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All Hail Hale Navy

Sharing my favorite navy paint colors and how to pick the right blue for your space!

Navy Blue is is such a classic color and is definitely becoming a popular choice for home furnishings along with indoor and outdoor paint. It seems to be taking the dark wall trend by storm as well. When done right, I think that navy can act as a neutral for any other color combo. Gold, silver, copper, woods, browns and blacks can all be used with it! (My black and white + navy nursery is still one of my favorite color combos I've used in a room).

But picking out "the best navy" for a space can be a little tricky even if you are well versed in paint colors!

Here's what I learned while trying out 4 popular navy paints and what to consider if you're bold enough to go BLUE:

I first grabbed three paint samples I felt would be sure winners after researching and pinning these TRIED and TRUE colors -

Make sure to get samples of colors you've had your eye on! What looks great in someone else home might not work for yours. It seems like a no brainer, but you aren't able to see the color against your floor and other items in your house. So while searching and pinning different colors is a great and important place to start, be sure to try it in your space!

For example, I loved this color that one of my favorite blogger's used in her office and was 90% sure it would be the color I'd go with - (1.) Benjamin Moore Westcott Navy.

It reminds me of all the black walls I'm seeing in design because it acts as a beautiful backdrop for the art, shelves, and decor in front of it. It exudes sophistication and this blue is not in your face, but more of an afterthought. I could see my self doing a whole room in this beautiful gray blue -

BUT after putting it on the wall, I realized how CLOSE it would be to our Sherwin Williams Peppercorn island and since the dining room is connected to the kitchen, I had to quickly rule that one out -

*TIP 1: Always consider the other painted items that will be in the same line of sight as the wall you're painting.

For our space, both the kitchen island and bar cabinet are dark grays and so I needed a color to stand out but still look right with those two items.

I grabbed a pillow that had both the peppercorn gray and navy in it and set it next to the island to help me differentiate the two colors a bit more -

So that left me with two of the original three colors I was determined to use -

The next sample I knew I had to have was (2.) BM Hale Navy - I quickly saw that this was a favorite because it pulls both warm and cool tones while still being a bit understated - it's not as bold as a university blue, I'll say, but still navy!

And then I found a dining room accent wall in Hale Navy at the Saffron Avenue blog and still liked it against more orangey floors, like ours -

The third navy I put on the wall was one I'm familiar with - (3.) Naval by Sherwin Williams. This for me, is a "true navy." It is saturated and rich without gray tones in it. I painted both the crib and toddler bed in my boys' room this navy and I love it!

Crib in SW Naval, mixed up with homemade chalk paint

And this show stopper of a living room below could convince my non-blue friends to go navy, right???

BUT here's why I knew Naval wouldn't work once on the wall and here's something to think about when going blue -

*TIP 2 - It has to work with the wood tones in the room. Does the paint color work with the floor color and other woods in the space?

In my situation, I was painting up to the faux barn wood column we added after taking down walls in our renovation and SW Naval was too blue against the floors and wood column.

And do you know what blue paint does to wood floors and columns? It pulls the orange out of the wood!

Without getting too nerdy on you - since blue and orange are opposites on the color wheel, they are their most brilliant when lined up next to each other and so it's something you must think about if painting a wall or room blue with wood tones around it!

***The blue will make the wood seem more orange and the wood will make the blue more vibrant!

So even though I really like SW Naval, it wasn't going to work in the dining room.

And just because I couldn't help myself, I added in a 4th color before settling on the tried and true Hale Navy that so many people swear by (I'm weird, I know, and maybe a bit too rebellious? haha), so why not throw in another option?!

Enter (4.) BM Newburyport Blue -

Here's a great example of BM Newburyport Blue - you can see by my sample above and this beautiful bathroom below that it's almost a "denim" color and is a great option if your'e looking for something lighter -

Even though this is beautiful, I knew it wasn't meant to be in the dining room but for some reason thought I should go a completely different route of the Peppercorn island. And so I did! And painted the wall In Newburyport Blue. I guess because it wasn't originally on my radar? Whatever my reasoning was at the time, the Newburyport Blue was too different from the dark grays and the lighter color seemed out of place.

Phew... sometimes risks are smart, sometimes not so much... so let's just move on and pretend I didn't waste time and money on that pretty light and bright blue... ok, back to the post... and the winner was....

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy for the WIN -

Lastly, sometimes playing it safe and going with the popular choice is okay. Picking out the right paint color can be daunting, and it's okay that others have done a lot of the grunt work before us - use that!

*TIP 3: Always start with recommendations on what color to get a sample of! We have so many great resource like blogs, instagram and pinterest to see the colors in different homes and read about why they work! These colors are popular for a reason ;)

So to wrap up:

1. Consider what other painted items are in or around the space. Both my island and bar cabinet are dark grays, so I needed a color that wasn't too similar but that also wasn't too red and bright.

2. Always consider how the navy looks with your floors and wood tones. Any warm wood will bring out the blue in the navy. Hale Navy had enough cool in it to work with our dark gray island and bar and also worked with the woods we have in our house!

3. Start with the "tried and true" navy that decorators think have staying power, and then use my other tips to get it right!

I hope you found this helpful and please share if you paint a room in navy or any bold color this weekend!


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