Decorating in Blue and White

I don’t know when I first fell in love with decorating in blue and white,  I just know I passionately love it.   We’re talking, a-big-kiss-right-on-the-mouth, love it!   I think it may have started when I found this Ralph Lauren comforter set for my guest room.  I love flow blue transferware and have collected a few pieces over the years, so I guess the bedding reminded me of beautiful flow blue porcelain.  It provided a jumping off point for the color scheme of the room.

Blue & White Guest Room

You’ve probably noticed by now, I love mixing lots of patterns in a room.  It was love-at-first-sight when I came across a blue/white checked chair in the back room of an antique store years ago.  Though the store usually just sold vintage and antique furniture, this day they had a back room filled with odd lots of new furniture.  I get a lot of e-mails asking about this chair and  the matching ottoman.  It was the only one in the store that day and unfortunately, the store has long since closed.

White Ceramic Garden Seat in a Blue and White Room

I’m so obsessed with blue and white, I even decoupaged a pumpkin for Halloween in the same pattern as the bedding in this DIY Country Living Knock-off project.  (You’ll find a tutorial showing how to decoupage a pumpkin (or almost anything) in a pattern you love in this post: Decoupage a Blue and White Pumpkin)

Decoupage a Pumpkin

I was still on my blue and white kick when I came across an “upstairs” family room while on a home tour in Atlanta.  I had never seen an upstairs family room but loved the concept for my then, empty bonus room.  The armoire holds a TV and books and the sofa is a sofa sleeper, so this room also acts as a spill-over guest room when needed.  The trunk keeps pillow, linens and blankets readily available.

Blue and White Family Room with Antique Swedish Pine Furniture

This room is bathed in sunshine all morning long since it’s on the east side of the house.  I wanted to keep that sunshine feeling, especially since I already had a cozy paneled family room on the main level.  I went with a super casual look so my son could enjoy this space with his friends, and enjoy it they did.  If you raise the lid on the window seat there under the double windows, you would still find it filled to the top with board games.

A local antiques dealer (who has since retired) used to make two trips each year to Sweden and Denmark where he hand-picked antique pine furniture to sell here in Atlanta.  I purchased several pieces from him over the span of 2-3 years, having been inspired by the cover article in this issue of Traditional Home.  He was so good to me.  He knew the pieces I wanted for my bonus room, so when his shipments from overseas arrived, he would meet me at his warehouse about 2 miles from my home and let me have first dibs on the pieces he brought back.

Traditonal Home Magazine

 

We were young and were trying to furnish a home on a modest budget so when he had a piece I wanted, he would deliver it to my home and let me pay whatever I wanted as a down payment.  Then he would let me pay whatever I wanted each month.  So, each month, as soon as I was paid at work, I drove to his home about  3 miles away and placed an envelope with a check in his mailbox.  Remember checks?  I don’t know when I’ve last written a check.  Anyway, when that piece was paid for, he usually had another shipment in and the process began again.  That’s how I bought the grandfather clock, armoire and chest in this room.

Why do I share this story?  Because if there’s an antique piece you have your heart set on and it’s just not in your budget, ask the dealer if they will let you pay for it over a few months.  It never hurts to ask and the worst thing that can happen is they say, no.  But they may say, yes!

Blue and White Family Room with Antique Swedish Pine

This was to be my second blue and white room.  Again, the fabric had touches of yellow which worked well with the warmth and patina of the antique pine.  Like my fancy end table?  You can read the story of those giant books in this post:  Recycled Bound Newspapers Become End Table

Bamboo Script Mat

Blue and white feels so clean and fresh.  This is one of the two dormer windows in this room.

Blue and White Dormer Space

I love that blue and white decor is still hugely popular.  I truly don’t ever see it going away.  The next four photos are from House Beautiful online and they are wonderful examples of how beautiful a blue and white color scheme can be.  Notice the few touches of yellow here and there in this room.

Blue and White Bedroom

So love this!  Wouldn’t this be wonderful for a cozy little attic room or a beach cottage!

Blue and White Bedroom

Blue and white can feel bold (like above) or feel soothingly soft like it does in this room below.

Blue and White Bedroom with blue and white wallpaper

This makes me want to paint my red dining room a periwinkle blue.  Love the blue and white toile curtains!

Blue and White Dining Room

 

The following pictures are all from Traditional Home online.  There are two things I immediately notice about this blue and white room: 1. Lots of pattern…love that!  2.  Yellow is sneaky and often finds its way into a blue and white room.

Blue and White Bedroom

Beautiful!  And would you just look at that wonderful brass lantern and the brass sconces on either side of the fireplace.  Brass is back, Baby!  Of course, we lovers of brass know it never really left.

Blue and White Dining Room

I think my hero, Mario Buatta, would love this room.  It reminds me of his amazing spaces.  Notice the garden seat, they are so versatile and this one is standing in for a chair-side table like the one in my guest room.

Blue and White Living Room

I never finished my earlier thought about how blue and white almost took over my home.  I stopped after two rooms but it almost, almost, almost ended up in my kitchen, too.  If I look back through my old kitchen-inspiration-file, I may be able to find the picture I ripped from a magazine of a blue and white kitchen.  As I recall, it had a blue and white design in the tiled back-splash.

I ultimately went with a neutral pallet in my kitchen since I wasn’t sure how a blue and white kitchen was going to work with my green/red family room on the same level.   A blue and white kitchen is certainly stunning!  This one can easily be changed down the road since it’s just the wallpaper and fabric showcasing the blue and white color scheme.  Love the paper!  I’m no longer afraid of wallpaper since I discovered the trick professionals use to remove it.  If you missed that post, you’ll find it here:  Best Wallpaper Remover

Blue and White Kitchen

 Blue and white toile bedrooms have never (and never will) go out of style.  Never. Ever. Never.  (Thank-you, Taylor Swift)

Blue and White Toile Bedroom

Pardon me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard.  Is this not drop dead gorgeous?

Blue and White Kitchen and Family Room

 

More drop-dead gorgeousness!  Is that the Golden Gate bridge in the background?  The chair fabric reminds me of my guest room bedding fabric.  Notice how they have mixed several shades of blue and they all look beautiful together.  Don’t be afraid of the Blue!  I think the ceiling may even be blue.  Love that rug!

Blue and White Sun Room

I love this room…the warmth of the wood, the striped fabric, the button accented bedding, the baskets under each bed and those fabulous lanterns!  It feels practical and sumptuous at the same time.  That’s not easy to pull off!   Once again, blue and white steals the show.

Blue and White Kids Bunk Room

I’m obsessed with the fabric on these chairs, not to mention all the great blue and white transferware.  Again, we see a blue ceiling painted in the prettiest sky-blue color.  Notice how the warmth of the brass and the wood hutch keep the space from feeling too “cool.”  The warm brown of the hutch provides a wonderful backdrop, grounds the space and enhances the beautiful blue and white color scheme.

Blue and White Room

 

Are you a lover of blue and white decor?  Have any blue and white rooms in your home?  If so, I declare you forever in style and forever tastefully classic.  My hat is off to you and your blue and white savvy self! :)




Comments

  1. Well, thank you, for declaring me forever in style and forever tastefully classic!!!! I am a major lover of blue and white…….like you, it threatened to take over my entire home at one point long ago!!!! Then I discovered red, but kept blue and white in each room in some way. Still collect flow blue…….and its the first color combo that catches my eye when I walk in a store…….what wonderful eye candy you provided….thank you!!!

    • You’re welcome! ;) Maybe we need to have a “blue and white” party some time and link up anything that’s blue and white. Would be fun to see it all together in one place!

  2. I like blue and white together it always looks good, but I prefer mainly white with touches of blue.
    Merle….

  3. Each and every room is gorgeous. I love the classic toile. I probably could put one together with some recent gifts I have received from others, but I am going through my green period, much like Martha Stewart did – just about any green is soothing to me. Susan, you quoting Taylor Swift made me laugh out loud. Too funny….

  4. I LOVE blue and white, Susan, and I think I always will. Those were the main colors in our previous house in Greensboro. We just re-modeled our kitchen in blue, white, and yellow — and we love it! Our den, however, is done in reds, greens, yellows, tans, and browns. We like it because it warms the den up so much, and none of the colors or fabrics are bold so they don’t jump right out at you.

    The pictures from Traditional Home online are gorgeous — the blue and white toile bedroom is my favorite.

    Denise

    • I love the toile, too Denise. I love the rooms where the bedding and the walls are toile. It’s a bold look but I love it anyway. Your home sounds beautiful…all the colors I love!

  5. I also love the blue and white, it can look so wonderful in the summer…If I am not mistaken, and I may very well be but I don’t think you have ever done a blue and white tablescape, I may be wrong cause I know you have many blue and white dishes…I better go look again..lol..

  6. We will always have blue and white in our home. I don’t think it will ever go out of favor. And yes, yellow often sneaks in with it too. And red as is the case in our living room. Love blue and white ceramics too. They are timeless, always classic. Thanks for sharing all this gorgeous inspiration.

  7. I feel the same way about black and white ! I am not a blue person but your home is so lovely , I think I could live there very easily! Love your guest bedroom specially. Your mixing with patterns are perfect!

    • Mishelle, such a good point! Black and white is another one of those timeless and classic color combos. Never goes out of style. I especially love black and white tiled floors.

  8. Your home is so beautiful! I also love blue and white, just the way you decorate with it, with touches of yellow. So pretty!

  9. I love all the blue and white, it’s so fresh and clean. But what caught my eye is that you have a darking little doll house in your guest bedroom. I love that touch of whimsy! I only have boys, so no dollhouses here:( But maybe when their rooms turn into guest rooms ha ha…

    Thanks for sharing,
    Christy

  10. Mary from Virginia says:

    I had the cutest blue and white kitchen in my old house (our first house) The wallpaper was from a modern wallpaper book but I loved it. I put my antiques right in and it all mixed so well. I had stark white cabinets. As you can tell I really loved that room.

    I am always drawn to blue and white and blue in general. It it a favorite. I still have blue and white in my bedroom, with some other colors mixed in. I collect blue and white dishes when I can.

    I loved your post and examples of the prettiest blue and white rooms!

  11. I wish I had kept the blue and white toile draperies I had made for a bedroom over 30 years ago. They would be perfect in my guest room, along with the antique woven comforter. Ah, callow youth.

  12. Wonderful photos and ideas, the blue & white combos are so fresh, clean and bright!

  13. Susan,
    Your rooms are just as gorgeous as those from featured magazines, dear friend!!!
    Blue & White is such a classic color combination!
    Having sons…we always had a Blue bedroom. For years the second bath was Blue.
    For the past twenty~five years my Guest Bedroom has been Blue!!!
    …and just this week, I did a tablescape with a hint of Blue with…White!!!
    Inspiring and refreshing post!!!
    Have a blessed weekend!!!
    Fondly,
    Pat

  14. Love this post on blue and white. I love blue and white in decorating. It is so clean, crisp, and always fresh. Throw in a twitch of yellow and some warm brass and you have a cosy, classic room. Timeless.
    Pat

  15. I didn’t know there were any other color combinations-I love any shade of blue–and the shade always works with white.

  16. I adore blue and white. Ironically, the whole downstairs of my house has neutrals, reds and greens…but the upstairs rooms all have blue. I have also been thinking of adding blue to the office I am putting together downstairs. Maybe that will start the switch over down there! Love your photos! Have a great weekend!
    -Shelley

  17. Wow, that was a LOT of inspiration…Gorgeous!

  18. Ahhh, you are a lady after my own heart Susan. LOVE blue and white, not to mention accents of brass and totally agree they are classic mix. ☺
    -Brenda-

  19. Susan, thanks for reminding me how much I love the blue and white that I packed away years ago (shame on me!). I had made some of the prettiest blue and white pillows and a wonderful window treatment … and, yes, they had touches of yellow, too. I am patiently waiting to move back into my home, which I’ve been renting to my son and his family for the past few years. I pinned your guest room long ago and now it will be a wonderful inspiration for my guest room when I do.
    Diane

  20. Yes our bedroom is blue/white, love it always, now familyroom has gone blue, and kitchen has been blue/white for awhile..my most favorite combo ever!!! Sue

  21. Donna Nance says:

    Such a fabulous post with gorgeous, inspiring pictures! BTW, I could just move right into your home; love everything about it, especially your office. Our master bedroom has been Wedgewood blue for quite some time and I was mulling over a color change. After seeing all the beautiful blue and white bedrooms, I’m not so sure now. Blue is so very soothing and of course, classic. Your pattern mix is perfect; maybe that will be my inspiration!

  22. LENDA DAVIS says:

    LOVE YOUR STYLE LADY, THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK. SOOOOOO beautiful. LD

  23. I never tire of Blue and White!

  24. What a lovely way to start my morning viewing the beauty of blue & white. Years ago I had a periwinkle cottage, all your fabulous pictures reminded me of how much I loved the color scheme. Your guest room has always been a favorite of mine. How lucky your guests are.

  25. This post was a feast for the eyes. Blue and white is timeless and beautiful.

  26. Vicki Daugherty says:

    So happy to read about your buying arrangements with certain dealers….. I’ve used that method often over time. Found a shop with many things I could not live without, made friends with the owner/dealer, and they allowed me to put items on layaway! Mostly my purchases were large cupboards, or pricey pieces that our budget could not afford at the time. My favorite was a 7 foot tall wooden barber pole, all original paint, from a small local shop. Our sons needed shoes more than I needed that pole but since my grandfather was a barber in a sleepy town in KY. I ‘had’ to have that barber pole!!! I paid it off in 4 months, that was 25 years ago, and a few years back when we had an appraisal fair at our church, and I wagged it in to be appraised. Imagine my joy when I learned it had appreciated 200% ! Worth every penny!

    • Oh, I love that story, Vicki…you def needed that pole! Wow, what a great investment it turned out to be. Good eye! Yep, I’ve bought a number of pieces that way and never regretted it. Those have turned out to be my favorite pieces and I like knowing my son will have them one day.

  27. I love the look of blue and white for others and your blue and yellow is stunning. Just doesn’t seem to work for me. I guess I am too into tall the colors of nature, the browns, rusts and golds. I do adore your home though, and I always like to see pictures of it. Hugs, Marty

  28. I agree with you that blue and white is beautiful and timeless. One of my girlfriends always, always had blue and white ceramic pieces. She recently got rid of them and is already very sorry.

    We moved into a new house 8 months ago and it has an upstairs family room area like yours. In fact, it is one of the biggest areas of the house. Our kids are grown but still I want the area to be comfortable and inviting. We want to use the space…not just ignore it. I’m glad you talked about yours again today.

    I have a few things in my house that were payed out over time. :)

    • Stacey, that’s the way my bonus is…one of (if not the largest) room in the house. I bet you can make it a dual purpose area if you need that. I added a bit more info to this post today because I realized I forgot to mention the room is also an overflow (second) guest room. The sofa is a sofa sleeper so it comes in handy when I need more bedrooms. It gets used a lot during the holidays and was used a good bit when my son was growing up and having friends sleep over. Just throwing that out there in case it’s helpful. :)

  29. Oh, yes, I share your love of blue and white! We have blue and white in our master bedroom and bath with light yellow cream walls. The only custom drapes I have are blue toile ones for the master bedroom and bath – expensive as heck but I love them. Downstairs I have touches of blue in every room. I love every room in your home Susan. You have such lovely taste. I think it is good to let readers know how you purchased many of your lovely pieces of furniture over the years. You don’t know how I have drooled over your photos loving each and every item shown in your rooms.

  30. Susan these are beautiful pictures. I love, love the blue and white; so fresh and clean looking. My daughter lives in Cumming, Ga. Every time I go visit her and we’re out and about I think…”Wonder if I’ll run into Susan. We absolutely love shopping at the Queen of Hearts. Sometimes I just want to back the truck up to the door and buy everything.

    Thank you for sharing all your wonderful ideas with us.

    Kathy

    • That would be fun! I haven’t been to Q of H in a while. They are about a 45 min drive from me. I think spring will get me back out there…winter makes me want to hunker down inside.

  31. Diane Johnson says:

    I too love blue and white, or blue and almost any color. I enjoy your blog very much.

  32. This was Fabulous!!!! Thank you!

  33. Susan – I, too, love blue and white, but my pieces are packed away! When I had granite installed in my kitchen for the first time, it was good-bye to the blue and white. None of the granite would work with it. I loved seeing all of these gorgeous rooms – thank you!

  34. Now I know why I’m always drawn toward blue & white! Good taste. As evidenced by you. Thanks for this wonderful post.

  35. Susan…love the blue and white..it is such a classic that will never “go out of style”..Love your beautiful blue and white rooms and thanks for presenting those wonderful images….sigh!…

  36. yes it does, I have always had blue/white in the house over the past 39 yrs of marriage, and will continue to have it.

  37. Oops!
    Susan, the only “blue” you can see in my home is the blue included in my U.S. flags (♥) and in some items that are red, white and blue, too! :-) What does that say about me? lol
    Don’t get me wrong: I like blue and white and I love your guest room and your upstairs family room, but in my current home too much blue would be… misplaced… however… you know… I’m dreaming of a cute beach cottage where I certainly would have white furniture only, and more “blue and white” touches, spread here and there… (fingers crossed :-))
    ~Hugs to you~
    Cecilia

  38. Great post Susan. Enjoyed all the beautiful pictures of timeless blue and white décor. I have had blue and white toile on the walls of our master bedroom for many years and I never grow tired of it. I love how you have your guest room decorated. :)

  39. I had a navy blue dining room once and it was striking. There was bright white trim and it really complemented the navy walls. At Christmas I used green and white for my decor and it received rave reviews. I still remember that room with fondness.

  40. Susan, hand up for another Blue and White fan. My bedroom is similar to your guest room in that it has yellow walls and cream metal head and footboards, in a french style and my bed linen is blue and white toile as are the toning cushions. I also did matching decoupage on a chest of drawers and jewelry box. The en suite is a similar theme.
    Also, as I am so enamoured about ocean things, our tented gazebo is all in blue with nautical embellishments.
    Blue and White is so fresh and I always look forward to the Victoria magazine in June/July which is a tribute to Blue and White.
    I am a mixed up person who likes oceans and all things French!! :)

  41. Carol Mann says:

    I am also a lover of blue and white. I live in Florida and my condo has beige tile floors, walls and couches. I have many blue and white pieces and it all looks good together. If you go to Barclay Butara he is a big user of blue and white and I have used some of his great ideas. We are lucky that blue is so popular in decorating now. I recently went to some designer homes and they used blue and white with grey and it looked great ( a light blue) I look forward to your posts every week and Thank you from another fan. Carol

  42. Susan, I too LOVE blue and white rooms/decor. I remember your gorgeous guest room from a year or so ago and I know I thought to myself, and maybe even said in a comment, that I’d love to come and stay at your house for awhile as your guest! :)
    Do you know of the site: http://www.houseofturquoise.com/ OMG! Almost every post has rooms I’d love to have. Every now and then, though…not!
    Stopping here always makes me smile! Have a beautiful Sunday.

  43. Great post Susan! I love blue and white…would love to have a whole room. I have just enough to play with! ;)

  44. I so love blue and white! Can’t wait to finish our home to decorate it with blue and white especially in living room.
    It’s so inviting and cozy.

  45. I have ALWAYS decorated with blue and white, LOVE it still

    I am trying to cover a wall in my bedroom with blue and white toile and have ran out of material and can’t find any more , It Waverly Wedgewood blue & white Country Life, ANYONE know where I can purchase some more .
    I like all your blue and white

  46. My mother loves her blue and I grew up with lots of blue. She has a nice collection of white and blue porcelain things, and many other objects. Some day I may get a few of them but I have 3 other sister’s that I may have to convince otherwise!! I have so much of the warm colors like red, green and golds it’s hard to get blue mixed in, but I do dream on it. I like variety so I’m hard to pin down to one color. I always like your upstairs family room and those Swedish antique treaures make me jealous (since I am party Swedish!).

  47. Susan, this blog made me swoon. Thank you for all the research and sharing.

  48. Hi Susan, I too am a lover of blue and white and yellow! Iit is my favorite combination! But I could use some advice–I married a man 41 years ago who went to NC State University who’s color is red, and raised his daughters to hate the rival blue of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill! He practically bands blue form our home! LOL
    Well, that was one thing when we were young, now its my turn! Our living/family room is still red, red furniture, accents, etc. But I’ve begun to collect blue china, candlesticks, accent peices, etc! Once, when my kids were in college, I redecorated a guest room in blue and white with touches of yellow! I used to go in there and just sit and soak it in sometimes! LOL Then my daughter moved back home and brought her black and white scheme with her! Woe is me! LOL Any thoughts? I love the porch ceilings, maybe I could paint our screened porch ceiling blue! We’ll see, you’ve inspired me , more blue is in this home’s future!

    • Go for it, Helen! I bet your hubby will change his mind when he sees how beautiful it is. That’s too cute about him all but banning it from the house. Men are too funny about their sports!

  49. Susan, congrats on this first issue of Postcards! This is lovely & I know I’ll be looking through everything again & again. I LOVE the blue & white pumpkin & will be adding that to my future projects. I’m proud to say that I am a blue, white, yellow person!! I use those colors everywhere in my house (& add pops of red) & love how timeless they look, how fresh, how happy. When I had to buy a new couch 3 years ago, I remember searching & searching for a blue one. Quite a few furniture dealers told me blue wasn’t fashionable anymore; can you believe that?! This has been a wonderful post to brighten up a very dismal Sat. morning. Thank you!!

  50. Susan, I am obsessed with your photos. Every one is so lovely. This post was one of my favorites. I am also in love with what looks like a painted window with a rabbit that is hanging in front of the window in your bonus room. Was this a DIY or a purchase? Would be so much fun to do for a DIY project.

    • Thanks, Karen! I found the window many years ago in an antique shop on the Marietta Square. It is handpainted and is signed in the corner, “Janet Moses 1998.” I Googled her name once and found some info about her…she is apparently an artist. I remember the antique dealer saying she purchased the windows (she had several in the store that day) from an artist in Florida. The checkered blue pattern reminded me of the chair fabric in this room. The east sun shines brightly through that window in the morning so I thought it would be a fun place for that piece. There are so many old windows now for sale in thrift stores and antique shops since a lot of folks are changing their windows out for more energy efficient one. I bet you could paint one! Wonder if Ms. Moses is still painting.

  51. I did a recent post on blue and white rooms, and in fact had a picture or two that are the same as yours! Another pic (not from moi) (bridge in background) was on FB and opinions were asked and lots of people thought it was too much blue. Of course, we all know you can never please everyone!
    Love your story about the antique dealer, and your chair is charming! Isn’t it sad that so many great stores like that are dwindling? :(.
    I love blue and white too, although I don’t have any of it currently, I will some day ;).

    • Doreen, you are so right…no way to please everyone so we just have to do what we love, don’t we? I never tire of the fresh look of blue and white. I think the economy has been hard on the antique dealers. It makes me want to go shopping this weekend to just give them my support. :)

  52. I just found you a few weeks ago, and I find myself, daily, checking to see a new post. I too, love blue/white, been collecting for close to 25 years, and have quite a collection. Kudos to you, you are so creatively clever. Regards and Best to you, I admire you so much.

  53. June A** says:

    Gorgeous collection! It was so good to see your guest room, family room and pumpkin again! I couldn’t believe that I didn’t have them pinned–was that before the days of Pinterest?? ;D

  54. AS you know I LOOOOOVE blue and white and have loved seeing all these images. I think mixing dark wood furniture with blue and white is gorgeous. Loved this post!!!

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