Living Room Color Ideas – Blue and White

What to watch out for when using blue color schemes in your home interiors.


Blue has been a go-to color combination for the nautical theme forever but it has broken out as a big design trend in the recent years. It provides respite from the beige overload we have seen in the last decade. Crate and Barrel has a staple blue mood board. So does the Nate Berkus collection at Target. You can find it at any price range.

THREE WAYS to use a blue color palette in your home-
  1. Go Tonal–  use different tones of light and dark. The other is to build a complementary scheme with blues and teals.
  2. Build a Complementary Scheme with blues, sea green and teals.
  3. Create Contrast with a shade of orange or yellows if you like a pop of color.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR  when using blues.
  • It is a relaxing color. Ideal for lounging in.
  • It expands the space (that’s the effect on the eyes). Makes an area look slightly bigger.
  • It is best avoided in rooms that don’t get direct sunlight (where the window is in the north or north-east).
  • It works great with most shades of wood but is really hard to match with red floors like Cherry.


In this blue and white color scheme – the accent wall is a lighter shade of blue so it provides the anchor point for the darker, almost denim blue couch. The cream Poang chairs from Ikea are pretty easily recognizable.

The artwork is also in shades of blue and white.

The repetition of the two colors in varying degrees creates balance without being too matchy-matchy.

This south facing living room in this rental gets plenty of sunshine throughout the day so the blue does not make this area appear dull at all.This is a contemporary, minimal-ish space it could do with an area rug that helps define the space. Watch out for the addition in the next post here.

Create a Living Room that always gets Compliments

What is the winning combination for the interior design of a living room? Find out.


Putting a good living room together should be a process. I suggest that you get one item at a time, live with it for a few days and then get the next item. Here are three ways to get your living room just right.

Functionality + Style + Contrasts

1. Set Clear Expectations

Would you go to a formal wedding event in your pajamas? I HOPE NOT. The aesthetics of a living room are the equivalent of dressing up for a formal event in a gown, just the right accessories, makeup and high heels. A living room is a public space, like the reception lobby of your office building. The best version of your home.

A family room is a private space meant for extended family members and the closest of friends. The aesthetics of a family room are like wearing a onesie, soft pajamas, and fuzzy slippers.

There is something to be said for those who don’t want to have that distinction between a just-woken-up look and a formal-dressed-up look. Maybe even achievable with ‘athleisure’. If you can pull that off, all the power to you. But your living room is not your family room(unless you have one room for both purposes, in which case, go for the more durable materials in sleek designs for a win-win.)

2. Let your Style Shine

Contemporary, sleek, clean lines or Mid-century Modern or Traditional or Farmhouse. Each of these has different design concepts behind them and appeals to different sensibilities.  Find your style and then play around within that style to ensure that you have a well-put-together look without being a straight-from-a-catalog look.

3. Play in Contrasts. 

Layer up colors in contrast. Light on dark on light. e.g. Dark floor. Light rug. Dark couch. Light cushions. Light wall. Black frame paintings.

Play with alternate textures. If you are going for a monochromatic, monotonal look, play in textures. Wooden floor, Sisal rug with faux fur on top, marble table with a wooden tray with a glass decorative accent.

Finally, set clear aesthetic expectations, then go for your style and then play within that style and you’ll create a living room that will wow your guests the minute they walk in. This will help you create a living room that looks cohesive and playful at the same time.  That is the winning combination that never fails to get compliments.

Bedroom Design for a Couple

What to do when a couple has completely opposite design DNA?
Pink roses on a duvet cover in a golden vase or a blue-grey duvet with a leather headboard?


Decorating the master bedroom can be especially challenging if both partners have a different Design DNA. When one partner has a more feminine aesthetic and the other one likes masculine styles, reaching a middle ground is difficult.

I am wary of using the labels masculine and feminine since we are headed to a more gender fluid society in the future. This post assumes that anyone can prefer one style over the other, regardless of their gender identity. If you have suggestions for alternate words to express the concepts of masculine and feminine, please let me know in the comments below.

Here FEMININE refers to – Lighter colors, pastels, lace, ruffles, pom-pom fringes, sheers, netted sheers, gold trims, floral prints, animal prints, calligraphy.

Feminine elements – flowers, gold accents used in small measure.


Here MASCULINE refers to- dark colors, blues, greys, geometric prints, clean lines, rustic unfinished surfaces, iron, stainless steel, dark metals, stuffed animal heads.

Do you find common ground?

Or do you let one style win? “Let me have roses on the duvet cover in the bedroom and you can have the leather recliner in the family room.”

Depends on the dynamics of the couple. Here is one example where the balanced look worked out to the satisfaction of the couple.

Blue tones, dark wood balance out the slightly feminine paisley printed duvet.


If you and your partner are in the design tug of war and would like a referee, I am here for you. I will make sure that the ultimate winner is your bedroom. Let’s talk.

Amplify the Ambiance of your Bedroom

Aim: To create something as relaxing as a spa.

Lighting + Colors + Candles + Fragrance + Music + Flowers

Relaxing Bedroom Ambience. PC@vaidyanama


Aim: To create something as relaxing as a spa.

Lighting + Colors + Candles + Fragrance + Music + Flowers

Ambient Lighting is called that for a reason. It creates a relaxing ambiance. It refers to not looking directly at a light source like a bulb. Concealed LED strips on the ceiling and lamp shades on either side of the bed are all you need. Have lamps with dimmers so you can adjust the lighting as needed. The lamps in the images emit a warm-orange light that mimics the glow of a bonfire. Just make sure that the bottom of the lamp shade is 20” above the table surface so that you receive enough light when you read. 38 Watts is sufficient for bedside lamps. Swivel-arm wall mounted lamps free up precious space on the nightstand and allow you to redirect light as you curl up in bed reading that unputdownable book.


The lamp further away is lined with orange paper.Notice the difference in the glow.

Shades of Blue are known to be most relaxing. Be it the midnight blue of the sky or pale teal shades of the ocean. If you live in a cold region where winter is a year-round season, go for warm yellows, pale red, apricot, peach, gold tones. All the colors of a cloudy sunset sky work great. If you have white walls,  pick warm bedding colors to add to the glow in the room when the lampshades are turned on.

Fragrant candles can be lit an hour before bedtime to simulate the caveman bonfire. Avoid citrus, peppermint fragrances in the bedroom as they are known to stimulate the mind. They belong in the study room/home office. Go for lavender, vanilla, roses and other relaxing scents. Or add them to a diffuser or linen spray or add the essence to the final rinse while washing your bedding.

Soft Music is tricky because it needs electronics but it can work as long as you Keep them away from the bed, pillow, nightstand.

Fresh flowers are the ultimate luxury. These are best placed on a dresser or side table. Just be careful to place them farther away so that you won’t topple them over with your arm in your sleep.

If you feel that all these steps did not have the desired effect, you can check the layout of your bedroom and remove all stress-triggers. 

How To Create the Most Relaxing Bedroom on a Budget

3 simple steps to creating a stress-free bedroom you can do right now for free: 1. Remove reminders of unfinished tasks 2.Remove electronic stress-triggers 3.Add happy things

POP QUIZ : What do the following people want at the end a long and tiring day: a caveman, Henry the VIth, Elon Musk, Oprah and you?

Any guesses?

To go back to their cave/ bedroom and have a good night’s sleep.

The primary function of the bedroom has not changed in a million years- to be a safe and deeply comforting space. A place to have – peace of mind.

Once you have taken care of the basics of a bedroom layout and all big furniture items are in their proper place and the ‘primal’ mind is at ease, let us focus on catering to the evolved part of the brain. The one that deals with finer design details.

Design psychology takes into account all those decorating details that trigger pain/pleasure signals in the brain. Things around you influence our judgment, attitude, and behaviors in ways that we are not aware of. This idea is based on what cognitive psychologist Daniel Kahneman calls ‘Priming’ in his book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’.

Every item in your room has an impact on your mental state. These objects lead to the subconscious and continuous priming- that is they constantly keep you in a certain state of mind- by triggering specific thoughts associated with them. Now, you can’t control those thoughts but you can make sure your bedroom triggers good thoughts and keeps you in a relaxed state of mind.

So how do you go about creating that?


How To Create the Most Relaxing Bedroom on a Budget

STEP 1- Remove anything that signifies an unfinished task.

Think of the last time you couldn’t help but finish someone’s incomplete sentence. Why is that? Our mind dislikes incomplete tasks. Things around the house are just that – incomplete tasks.  A bookcase with piles of unopened magazines and half-read books triggers remorse the moment you open your eyes first thing in the morning. An ignored treadmill triggers a sense of shame of not using it. A chair piled up of unwashed or unfolded laundry speaks for itself. Bills, credit card statements, legal documents remind you of your responsibilities. These items belong to the study, family room but not in the bedroom. Remove them all. The first step is to get rid of these stress triggers. Your bedroom will instantly start feeling lighter. Just have one book you are currently reading and your journal in your nightstand drawer. Also, if you read books and write in a journal, we should be friends!

How To Create the Most Relaxing Bedroom on a Budget

STEP 2- Remove electronics and work related materials.

The EMF from electronics like the phone, laptop, TV interferes with sleep patterns. The blue LED light that indicates if a device is charging has the most negative effect on the circadian rhythm. Screens of all kinds disturb your sleep pattern. That’s old news, you say? I know! But it is STILL true. Have you tried doing something about it?

If you have no choice and must keep them in the bedroom,(you are in a studio/dorm/bachelor pad) place the devices and charging cables at least 3 feet away from you (so NOT on your nightstand). Get an extension cord to eliminate constraints due to the location of the bedside electric outlet.

We are living in a time when technology is taking over everything and we haven’t set boundaries yet. Once more 10yr studies come out and prove how addictive and harmful it is, we will bracket it with cigarettes or sugar or carbs (take your pick) and be more open about labeling it as an addiction. Maybe, just maybe, your laziness will win over the urge to walk to the other room to pick up the phone and help you reduce the late-night mindless scrolling.

How To Create the Most Relaxing Bedroom on a Budget

STEP 3 – Add happy things.


The good news is that eliminating a lot of stuff (stress triggers) creates space for new things. If you removed the TV from the bedroom, I would like to meet you in person to congratulate you and give you a high-five. Get a cork board or fabric covered board. Hang it on the wall facing the bed. Fill it with happy images that make you feel grateful and inspired. Choose these images carefully. Recalling happy times in the past is a mood booster. But avoid having family photos in the bedroom. This should be the one place just for you (and your partner) without having the feeling of being watched or being reminded of family obligations.

It is easy to find melancholy images like a solitary woman, drooping flowers, somber still-life or art that depicts restless energy like running horses, waterfalls, etc. Neither of these is ideal for the bedroom. The art in the room should depict happy (whatever makes YOU happy) or abstract images. Flowers, serene landscapes, reclining Buddha are great options. If you like certain colors, just frame colored sheets of paper, like I did for this bedroom here. Don’t go for crazy busy patterns. The theme here is restful and calm. Think ZEN.

The ideal location of art depends on the height of the headboard. If it is too high (as is the case in the featured bedroom), hang frames just above the nightstands on either side. For a medium high headboard, hang art in landscape orientation above it.

  1. Removing stress triggers – anything that reminds you of pending work, neglected hobbies, incomplete projects, future responsibilities,
  2. Remove electronics. It may be hard to do initially. You can thank me later.
  3. Add happy images, objects, and artwork.

If you like the idea but have no time/energy to take on the project and would like my help, reach out to me directly on

This 3 step method is the quickest way of creating the most relaxing bedroom without spending any real money. Win win.

About The Author

Richa brings you only the most practical, to-the-point, no-nonsense information that helps turn your house into your dream home. She has a passion for simplifying design concepts that you can actually put to use. She has a degree in Architecture, over thirty published articles, a life blog and has co-authored the bestseller 'My First Home' with Shashank Shekhar.


This #1 bestseller, is written with the sole purpose of making the home buying process easier. This step-by-step guide is full of infographics that help demystify the process of buying and decorating your first home. Get your copy of "My First Home" today.


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