If you've never painted a room, you might be forgiven for thinking "blue is blue." These twenty-five shades, selected for those painting guest rooms, prove that blue is a lot more than just blue. From the gentle Glimmer to the dark, grayish Outerspace, blue can be a startlingly versatile color.
This is probably the most fun part of designing your guest bedroom: selecting the right color. This is what’s going to make the room pop, and create the mood you’re going for. Here are twenty-five of our favorite blues for guest rooms:
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Luxe Lilac (N560-3)
A gentle, understated lilac color bringing to mind the season of spring. It’s just a really nice color to wake up to. Your guests can sleep right on the floor and still wake up in a good mood if this is the first thing they see. Pair with some live plants and some gentle greens, purples, and yellows to really capture that sense of April and May.
An even subtler take on lilac, leaning a little towards grayish-purple for a classic, nostalgic sort of look. Here we get that nice Springtimey vibe, but the stone-like feel lends some versatility you won’t get with most lilacs. It suits a Springtime look but can match a Summer or Winter decor just as well depending on what you’re going for.
Simply Blue (PPU15-16)
A light, sky bluish color, Simply Blue is one of the most versatile blues on this list. The way it captures light is dazzling. If you have a sunrise-facing or sunset-facing window, this will really make those reds and oranges sing. Even if you’re not a morning person, it’s worth waking up early to see how the sunrise plays on these walls.
Coastal Vista (PPU14-06)
A more somber, dark shade of blue, Coastal Vista brings to mind those beautiful northwestern coastlines you see in Washington, Portland and Northern California. Beachy, but not tropical. The kind of coastlines that just look better on overcast and rainy days. This is a heavier shade of blue than most of the entries on this list, but it’s not dreary.
Alpha Blue (M520-5)
A vibrant, playful, but not garish or tacky shade of blue. If you’re into having fun, this is the shade to go with. Works just as well in a guest room as it would in a pool house or resort hotel by the beach. Alpha Blue is admittedly not the most versatile color, but if you want to go bold with your guest room, you can’t ask for a better shade of blue.
Peaceful River (P500-5)
Another fun shade of blue. This brilliant, pastel shade brings to mind, what else, peaceful rivers. Think back on the best camping trips you had as a kid, hours spent fishing or rafting on lazy lakes and rivers, this shade captures that feeling perfectly. Fun, but relaxing. Loud, but undemanding. Something about this shade just makes you want to leave your worries behind.
Deep River (P500-6)
Deep River manages to appear both deep and bright at the same time. If you were painting an underwater scene, this is the color you’d go with for the backdrop. This is a great option if you’re looking for something that’s vibrant without being distracting. Deep River suggests an aquatic theme for your decor, but can be just as neatly paired with modernist furniture or a mix-and-match approach to your color scheme.
A mature, understated, but not dreary shade of blue. Tidal proves that you can incorporate a little blue into an Autumn-inspired theme. This is a great shade of blue to pair with antique furniture and wood tones. Works just as well for a guest room as it would for a home office. This color says: Yes, this is a tasteful, well-decorated home, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to have any fun.
Brittany Blue (M510-4)
A strong, but subtle shade of blue. Brittany Blue is a versatile shade that combines the best of all blues. It’s a mature, tasteful shade, but not boring or too serious. It catches sunlight well, but has a personality of its own. Brittany Blue isn’t a bad choice if you’re still deciding on the decor and you want to keep your options open. Whether you’re going with a classic or modern look, whether you want to do blue-on-blue or you’d like to mix it up with some reds and whites, Brittany Blue’s got you covered.
Rhodes is the color you see in your head when you remember being a child and looking up at the clouds, picking out shapes, for hours on end. It’s not exactly the color of a real sky, it’s the sky you see in your imagination. Put simply: We love this one. If you want to create a guest room that eases your guest’s worries, that really gets them in the right mindset to kick back and enjoy themselves, Rhodes is the one to go with.
Waterfall (SW 6750)
A freshwater-inspired tone with just the faintest hint of turquoise. Waterfall offers a neat, clean sort of blue. It’s versatile, but it also lends a breezy, Summertimey vibe to any decor you want to pair it with. Waterfall is the sort of blue you’ll see on Hawaiian shirts, but not the tacky ones. This is strictly silk-and-cotton stuff, the sort of Hawaiian shirts you could just as well wear to a business meeting as a beach party.
Tame Teal (SW 6757)
Tame Teal is just what the name promises. Teal is a beautiful color, but not the most versatile. If you’re doing Miami-influenced art deco, you can’t ask for anything better than a nice bold teal, but for a guest room, it can be a bit much. Tame Teal takes classic teal and just cranks it down a notch, so you can enjoy that beautiful greenish-blue without feeling overwhelmed by it. Put simply: This color puts Teal back on the menu for those of us painting interiors.
Surfin’ (SW 9048)
A playful name for a playful color, this is about as Summertimey as it gets. This is the color of Beach Boys songs and pool parties and long weekends spent on the beach. If you’re going with Surfin’, we’d recommend playful decor to match the vibe. Maybe a framed movie poster for Endless Summer II and some tiki items? This is the color you want if you’d like your guests to really loosen up and enjoy “getting away from it all.”
Uncertain Gray (SW 6234)
If you’re looking for gray with just a hint of blue, Uncertain Gray is a tasteful choice. An elegant, mid-tone gray that blends well with almost anything, but is perhaps best matched with a modernist design approach. Perhaps the keyword here would be Metropolitan. It’s great for a guest room, but perhaps best suited for a Madison Avenue boardroom circa 1964.
Faded Flaxflower (SW 9146)
Uncertain Gray is gray with a hint of blue. Here’s blue with a hint of gray. A light, mid-tone blue that captures a sort of late-Summer feel. The color of a cool September sky. Versatile and simple.
Dark Night (SW 6237)
Now here’s a color that is not versatile. Dark Night isn’t for just any guest room, but if you want to make a bold statement, will, this is a color that makes a bold statement. In certain lighting, Dark Night looks almost black. And yet, it’s somehow still kind of cozy and inviting.
Come Sail Away (846)
Source: Benjamin Moore
A pale, breezy, light shade of blue, Come Sail Away could be called Yacht Club Blue. This is the color of elegance and taste, the finer things in life, and understatement done big. We’d recommend Come Sail Away for minimalist, or maximalist rooms. Cut back on the furniture and keep things simple for a beautiful Edward Hopperesque sparseness, or take advantage of the simple appearance of the walls to pack your shelves with sea-themed knick-knacks.
Source: Benjamin Moore
A very The Little Mermaid sort of aqua-blue color. Any shade of blue will lend itself to an aquatic theme, but Poseidon demands it. This color may be a bit much if you’re not going to commit to fish tanks, scuba gear and miniature submarines decorating the room, but if you really like the whole underwater vibe, you couldn’t ask for a more fitting shade of blue.
Source: Benjamin Moore
Flora is an almost granite-like shade of blue with just a hint of aqua-green. You know when someone’s eyes are blue, but not quite? This is that color. A nostalgic shade perfect for an art deco project. This is the color of old New York or classic Hollywood, upscale restaurants and ballrooms. Classic and big, but not imposing.
Whispering Spring (2136-70)
Source: Benjamin Moore
Whispering Spring is one of the most accurately-named blues on this list. The blue in this shade is so soft you’d almost mistake it for white if you didn’t have any white nearby to compare it to. This shade has just the faintest, well, whisper of a Springtime blue, like a blanket of snow gently graced by the April sun through parting clouds. Okay so we’re waxing poetic, but see if you can resist the temptation to do just that in a room this color.
Moonmist (SW 9144)
Moonmist can be compared to the color of an Easter egg with a single layer of blue dye. A very gentle, easy-going shade of blue, with the slightest hint of gray just peeking in to give it a touch of complexity. A light, versatile shade, but sophisticated enough to make even an empty room look stylish and tasteful. This would be a good choice if you want to keep your options open, that is, if you plan on changing the decor now and then but would rather not repaint the whole room every time you do.
Freshwater (SW 6774)
Freshwater is a strong color, but not overpowering. Sherwin-Williams cranked it up to eleven with this one, then dialed it back down to a six or a seven. File this one under “Not all that versatile.” If you want to use a color like Freshwater, you really need to commit to it. Our advice: If you’re struggling to pick out a theme for your decor, start by painting your walls with this color, and then go from there.
Outerspace (SW 6251)
With a name like Outerspace, you might be expect some deep purple or almost-black blue. The shade is a strong one, but not that pitch-black night-sky the name suggests. It’s more like the lighter spots in the Milky Way. A grayish color, but with a strong presence of blue, and surprisingly flexible, whether you really want to go with the outer space theme, or you just want a tasteful, grayish blue to offset your oak dresser and rolltop desk.
Glimmer (SW 6476)
You could almost call Glimmer Barely Blue. If you want to go subtle, like, over-the-top subtle, subtle to-the-extreme, this is your shade. This almost-white shade has just a hint of grayish-blue. This color is versatile, but it’s sort of wasted on decor where you might as well be using white. Our advice: Use this to add just a hint of sophistication and complexity to a guest room with a light-colors theme. Pair it with white furniture and light-gray sheets for a simple, clean sort of look.
Still Water (SW 6223)
A medium-dark, grayish shade of blue that somehow manages to look kind of colorful. If you’re going for a darker shade, but you don’t want your guest room to look oppressive, this is a good option. The color lends itself well to lighter blues, with the Sherwin-Williams website suggesting a Topsail trim (SW 6217). To that we’d add that it goes well with dark earth-tones, as well.