How to choose the right blue colour paint for your home

Blue is such a versatile paint colour to use in your home
Ombre blue paint effect in bedroom

From living rooms to bedrooms, kitchens, powder rooms, and beyond, there are a league of blues which will envelop your home in colour. Blue can be understated or bold, calming or invigorating, modern or retro, fun or serious. It can be used sparingly, using soft blue accents or bold splashes here and there or you can go for a bolder statement wall or colour drenching

So how do you find the right Resene blue hue for you? Are particular blues most suitable for certain rooms and which can be used to brighten a space or create a cosy feel?

Blue outdoor shower
Green meets blue in this outdoor shower room. The feature wall is painted in Resene Green Meets Blue. Shower wall in Resene Nepal and Resene Sea Fog. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

What does blue colour represent?

Blue. Just the word is relaxing, evoking a long deep breath. Blue is often associated with feelings of tranquillity, peace, and calmness, reminding us of the ocean or the sky. Visually, of course, it’s even more powerful. Blue is a colour that not only advances but also draws us to it. 

Breakfast room with pink accents
In this breakfast room, the walls have been painted in Resene Duck Egg Blue with Resene FX Paint Effects medium mixed with Resene Rolling Stone. Project by Gem Adams, image by Wendy Fenwick.

What is a calming blue shade?

Resene Comfort Zone is a calming shade that provides a restful vibe. A soothing soft blue feels adds an ethereal, dreamy quality to every space and is particularly well-suited for bedrooms. Even the floorboards can be washed in a lovely grey-blue.

How do you create a nautical theme?

If you live by the sea, channel the waves with a range of blues from blue-green hues like Resene Escape and Resene Boston Blue to the more true blue hue of Resene Bondi Blue and the brighter tone with Resene Captain Cook.

How to use blue shades in certain rooms

To avoid overpowering a room with blue, keep the colour confined to certain areas. You don’t need to douse an entire room in blue to make it stand out. Choose one statement piece to feature the hue such as the kitchen island. Sky blue in the breakfast room will make your morning coffee a delight while white accents will help it feel fresh. Then add smaller touches of the same colour elsewhere in the room to help it belong.

You don’t have to limit yourself to just paint. Choose a Resene wallpaper with blue accents then pick out a colour to inspire your Resene wall paint for adjacent walls or rooms.

Breakfast room with a soft minty sky blue wall
The soft minty sky blue in this breakfast room lends an active restful vibe. The wall is painted in Resene Quarter Periglacial Blue. Project by Melle van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton.

How to use blue colour to brighten a space or create a cosy feel

High-gloss paints are a sure-fire way to make a bold statement with a high sheen finish like Resene Enamacryl. Pair with beige and cream to lighten the mood. If you want your walls to recede, try a deeper blue in the matte finish of Resene SpaceCote Flat. Choose a lighter shade of blue if you’re lacking in natural sunlight.

Bedroom with an ombre wall feature
Battens are an easy way to add depth to a room, and by painting them in colours in an ombre effect, you can add softness to the space. Wall painted in Resene Rhino, battens in Resene Half New Denim BlueResene Neutral BayResene Gull Grey and Resene Midwinter Mist. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.

What paint colour pairs well with blue?

Blue is a versatile colour, happy to stand on its own or share the spotlight with other bold colours, like hot pink and olive green.

Strong royal blues such as Resene Havelock Blue, the darker Resene Hendrix or the bright Resene Resolution Blue and crisp Resene White is a classic pairing. Together, blue and white create a fresh but timeless colour combo which will never feel overdone or unexciting. White allows the blue to reign supreme

Try pairing a sky blue like Resene Echo Blue or the softer Resene Dreamer against a hot pink like Resene Pink Panther or the softer but still peppy Resene Ballerina.

 ​​A mid pink like Resene BFF and navy blue also go well. This pairing will keep things from feeling too frilly and light. Perfect in the bedroom of a coastal bach – add blush pink linens to the bed topped with a dark blue bed blanket.

A smoky grey-blue like Resene Smokescreen pairs unexpectedly well with warm wood like pine and rimu.

Combining different blue-green hues like Resene Bismark and Resene Calypso will give a kitchen an elegant beach vibe.

Blue and white living room
This living room demonstrates the power of the classic pairing of blue and white with beige accents to add texture. The front wall is painted in Resene Zinzan while the back wall is painted in Resene Biscay (bottom) and Resene Half Dusted Blue (top). Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.

If you weren’t sure if you wanted to anchor your space around blue before, you probably are now. You can’t go wrong with blue – there is a blue to suit all spaces, styles and preferences – all you need to do is find the blue that is just right for you.

Get inspired by projects from other kiwi homeowners who have decorated with blue, If you need help finding your favourite blue, book a colour consultation with a Resene Colour Expert,, visit a Resene ColorShop or Ask a Resene Colour Expert free online,

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