Inspiring Interiors

Cool blues with white.

I’ve never thought of myself as being a blue person, really, but lately I’ve been noticing a lot of white interiors with smidgens of blue here and there winding up in my inspiration files.

L: Sköna Hem; R: Hus & Hem

Clipper Street Residence, envelopeA+D

I’m really, really tempted to rip off this paint job exactly in this nearly-identical room in my house. Is that creepy/lame? The paint color is Benjamin Moore Pool Party.

Clipper Street Residence, envelopeA+D

L: Sköna Hem; R: Orla Kiely’s house, Grazia Living


Pieces wallpaper from Hygge and West

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  • Reply erin lang norris May 6, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I hear you on the whole blue thing…I never thought I’d be a convert but now my bedroom has a lot of blue tones (mainly slate and a dusty light blue) and it’s really calming.

    I say you should totally use that photo as inspiration in your almost identical room! It would look great! Would you paint the walls a cooler tone as well or leave them as is?

  • Reply whitney May 6, 2009 at 11:16 am

    That Clipper Street residence is incredible, god. I look at the whole house and am drooling right now.

    I like the blue + white theme. Maintains the same freshness that an all-white interior brings but is a little less scary to me.

  • Reply whitney May 6, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Also, my two favorite rooms in my house are blue (a light light color and a bright, surfy blue) and I did not expect them to my faves when I picked out the colors.

  • Reply cupcakes and cashmere May 6, 2009 at 11:18 am

    that staircase! sigh. reminds me of a red runner painted down the stairs in an issue of domino.

  • Reply Anna at D16 May 6, 2009 at 11:21 am

    erin: My walls aren’t as warm as they look in that photo – it’s just the bad lighting. The walls in that room are actually the same white that I used here.

  • Reply Karrey May 6, 2009 at 11:27 am

    I’d say copy the room, except I’d be very sad to see the entire fireplace grate blue. It probably wouldn’t look quite as nice being black with a blue border or whatever, though. I love ornate pieces that are inky black.

  • Reply Live a Colorful Life May 6, 2009 at 11:53 am

    First off, it’s not that I don’t like blue. But I love your room just the way it is. And I agree with Karrey, I don’t think I would want the grate painted blue. But that’s just me….and her.

  • Reply katie May 6, 2009 at 11:54 am

    i agree with karrey, i really like the blue fireplace, i just don’t think i’d paint the grate.

    i’ve also been loving blue lately. it started with the kitchen (which is light gray and white), i put a few blue accessories in. and now i just painted our guest room a very deep navy color. it was kind of an implusive decision, but i love it, esp. since i have lighter furniture and all white bedding and curtains.

    as always, love all of the inspirational photos 🙂

  • Reply Sarah May 6, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I kind of like the blue fireplace. With the right surrounding items it could look great (as it does in the photo). And if it turns out you don’t like the color you can just paint it again.

    That said, I have been envying the photos of the Clipper Street residence since I saw them last week…partially just because I love San Francisco and am jealous of anyone who lives there, let alone in a gorgeous house.

  • Reply Emily May 6, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I don’t think it’s creepy Anna. I rip stuff off from your house all the time! :), imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

  • Reply heather May 6, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    All so pretty – I love that Pool Party blue especially.
    I need that wallpaper.

  • Reply Melancholy Smile May 6, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Love the color combos. Blue and white are so calming, refreshing, and crisp. I say paint the fireplace- grate and all. Somehow it loses it’s impact if you don’t include the grate.

  • Reply Tatyana May 6, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Funny you mention blue. Our new place is all white and black and I’ve wanted to add some aqua or light-blue pieces as accents. My husband thinks I’m nuts, of course. I wish I would know what the blue on the staircase is; it’s exactly the color I was looking for.
    As for appropriating the color scheme in your house: you should do it. Who cares? No one would know – well, except us. 🙂

  • Reply Anna at D16 May 6, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Karrey/LaCL/katie: I don’t think I’d like the blue color on the fireplace if the grate were still black — too busy for me. The only reason I like the blue in this application is BECAUSE of the uniformity! 🙂 For what it’s worth, the grate is already painted, that’s not bare iron. It was painted white when we bought the house, and I painted it black.

    LaCL: Actually, that room looks like this right now, so I’m pretty sure you don’t like it just the way it is. 😉

    Emily: Okay, now I want to see what you’ve ripped off from my house! 😀

    heather: I’m planning to use the silver version of that wallpaper in my upstairs hallway!

  • Reply lauren alane May 6, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    haha i agree with emily! i think i have six eames chairs now thanks to this blog!

  • Reply Emily May 6, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    I’m a really slow DIY-girl so all the thing I’ve been ripping off are still in process but I’ll let you know when they’re done. 🙂

  • Reply elizabeth May 6, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    for a second I thought it was your hallway…. I love the wall paper!!!

  • Reply Judith May 6, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Anna,

    I found your blog just yesterday and love it… and will certainly use quite a few ideas I found here once I have more space (or before). So, using a design-idea for your room is not creepy at all in my opinion.

    Also: reading back I’m checking out quite a few links and found that the Conran Fez flat weave rug from the bathroom-rugs-post is currently reduced to 200$ from 250$ and those grey boots you so love are also on sale – 37% off. Thought you might like to know that.

    Thanks for your great blog.

  • Reply jennifer in sf May 6, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I don’t think it’s lame or creepy. That room looks gorgeous.
    I just had a similar realization about myself and green.

  • Reply Judith May 6, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Ok, reading carefully helps… The Boots? Apparently only in Navy and size 5.5. Sorry.

  • Reply lisa May 6, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    creepylame? who cares! i would totally copy the Clipper Street Residence front door. especially that house number font!

  • Reply Tanya May 6, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I think the fireplace would look good painted a color more in tone with the first photo (of the stairs). I would wait to do the grill until after you paint the fireplace to see if you like it/need to. But don’t be afraid to paint the grill.

  • Reply The Subtle Rudder May 6, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Ugh, can I just say how ravaged by jealousy I am over that stupid clipper street house with all its RIDICULOUS COOL? There they are, young and rich, living XXL in my beloved old city, while I’m stuck in the midwest, with an old barn of a house full of quartersawn oak trim I can’t paint. Seriously, jesus would weep again, and probably take it out on my chihuahuas. Plus, I’d never be able to sell the behemoth.


    Thanks for letting me rant.

    Also, I love this post. I’ve been all about the blue lately, and I never would have forecast these newly oceanic tendencies of mine.

    PS: Your house also makes me jealous, but then, I know how hard you’ve worked on it, so I can love it without getting all dire and shouty.

  • Reply maggie May 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    i just started following your blog and love it! it is so inspiring. i was excited to see that you posted my friends clipper street home on here. their house is insanely beautiful, they have impeccable taste.

  • Reply Stephanie May 6, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I’m delurking because I love every single shade of blue and think it would look great in your house. Paint the fireplace; if you end up not liking it, you can always repaint it.
    I’m very tempted to copy Orla Kiely’s bedroom once I rip out the sheets of fake wood paneling (shudder) that cover the bedroom I currently inhabit.

  • Reply Live a Colorful Life May 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Okay, you are right. I probably wouldn’t love your room just the way it is right now, but it’s sure got some cool stuff in it! And right again about painting the whole thing, grate included, for uniformity, and because it’s already been painted. So, revised comment: go for it! Your house totally rocks.

  • Reply Dan May 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I think it’s great both ways, but the photo definitely makes that blue appealing! It might be a fun thing to do now, have it for the summer, and if you’re sick of it by the fall paint it back. No harm in trying, right? I used a sort of similar color (mine’s more turquoise-y) to paint in a weird little shelf nook in my hallway, and with the walls painted the BM Moonlight White, it looks really fresh and nice.

    I love the wallpaper in the last picture!

  • Reply Tamisha May 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    I don’t think it’s creepylame. Why do you think you have us readers? We’re all looking for inspiration. I’m not overly fond of blues in general, but I think we’re going to be painting the front door of our new house in a Greek/Mediterranean blue to go with the white mediterranean style house and I’m in love with that blue door.

  • Reply Shayna May 6, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    no no, it’s called “inspired by”…that’s what you’re supposed to do. find great ideas and incorporate them into your own home…

    we happen to have two very blue rooms. a lovely turquoise bedroom and a very blue bathroom. i love the turquoise, the bathroom is slowly growing on me (it was the one specific color request from the boy and had to be followed…).

  • Reply Dewi May 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    “Inspired by” is indeed the correct expression.
    It’s only paint!
    Go for it.

  • Reply .amanda. May 6, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    oh that blue in the entry way is breath taking!! I think it would look great in your home, esp in the winter months, it will remind you of the sea!

  • Reply Keri May 6, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I love blue and the links are so inspiring! I would love to have that blue fireplace, too!!

  • Reply edwina May 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    love it , but only in an all white seting

  • Reply sarah May 6, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Love the pool party color!

  • Reply Stacey May 6, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    I agree, I am loving that blue entryway especially.

  • Reply Abbey H May 6, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    I have a bunch of the same images bookmarked and immediately thought of your house when I saw the image of the hall. Go for it!

  • Reply Gwen May 6, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    I absolutely LOVE touches of blue in a home. I have a deep navy blue couch and my eating nook is a turquoise blue color called Tropical Spray. It goes well with my collection of cobalt blue depression glass. Anna, you have your own distinct style and anything you do in your home will be uniquely yours. Every artist has received inspiration from another and you will do the same. You really can’t go wrong with a coat of paint and it is always fun to change it later. I actually have a salmon wall in my bedroom and it is going to be changed verrry soon. Happy experimentation!

  • Reply catherine May 7, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Funny you say that because I don’t think of myself as a blue person, but after seeing the picture below, I have been seriously considering buying some of those chairs from ikea and painting them blue.

  • Reply catherine May 7, 2009 at 6:30 am

    Funny you say that because I don’t think of myself as a blue person, but after seeing the picture below, I have been seriously considering buying some of those chairs from ikea and painting them blue.
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  • Reply Fiona May 7, 2009 at 7:17 am

    No, it’s not creepy or lame. It’s just inspiration. That said, I love the color of the fireplace, but I don’t like that painted grate, either. I know what you are saying–it’s probably too disjointed to not paint the grate, but maybe the grate could be white? Or more simple? Or you could just ignore me, since everything you do looks great. 🙂

  • Reply Josh May 7, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I love a deep azure and white. It reminds me of the Spanish or Greek coasts along the Mediterranean, with their whitewashed houses on the hills overlooking the blue, blue sea. Add some terracotta and you’re set. The pastels on the other hand, blech. Of course, I’m just adverse to pastels.

  • Reply Elaine May 7, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    I love the blue but I also love your fireplace the way that it is, despite currently being hidden by sofa et al.

    I’m sure whatever you decide to do will look great, it always does.

    Have you made any decisions on going all white with the upstairs floors?

  • Reply PhillyLass May 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I say go for the blue! We’re all getting ideas and inspiration from each other– your place is definitely making me feel bolder about implementing my fondness for black and white.

  • Reply Livi May 7, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I prefer the white!

  • Reply E May 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm


    I almost died when I saw the shootfactory room a while ago.

  • Reply esther lee May 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Oh man! My favorite.

    This is gorgeous.

  • Reply jaboopee May 7, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    gosh! i haven’t been by for a while and you’ve gone all colourful? whatever is going on?

  • Reply Katja May 8, 2009 at 8:54 am

    The 3 first images are gorgeous!!!

  • Reply Down Comforter May 8, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Beautiful photos – I love the on featuring the blue patterned fireplace.

  • Reply malo May 8, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I think blue is a complicated color. I love it in pictures like these but in real life it can be kind of sensational in the wrong way if you know what I mean (excuse my poor english). But if – with the right light – there are no color more beautiful. Although tones to me are more important than colors.

  • Reply malo May 8, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I meant still, not if. Sorry.

  • Reply Anna at D16 May 8, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Malo: I know exactly what you mean, and that’s exactly why I’m a little bit afraid to proceed with the “Pool Party” on the fireplace….

  • Reply christiana May 10, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I’m completely IN LOVE with the idea of your fireplace and grate being the same color! What if you painted the fireplace and grate the same color in a medium grayish tone? Seems like that would still look so stunning and modern, without the scary commitment to such a dramatic color 🙂 Although, that tone of blue is fantastic! Hmmm…

  • Reply Alicia May 11, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Anna, do you happen to know the color and finish of the WALLS (the white) in the room with the blue fireplace? I am getting a new apartment, I want to paint all of the walls that exact, gorgeous perfectly-white white, thought maybe you’d know or at least have any suggestions on paint. Thanks!

  • Reply Alicia May 11, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Nevermind they’ve responded to my e-mail! It’s Benjamin Moore Brilliant White.

  • Reply joanna goddard May 14, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    so pretty! i love these very cool blues. xo joanna

  • Reply Caroline of Red Glasses February 8, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I actually held my breath when looking these photos, they are SO gorgeous. I love blue & white decor, I think it is one of my favourites! Thanks for the post, really love your blog by the way!

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