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Color Crush: Cornflower Blue

As of lately, my heart has been drawn to the most perfect shade in home decor, cornflower blue. To be honest, I’ve steered away from blue interiors for years now. It can often feel instantly nautical and overdone. However, I can’t deny the nostalgic feeling of the European countryside. With its deep history in interior design and chameleon like ability to transform a space, this diverse blue is my current color crush.

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Butterfly Meadow Cottage 4Pc Dinner Plates

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Warm Blue Gingham Linen Duvet Cover

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Dingo 1969 Full Bloom Leather Cowboy Boots

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White Linen Cloth Scallop Napkins

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Rifle Paper Co. Luxembourg Wallpaper

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Voluminous Belted Midi Dress

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Caravan Gingham Linen Napkins - Set of 4

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Scallop Sateen Sheet Set

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Hettie Embroidered Ruffled Top

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The History of Cornflower Blue

Originating from the vibrant blue petals of the cornflower plant, cornflower blue has roots in interiors from Arts and Crafts period of the late 1800’s. The focus at the time was on craftsmanship and simplicity, and cornflower was embraced as a symbol of nature and natural materials. It was often used in textiles, wallpapers, and pottery, adding a refreshing touch to homes (Hello, William Morris Marigold in blue).

Right now I think the shade is having a bit of a renaissance. Its versatility allows it to be incorporated in various design styles, from modern to traditional. In minimalist interiors, it can be used as an accent color to create a focal point or provide a soothing backdrop. In more traditional or eclectic spaces, cornflower blue can be used in larger quantities, such as color-draped adding a sense of depth and character.

My favorite use of cornflower blue is in a more modern setting. Specifically, leaning in to historic nods while combing with more graphic elements like coral checkerboard tiles or pops of chartreuse piping. Below are some of my favorite spaces that demonstrate the many applications of cornflower blue in design—in some less expected ways.

Paint The Trim

For example, by no means do you have to go all out with cornflower blue for it to shine in your space. In this space by Avery Cox Design, the saturated trim pairs beautifully with warm wood tones and earthy reds. The blue hue is carried over into the armchairs and pillows used in the adjoining sitting room.

Avery Cox Design | Lindsay Brown

Just Swap A Few Pieces

Gone are the days of the all-white kitchen. To begin, even if you can’t fully commit to painting the walls a soft blue, work in some powder blue furnishings. Take a queue from this Hamptons kitchen by Chango & Co, which boasts a set of five chambray blue barstools. Susana Simonpietri’s team embodies bold color in the most sophisticated way.

Chango & Co.

For a transitional look, paint your kitchen cabinets a powdery blue and accent with more modern hardware. I love the timelessness this guest house kitchen has – it feels decidedly English and the color palette will stand the test of time. One trick to make it not feel too coastal? Dark contrast with walnut details and slate floors.

Heidi Caillier | Harris Kenjar

Emma Ainscough | Christopher Horwood | House & Garden

Opt for petite accent chairs so you can introduce seating that’s both eye-catching and extra plush. Julia Miller of Yond Interiors went bold with oversized blue mohair lounge chairs. The art deco lines make these vintage chairs feel totally of the moment. In the unexpected cornflower shade, they remain modern and sleek.

Yond Interiors | Amanda Birnie

Yond Interiors | Amanda Birnie

Fully Commit To The Blue Hue

Touches of cornflower blue are scattered all throughout this enchanting English cottage decorated by Emma Ainscough. Further, you’ll find stripes galore, painted blue built-ins, and lush cornflower blue bedding. I love a quirky ceiling detail, and this bathroom is a prime example of cornflower blue done right.

Emma Ainscough | Christopher Horwood | House & Garden

Emma Ainscough | Christopher Horwood | House & Garden

Powder Blue As A Stain, Not As A Paint

Here, a more muted cornflower from Dutch designer Joris Van Apers can almost pass as gray adds intrigue to a spacious apartment. I adore the cornflower blue as a stain, rather than an expected opaque paint.

Joris Van Apers

Joris Van Apers

More Is More When It Comes To Blue

While many people associate soft cornflower blue with more minimalist, serene spaces, but the color can shine in maximalist rooms, too. This primary bedroom by Studio Munroe features swirled wallpaper accompanied by a painted ceiling, which draws the eye upward. Again, the color contrasts wonderfully with wood and rust colored pieces.

Studio Munroe | Thomas Kuoh

Additionally, soft, French blue walls like these would make a stylish statement in so many different rooms of the house: Use them in the primary bedroom, dining room, nursery, and beyond.

Heidi Caillier | Harris Kenjar

Ask yourself, why not implement a cornflower blue built-in into your living space? In this home, Anja Michals of Anja Michals Interior Design opted to cover custom built-ins in Farrow & Ball De Nimes, topping them off with stunning white oak that complements the California cool space.

Anja Michals | Vivan Johnson

Further, even rooms that are rooted in neutral can benefit from a pop of cornflower blue. In this cozy living space, Kendra Murphy of Kendra Murphy Interiors made use of a darling duo of striped pillows, which brighten up her chic boucle accent chairs.

Kendra Murphy Interiors

Get the look with a few of my fave cornflower blue home accents (and a few fun fashion finds!):

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BY: ANASTASIA CASEY

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