When we think of neutral colours we typically pick out very basic colours such as white, black, grey, occasionally brown and beige, not bold dramatic hues. You may have heard that navy is the “new” neutral, or some other such hype. Navy blue has always been a neutral. I dare you to bring forward a colour that doesn’t situate well with navy. When writers or designers suggest that navy is a “new neutral” what they mean is that navy has been experiencing a resurgence in popularity over the past decade. To me navy is both a classical traditional colour, which harks back to centuries of design history and up-scale living, as well as an a edgy modern chroma. Hence why I painted a focal wall behind my dining table navy blue.
In the recent past there has been some conflation of navy blue with a preppiness, if not plain conservatism. We can boil that association down to some simple factors, not limited to banks, yacht clubs and golf courses, or more complex reasons such as it’s soulful depth. Navy paired with stark white is an obvious staple, but to me it’s too commercially coastal in look—and therefore seasonally restrictive. Consider the softer aesthetic of navy paired with wood tones, metallic hues like golds and brass, creamy off-whites, the greens and browns of nature, glossy black and the greys of textured matte vintage steels.
Navy blue is one of those great colours that can take you from the lush greens of spring to the bare natural tones of winter with nary a hiccup. I think it’s neither masculine nor feminine, easily styled to suit any personality and can strike a great balance in a house that is home to people with conflicting senses of style. We went with Benjamin Moore’s Downpour Blue, but there are a ton of great navies out there.
Clockwise from top left: PPG Paints – Tang Blue, Farrow & Ball – In The Navy, PPG Paints – Shimmering Sea, Glidden – Rich Navy
I don’t want to give away all the juicy details yet, but I will share a few little peeks from our reno to sate the curiosity, since I did bring it up. Enjoy, and keep an eye out for the full reveal coming soon to a blog near you.