal and aqua in the living room, again with the green accent. Stay away from the yellow greens, I think the purplely greens look better with teals and blue. You want to stay in the cool family and the yellow is a warm color. One thing I will say, and maybe you could do this in a bedroom, or even your sunroom, aqua and coral look fabulous together. When we move I am going with those colors in the master bedroom and utilizing a lot of stuff from my living room in the bedroom. Maybe find a floral with green and pinks in it. Pink, Teal, Aqua, Silver and Gold all look fabulous together. I know because that is what I have in my living room and everyone, latterly everyone, from the cleaning ladies to professionals have all said the same thing. It is so beautiful, and at the same time inviting, formal yet at the same time you feel like you could put your feet up. That is because I have multiple ottomans in my living room. Two soft aqua ones in front of the fireplace, a wood and rush one that blends beautifully with two wooden arm chairs and a low round burgundy one that I tuck under my large square glass top coffee table. It gets pulled out for extra seating. I can seat 12 people in my living room, with out bringing in anything extra. You can do it. Just keep your anchors formal. I use Persian rugs, and a formal sofa and love seat, the sofa is a pattern with silvery grey, teal, aqua, pink, burgundy-sounds awful but it is gorgeous. The love seat is a Chippendale Greenish Teal all tufted leather but it works with the sofa. Stay true to the style that speaks to you and the colors that make you happy and you will be very successful at getting the house done. Blessings.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lynne
    December 11, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Blues and greens are by far my favorite colors and I also throw a little saffron and red/rust into the mix because I like the mix. I think what makes a room playful is the hue (don’t know if that’s the correct term or not) of the color, or more specifically how clean or muddy a color is. For example, the last photo from Bright Bazaar is playful with clear colors while the room from House and Home is more serious or sophisticated since the colors are more grayed or subdued. In my case I use the grayer versions of my favorites because I have to work with major pieces that I already have and they are subdued, yet colorful too. For example, I have a mustard tone chi noisier chest that has deep teal, yellow green and rust hand painting on it. I love it for the curved drawers and legs and marble top so I let that guide my colors. I find for me this works although I do get excited looking at room with clearer, brighter colors too but I know that they won’t be harmonious in my home. For what it’s worth that’s my take on the happy/ serious colors.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kelsey
    December 11, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Your kitchen is a great mix of fun yet sophisticated! It definitely has that mature feeling your looking for, but also uses that really bright, bold green 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mis
    December 11, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I think the ‘house and home’ room above is both sophisticated and playful. And looks like it could be your living room with a few personal tweaks. And the more playful and less sophisticated color combos could be used in your sun room or on your outdoor patio-the more casual areas of your home.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Phoebe
    December 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I tend to think that patterns have a greater effect on the sophisticated vs playful scale rather than colours. Think damask for example. Maybe we can have a hunt for sophisticated blue-green living rooms among your readers?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dee Tracy
    December 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    That’s the color palette throughout my entire house and I love it! I think it feels like you’re bringing the outside in. I can’t wait to see what you do with your lovely home!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa E
    December 11, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I think it can be done and I believe the first picture and the bedroom from Wayfair are great examples. BTW the detail on that couch in the first picture is amazing! Maybe you are overthinking things? You always pin beautiful pictures. Find the common thing that is drawing you in and go with it! Besides, I can’t believe what you pick will be your forever decor never to change again. You can go more playful now but not too young and trendy and incorporate more sophisticated later! 😀 Whatever you come up with will be fabulous as always!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    sandra
    December 11, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    When making something you love, your heart will tell you. Half your problem is solved — you know how you want to respond when you come home after a hard slog away from home. Your home is more stately than a condo by virtue of it’s floor plan. Whenever I lived in apartments, everything had to have a dual purpose (ottoman for storage, breakfast bar for food prep and eating, etc.). I live in a big home now and it is quite a contrast — I mean how many sitting areas do I need? Truth is, I only use the same one over and over because it’s the one I can relax in the most (which is the purpose of a sitting area), though I have some great looking ones in my bedroom and living room. But I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s kinda the point — these little vignettes that you can’t do in a small space. So I think maturity comes just by virtue of that (you aren’t at risk of stocking your house with Ikea laminate cabinets like a college co-ed). When I look at pins or google images, I do it fast to see what catches my eye. Then I go back and think about why these ten couches caught my eye. There’s usually something in common — whimsy, comfort, completely out of place color, etc. For my brain, starting with a style term doesn’t compute. I agree that whatever the outcome, it has to feel like home in every way. Mind you, there are lots of rooms out there that I think are beautiful, but I would rather visit them in a hotel than have them here.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    kg
    December 11, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I love that first pic, with your planned new teal sofa to anchor, I think it would be incredible.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue
    December 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I like the combination of blues and greens. Its cool, calming and sophistcated, especially when its accented with white. My most favorite is navy blue and a bright green. Makes me think of summer. Personally, I think you are very sophisticated with your decorating. Color just adds an extra emphasis to it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    LBriscoe
    December 11, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    You definitely didn’t “play it safe” in your kitchen, and it’s sophisticated AND full of color. Stop second guessing yourself and go with your own taste…it’s impeccable!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Bonnie
    December 11, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I agree with many of the comments. I think the deeper, richer colours immediately lend a little sophistication, like that first pic and the Horchow one. Since you have already “fallen for” a deep rich sofa colour, you’ll have the sophistication end covered. Some playful prints, not necessarily in pale colours, would help keep things a little more whimsical. I think you’re already there, or at least well on your way! Your kichen is a perfect example of sophisticated style, without being too, too formal, as in the concrete counter tops, sink, etc.!
    I think of the many gorgeous rooms I’ve seen with deep saturated colour used, along with leopard skin prints here and there, for example.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tracy2
    December 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I think most of those examples are sophisticated and colorful. I think you achieved the look in your kitchen. Maybe you could add some bright shades of blue and green to your breakfast room. Sometimes we get tangled up in titles like “sophisticated” and let it steer us away from the color or style that makes us truly happy. Remember your post about designing for yourself instead of the next owner or some resale guidelines? Stick with that- what makes you smile- you are always successful with that approach! !

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    julie
    December 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    To hell with labels. Just do what YOU love. And it will work. If you want color, lots of color – GO FOR IT! If it’s not thee most “sophisticated” look, so be it. Your house will be unique and personal, it’ll tell YOUR story…and you will smile every time you walk into a room. 😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Skye
    December 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Just throwing this out there – WITHOUT having read all the comments!
    What about using a dark royal or cobalt blue in your breakfast room instead of black? Then toss in your green, blue-green, teal, blue and white and black around the room…
    Just a thought.
    Have fun!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cindy
    December 11, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    When I think formal yet playful I think of Dorothy Draper. She’d use plaster decorations on the walls that were formal but still playful, just like the set for a play. She’d use playful colors on the furniture and stripes on the walls and anchor it all with a black and white checked floor.

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/242842604878994318/
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/62768988528406427/
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/527413806335879910/

    These are just a few of her designs that I’ve always read as formal in a playful way. Check her out on Pinterest and also do a search on Hollywood Regency. You’ll find lots of stuff that reads grown-up in a fun way. Some of the Hollywood Regency furniture reminds me of your kitchen cabinets in the beautiful, grown-up green with the gold accents and the rolling doors you did with the over-sized, interlocking circles.

    Also, I suggest you check out a newer Charming Charlie store. We have one that is less than 2 years old by us. They used navy blue and white stripes on the walls and solid color emerald green and fabulous crystal chandeliers. It’s stunning and very glam.
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/270708627577330816/ (This is not a great picture but it gives you the idea.)

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Bron
    December 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I have a daft question for you. If creative and fun is what you prefer and makes you happy, why are you wanting to do mature?

    I mean if it’s what you really want, some of the suggestions above hit the nail on the head, but, in what I have been reading it’s fun things that bring you most joy. Maybe you are having trouble because you are going against what you prefer?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lauren P
    December 11, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    That is exactly my problem! I’m addicted to color as you can see on my website for my handmade jewelry business! After two years of marriage, I’ve finally gotten the go-ahead to add some personality to our home, but I’m discovering that I’m having a difficult time balancing a bright, colorful palette with my desire to make it look like grownups live there. However, I’ve recently kind of decided that if sophisticated things always seem safe and boring to me, maybe I don’t want to grow up too much yet! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG
    December 11, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    blues and greens are my favourites as well. These rooms you’ve chose are all wonderfully calming to me and I think that’s what green and blue do for me – calm me. I’ve been trying to live with the colours the prior owners of our home chose and while they are neutral – they are not the blues and greens that I love. I’m heading back to the colours I love – glad you are too!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lorraine
    December 11, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    A combination of the style in the House and Home photo and the Quadrille Fabrics photo would give the sophistication and the fun aspect that you are looking for. You already have the white fireplace and your sofa is a similar colour to that on the walls. You could add the detail to your sofa that is in the Quadrille Fabrics pic as well as something similar to those gorgeous drapes. And don’t you have a chair like the one beside the fireplace in the House & Home pic? You could also add more colour and that fun aspect with a similar floor rug to the one in the House & Home pic… good luck!! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melissa
    December 11, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    When I think about your house and where you have gone with the kitchen, barn doors and breakfast room design, I know you are playing it way too safe in the living room. The Horchow, House & Home, and Quatrille Fabrics pictures seem to me to be closer to the look you are actually going for. Have you thought about jewel tones? They could add the drama you want without being too beachy or immature. You can still have light walls, but balance it out with rich, strong colors. Having deeply saturated colors will add the drama and traditionalism you desire. I also think adding a bit of red in the mix would be unexpected as well.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Renee
    December 11, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    I love blue and green together too. Those rooms are beautiful.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    TinaG
    December 11, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    I love blues and greens together too and have been working for the last 6 months to get away from the dark tones and red that I had sooo much of for so long. Everything from deep, saturated colors like navy to the softest of pale greens mixed with lots and lots of white. I love it, it makes me smile, and it calms me down.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Camille
    December 11, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    I desperately need that scalloped nail head trim on the base of that sofa. Do you think it’s absolutely impossible to DIY?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Martha
    December 12, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    I’m really drawn to photo #6. I’m trying to achieve the same as you Kristi, a grown-up yet cheerful, colourful living room, and it’s quite a challenge. I like the wood features of the room which are warm and traditional, but the sisal rug and colourful couch and drapes are casual, colourful and happy. I’m going to study this photo some more to see what exactly it is that’s drawing me in…

    Martha

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen W.
    December 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I don’t believe that mature and sophisticated = neutral colors. I think that’s a way of thinking that magazine editors have been feeding us for a long time. Europeans and Brits don’t follow that law, and I don’t think you should, either! Go with your passion. That will be the true mark of your home.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    janpartist
    December 12, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Hmm, that is indeed a profound personal observation and food for thought. I would have to say in my line of work artistically, that those two desired effects are probably mutually exclusive. The famed Bunny Williams definitely designs with the mature sophisticated feeling evoked and I can’t really recall anything that she’s done that I would label colorful, playful and lighthearted. My guess is you choose a happy balance between the two. I think of all those descriptions, sophisticated has the more absolute boundries.

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