Decorating with Indigo – This Season’s Hot New Hue for Interior Design

Creativity & Design

It’s hard to think of ‘design’ without the term ‘color’ coming to mind almost instantly. Like many people, I was in love with my crayon box as a kid – one of my favorite crayon colors was blue violet. Becoming a designer meant getting to dabble in color even more, and learning the right times and places to go easy, or go bold. This season, the cardinal rule for color is all about going bold, and what would you know – the hot new hue is a rehash of my favorite old crayon!

In my book, The Art of Space, I explain the seven principles to successful interior design. Chapter five of the book is all about color, and how integral it is not only to creating eye-catching interiors, but also to allowing spaces to affect emotions and promote activity in specific ways.

Just like when we were kids, color still has that almost magical ability to transform things – be they coloring book pages or entire rooms. Adding color is one of the easiest ways to make a statement, balance proportion and scale, define space, and even make a room look larger. And with the typical affordability of a gallon of paint, adding color can also be one of the cheapest ways to make a statement.

Depending on the room and your needs, a painting, throw pillow, or accent piece can add just the right amount of color. Even adding a few books with colorful jackets to your coffee table could do the trick. Or you could go all the way with an accent wall, upholstery, or carpeting. The options are almost endless – especially this season.

Indigo is a unique hue. It’s one of the seven colors of the rainbow, sitting right between blue and violet, and shades of indigo can range from almost-purple all the way to nearly-navy. In pre-modern times, indigo dye was a luxury item; only the richest people could afford clothes in an indigo shade. That might be why, even today, there’s something a little lush and glamorous about adding a touch of it in the home. Have you ever thought about decorating with indigo?

Mary Cook contributed to this story. Cook is the founder and president of Mary Cook Associates. Her new book, “The Art of Space: Seven Fundamentals That Guarantee Great Interior Design” demystifies interior design and makes it accessible to everyone. It’s available on

Photo of Chasing Paper Wall Panels – Dotted Trees from West Elm, shown in Ink. Photo courtesy of Mary Cook Associates. 


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