Home design ideas: A carefully considered shade of blue helps turn a staid den into an all-day haven

The objectives for the den in this Newton Colonial were contradictory: It needed to feel fresh and invigorating in the morning, but warm and cozy at night. Sarah Henley’s solution? Painting the room in Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue. “This intensely saturated blue is both bright and rich,” the designer says. “The room is luminous in the daytime, but moody after dark.” Painting the walls and woodwork the same color also made the space feel cohesive. “Before, navy walls and white trim made the room look choppy and disjointed,” Henley says. “Now it’s a beautiful jewel box.”

1 The clean-lined, walnut coffee table made by Kurt Piper Woodworking in the Pioneer Valley coordinates with the existing walnut bookshelf. “This element helps balance the traditional New England feel with a contemporary moment,” Henley says.

2 Henley matched the sofa’s chenille upholstery to the wall color so it would recede, thereby making the room appear larger. She also changed the decades-old, high-quality piece from a frumpy, overstuffed three-seater to a more welcoming two-seater.

3 Throw pillows made from Peter Dunham printed linen stay true to the room’s blue color story, while ones made from a Zak + Fox cotton-jute in an offset stripe with embroidered detailing pull in rusty red tones from the rug.

4 Henley rearranged the client’s nautical prints into more interesting groupings. “We love the way the gilt frames pop against blue backdrop,” she says.

5 The client’s pair of swivel chairs were treated to new herringbone upholstery, while their antique chair found new life with camel leather chosen to contrast with the walls.

6 The antique Heriz rug is from the Steven King showroom in the Boston Design Center. “We tried a bunch of different rugs once everything else was in and this hit it out of the park,” Henley says. “The warm tones and the blues were spot on.”

Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to [email protected].

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