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Design Challenge: 5 of Our Stylists Take on Blue & White

Design Challenge: 5 of Our Stylists Take on Blue & White
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There’s a reason blue-and-white decor is a decorator favorite. It can lean modern or traditional, it works in every season, and it pairs beautifully with just about any other hue. To prove just how versatile this timeless color pairing can be, we challenged five of our talented stylists to dream up unique blue-and-white rooms. The only rule? Each had to incorporate the same key furniture pieces. Meet the design teams and check out the results of the challenge below—and get ready to fall for blue and white all over again.

The Key Pieces

Stylist Erika Engstrom and photographer Frank Tribble kick back in their airy, inviting space.

Stylist Erika Engstrom and photographer Frank Tribble kick back in their airy, inviting space.

Trad with a Twist

“A blue-and-white palette goes well with almost every other color,” says stylist Erika Engstrom, who brought in tons of lush greenery (and soft green hues) to give her blue-and-white room fresh appeal. Classic chinoiserie ginger jars, urns, and planters dot every surface; together with the blue raffia-wrapped desk and the indigo floor pillows, they add a touch of global allure to the traditional space.

A collection of chinoiserie ceramics in every shape and size turns the fireplace into a striking focal point.

A collection of chinoiserie ceramics in every shape and size turns the fireplace into a striking focal point.

Indigo stripes add ease to a classic tufted armchair, upholstered in a soft sage green.

Indigo stripes add ease to a classic tufted armchair, upholstered in a soft sage green.

Photographer-stylist duo Ben Reynaert and Manuel Rodriguez fit right into their stylish, laid-back room.

Photographer-stylist duo Ben Reynaert and Manuel Rodriguez fit right into their stylish, laid-back room.

A deep-blue wall highlights the graceful silhouettes of the white lamp and the Thonet-style chair.

A deep-blue wall highlights the graceful silhouettes of the white lamp and the Thonet-style chair.

Preppy Cool

A bold wall color (created with three layered shades of blue) sets the scene for stylist Ben Reynaert’s lively space—and makes the white sofa, lamp, and étagère truly pop. A collection of white pottery fills the top shelf of the étagère, creating a graphic look echoed in the abstract print to the right. Another bookshelf-styling trick? Stacking magazines to create streamlined white pedestals for art and objets.

The navy gingham blanket was the launching point for Ben’s design. “It’s a favorite pattern of mine, and the large scale of the print makes it a little more modern.”

The navy gingham blanket was the launching point for Ben’s design. “It’s a favorite pattern of mine, and the large scale of the print makes it a little more modern.”

Photographer Cheng Lin and stylist Anthony Santelli in their utterly inviting cottage-style space.

Photographer Cheng Lin and stylist Anthony Santelli in their utterly inviting cottage-style space.

Refined Rustic

“Warm, comfortable, and inviting” is how stylist Anthony Santelli describes his blue-and-white room, which marries natural textures with polished finishes and timeless furniture styles. Sticking mostly to serene neutrals, Anthony used blue as an accent color—and a subtle nod to coastal beauty.

On the coffee table, Anthony juxtaposed blue-and-white chinoiserie with antler accents for an intriguing mix of earthy and elegant.

On the coffee table, Anthony juxtaposed blue-and-white chinoiserie with antler accents for an intriguing mix of earthy and elegant.

Photographer Jason Hamilton with stylist Eileen Behnke.

Photographer Jason Hamilton with stylist Eileen Behnke.

Eclectic Elegance

“I love color like crazy,” says stylist Eileen Behnke, “so I was adamant that my accent color be goldenrod—it really pairs well with deep, rich blues.” Yellow chairs and gold-tone metals warm up the cool blue-and-white palette, while pops of pattern (a geometric throw, a floral-print armchair) add eye-catching interest. “Blue and white is a tried-and-true palette,” Eileen says. “The fact that you can get so many variations on the color blue gives you an infinite number of ways to style it. It’s almost a new neutral.”

Buttery yellow makes an ideal complement to the rich blue furnishings, adding contrast and dimension to the seating area.

Buttery yellow makes an ideal complement to the rich blue furnishings, adding contrast and dimension to the seating area.

Photographer Tony Vu and stylist Michelle Wong dialed up the glamour of blue and white.

Photographer Tony Vu and stylist Michelle Wong dialed up the glamour of blue and white.

Michelle filled built-in bookshelves with a medley of worldly objets, giving her glamorous room a well-traveled vibe.

Michelle filled built-in bookshelves with a medley of worldly objets, giving her glamorous room a well-traveled vibe.

Modern Glamour

Bright-pink accents, animal prints, and luxe textures take blue and white to new heights of glamour. Starting with peacock-blue walls, Michelle created a formal seating arrangement with ladylike flair—and just the right touch of edge. “I had second thoughts about overlapping the zebra rug with the Oushak, but the room looked too quiet and needed another layer,” Michelle says. “It ended up being my favorite part of the room.”

Michelle is a flower-arranging pro, but her blue-and-pink bouquet is easy to recreate at home. Simply gather a mix of large and small blooms into a loose bunch—and don’t worry if a few leafy tendrils hang free.

Michelle is a flower-arranging pro, but her blue-and-pink bouquet is easy to recreate at home. Simply gather a mix of large and small blooms into a loose bunch—and don’t worry if a few leafy tendrils hang free.

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Join the Discussion

Join the Discussion

One Response to “Design Challenge: 5 of Our Stylists Take on Blue & White”

  1. Linda McLain says:

    The Engstom/Tribble room is my hands down favorite. Absolutely beautiful!!!!!

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