10 Beautiful Blue, Beachy Rooms
“We wanted a house that was vibrant and colorful and full of life in every room,” says Ponte Vedra Beach homeowner Kate Zarczynski. Including the guest bedroom. Designer Andrew Howard delivered just that, painting a wall of built-ins (necessary storage) in Benjamin Moore’s Covington Blue, and then counterpunching that gentle aqua with the strong graphics of a Jim Thompson–patterned headboard fabric. Pillows and linens layer on more pattern, balancing out louder hues with quieter blue echoes, to create a graphic-fueled delight that’s energizing yet relaxing.
Start with a Standout
A shiny turquoise-and-white fridge by Big Chill and a dreamy blue range set the retro tone for everything else in this surfer-haven Sullivan’s Island kitchen. “They’re like sleek sports cars,” designer Cortney Bishop says of the appliances. “The minute you see choices like these, you know you’re off to the races with a very exciting client.” Bishop carried the hip-vintage shore vibe through thanks to a wave-like motif on blue-green banquette fabric by Kelly Wearstler and kitchen countertops reminiscent of sea glass–speckled sand.
Make Formal Fun
Charleston-based designer Jenny Keenan knows the secret of “just enough.” In this Sullivan’s Island guest room, she chose Schumacher’s Askandra Flower wallpaper in Delft to add pattern and formality to the lighthearted-chic space. “There’s dazzling light and greenery and water in every window. You don’t want to distract from any of it,” says Keenan. Note how the teeniest dab of blue in the cockatoo pillows by Bob Collins & Sons punctuates the hue of the headboards and wallpaper.
Go Big in Small Rooms
A Newport, Rhode Island, butler’s pantry becomes much more than serviceable space when it gets dressed to the nines, starting with cabinets painted in deep Cook’s Blue by Farrow & Ball. “I see it as a little jewel of a room,” says Los Angeles–based designer Mark D. Sikes. Slim vertical-stripe wallpaper (also by Farrow & Ball) marries the upper and lower cabinets, while a medallion-print Quadrille wallpaper caps the room like a stylish top hat. “I like to highlight beautiful light fixtures,” Sikes says. “This schoolhouse-style glass pendant draws the eye to the wallpapered ceiling, giving it the stage.”
The centerpiece of this Lyford Cay living room is a rounded rattan sofa reminiscent of one the Duchess of Windsor once had in her Harbour Island home. “When I found it, I knew the living room would have a lot of joy. Along with the vibrant tropical patterns, it would invite conversation,” says the home’s designer, Amanda Lindroth. The rattan’s neutral tone invited her to amp up everything else: Millwork in glossy Baby Seal Black by Benjamin Moore subdues the cheerful, busy patterns of the blue batik upholstery and wallpaper, both by Cole & Son.
Keep It Simple
A classic white kitchen with white marble countertops (Calacatta Arni, in this instance) is classic for a reason, but when designer Jenny Keenan anchors an oversize island in Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy, she braces the clean airiness with bold blue flavor. It’s one clear statement, handsome with a hint of nautical, that plays well with the paler blues in the accent tiles and lanterns in this Sullivan’s Island kitchen.
“I like finding different styles of maps and hanging them throughout the house,” says designer Amanda Lindroth, who spotted charming watercolors of Eleuthera in a local shop and added mats in complementary blues to accent this Harbour Island guest room. “On an island, you often make do with what is around you, which gives rooms a strong sense of place.” But that doesn’t mean skimping on resort-quality touches, Lindroth says. “Bedding needs to be crisp and luxurious. Charming wallpaper gives a room a special, tucked-away feel.”
To capture the old-school essence of a traditional Lowcountry cottage, designers at the J. Banks Design Group gave this Spring Island master bedroom sturdy sea-island bones: gleaming heart pine floors, white shiplap walls and an oh-so-inviting sitting room-screened porch. (Cue the crickets.) Add blue-and-white striped bedding and perky blue drapes, all in classic Wedgwood hues, and the age-old combo feels fresh and crisp and ageless.
Start with a Strong Foundation
California designer Allison Bloom goes bold at the baseline and takes it from there, painting the floors of this Stinson Beach guest cottage—the former music studio of Jerry Garcia—with Benjamin Moore’s high-voltage Venezuelan Sea. Bright white walls and jewel-toned vintage Indian pillows on the Turkish-inspired lounge (a sectional crafted from shipping pallets) zing up the brilliant blue, “adding soulfulness and optimism,” Bloom says, and blending bits of the hippie counterculture from the home’s past with an updated lyricism.
Play with Pattern
Biscuit Home founder/creative director Bailey McCarthy chose a handsome navy linen to upholster the Lee Industries bed, which serves as home base for then playing with pattern and texture at every possible turn in this Texas Gulf Coast master bedroom. Palm-printed wallpaper, Austin bedding by Biscuit Home, and a graphic rug by Dash & Albert each layer on a not-bashful dose of blue, but the ample use of white keeps things balanced. The strength of the navy headboard holds it all together.