Move Over, Navy—This Vibrant, Bold Blue Is Officially Taking Over As The Most Popular Color

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WORDS BY Rebecca Deczynski

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Published on June 14, 2022

If you want to add a touch of color to your space without veering into maximalist territory, blue will always fit the bill. This timeless hue is a tried-and-true designer favorite for obvious reasons — it functions as a neutral while adding just enough personality to any space. But, while navy used to be everywhere (seriously: navy couches, bedding, paint, pillows, and beyond), we’re seeing a brighter alternative on the design scene: cobalt blue.

This vibrant blue has become increasingly popular over the past few years, starting in 2020 when Pantone named Classic Blue—“a reflective blue” that “brings a sense of peace and tranquility”— its color of the year. Since then, we’ve continued to see more and more bold blues make their way into inspiring interiors.

Cobalt blue | Decorating with blue

And there’s good reason for that: Cobalt is bright and saturated enough to stand out when compared to more neutral tones, but it’s a bit more versatile than other jewel tones. In fact, in a recent survey of more than 750 interior designers by the retailer 1stdibs, cobalt beat out navy as the most popular blue for 2022.

The best thing about cobalt blue is that it makes a big impact, even in small doses. While a blue like navy tends to read more classic, cobalt is more distinctive, playful, and charming. If you’re looking for a pop of color, consider one of these on-trend pieces selected by Havenly designer Kasee Smith for your “something blue.”

1. Astrid Mid-Century Modern Chair

Cobalt blue | Decorating with blue

This cobalt blue chair is a real statement piece with its luxe texture and rich hue,” Smith says. Consider pairing it with a more neutral-colored sofa so it can make a greater impact. Its curved silhouette makes it feel especially of-the-moment. 

2. Anthropologie Throw Blanket 

Cobalt blue | Decorating with blue

A good throw blanket brings an instant feeling of coziness to any chair, sofa, or bed. The floral pattern featured on this cobalt blue Anthropologie number makes it great for layering with neutral and colorful palettes alike.

3. Abstract Line Artwork

Cobalt blue | Decorating with blue

Especially if you’re renting and don’t have the option of painting your walls, a colorful print is a great way to liven up your space, Smith says. If you want to create a gallery wall, pair this cool cobalt blue print with other artwork that incorporates similar shades of blue, or complementary colors, like warm oranges, reds, and terracotta. 

4. Mark D. Sikes Lamp

Cobalt blue | Decorating with blue

Lamp shades are a great (and unexpected) way to bring color and graphic prints into your space. This cobalt blue option is well-suited for either a nightstand or an end table. “Treat this as you would a patterned throw pillow and let it play its part,” Smith says. 

5. Cotton Sari Silk Pillow

Cobalt blue | Decorating with blue

This gorgeous textured pillow is simple enough that it can mingle well with other throw pillows, but still interesting enough to stand on its own. Consider placing it on a light colored sofa as a colorful cobalt blue accent, or try some texture-mixing by pairing it with a leather accent chair. 

6. Paris Blues Bed

The Inside Modern Platform Bed In CERULEAN FRIDA

Upholstered beds are real statement-makers—especially when they’re made with striking patterned fabrics. This cobalt folklore pattern is simultaneously playful and chic. Paired with crisp white bedding, it’s the foundation of an impeccable cobalt blue bedroom design. Consider weaving in pops of yellow for a twist on tradition.

7. Cobalt Blue Ceramic Bowl

Cobalt blue | Decorating with blue

“Adding a decorative bowl like this one to a bookshelf, table or buffet cabinet will make a gorgeous vignette feel layered and intentional,” Smith says. To create that layered look, pair it with a taller vase, a stack of books, or even some leaning artwork—the goal is to mix up your heights and textures. 

8. Cube Ottoman

Cobalt blue | Decorating with blue

Ottomans are all about function—but that doesn’t mean they have to look boring. This cobalt blue option boasts a playful cabana-inspired print that makes it a stand-out piece – especially for the summer season. You can use it as extra seating in a living room around a coffee table, or even put two of them together at the end of a bed. 

9. Wine Glasses

Cobalt blue | Decorating with blue

Don’t underestimate the impact that vibrant drinkware can have when you’re entertaining. “Using colorful glasses adds so much dimension to a place setting with textured placemats, or even on a brass bar cart, paired with some plants,” Smith says. Especially if your go-to dinnerware is on the neutral side, these cobalt blue glasses can level-up your dining table.

From color trends to perfecting room flow, our designers are chock-full of expert tips. Start with our style quiz to work with a design pro one-on-one.

Words by Rebecca Deczynski