Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Summer Living Room Blue Decor

Thursday, July 22, 2021

With one major new blue purchase and a little rearranging of existing furniture, the living room has a fresh look for summer. The color scheme is still pale blue, but the room feels brighter, more airy, and more cohesive than before. 

Summer Living Room Blue Decor
Fresh flowers are a guaranteed way of making any space feel brighter during any season of the year. New lavender plants in an old rustic blue box are perfect for my favorite French Country style in July since this is when fields of lavender plants bloom in France. 

Allowing the large box to fill the coffee table, with only one French antique fence finial as an accent, keeps the flowers centerstage and the room clutter free. If you missed the last blog post all about the lavender plants in the blue box, see a link at the end. 

S U M M E R   L I V I N G   R O O M  

B L U E   D E C O R 

Cohesive  Color  Palette

Summer Living Room Blue Decor
One way to keep decor unified and cohesive is to choose the same color palette to use in all rooms that are visible to one another. Periwinkle blue paint, on all the sheetrock walls in most of the first floor rooms, sets the color scheme for my French-inspired country home. Furniture and accessories in the same color family make it easy to use pieces in more than one place and in more than one room. 

Handmade raised wood panels in the dining area, open to the living room, are painted a little deeper shade of periwinkle blue. 

The white-washed oak plank floor works well with the blue walls to create a timeless blue-and-white color scheme background for the whole house. Blue and white checked upholstery on the sofa is pale enough that the sofa still looks good even though it is faded from strong sunlight that streams into the room through a two-and-a-half story palladian window wall opposite the fireplace. 

Summer Living Room Blue Decor
The pale blue French-style mirror over the hand-carved mantel is not new. A few years ago I painted the wooden frame around the new mirror with layers of blue and white in the same family of periwinkle blue as the walls. One thing I have learned over the years is to buy wood pieces in the style you like and to use paint to change the color to one you like. 

Summer Living Room Blue Decor
A grouping of preserved boxwood and a gold-painted metal olive branch wreath will stay on the mantel until fall or later. 

Summer Living Room Blue Decor
The natural light wood tones on the mantel and the French wood mirror accents blend with the posts, beams, and ceiling of my post and beam country house. One thing I would do differently about the house  from when we built it would be to lightly white wash all the exposed wood to make it similar to the coloration of the carved wood mantel. White washing would have prevented the posts and beams from darkening into the orangey tones. The mantel was installed the same year the house was built, but has not turned the orangey color of the posts and beams. 

Furniture  Rearrangement

Summer Living Room Blue Decor
The old navy swivel leather chair that moved around the living room has been donated to another home. 

Two of the upholstered chairs that previously sat around the breakfast table in the sunspace now sit side-by-side along the window wall opposite the fireplace. French Country style dining chairs with carved frames, cane backs, and upholstered seats now sit around the antique French Country breakfast table. 

Summer Living Room Blue Decor
These chairs are comfortable, easy to move, and take up very little space making them great extra seating in the living room. Two more matching chairs sit on either side of the large white china cabinet in the dining area adjoining the open floor plan living room.  

Summer Living Room Blue Decor
A live ivy wreath sits in a blue and white striped ceramic flower pot. A china salad plate with a blue ring around its rim protects a hand painted blue and white side table. The small table has a shelf below the top and is another piece easy to move wherever needed. 

Years ago while I was working on my master's degree in mathematics during summers at the University of New Hampshire, I found an artisan who bought old furniture and hand painted it to give new life to the old pieces. Her business was a combination of custom-ordered painted pieces and pieces she rejuvenated to sell in her shop. She had an old garage stacked full of second-hand furniture with good structure and style that customers could browse through to find pieces for her to custom paint. Living in New England, she found beautiful old furniture, not antique quality, to paint and to sell at very reasonable prices. This small side table was less than $200, including the custom painting. One day I will share the French provincial style desk she painted for me. 

Major  New  Purchase  

Summer Living Room Blue Decor
A beautiful new wool rug in soft blues, whites, and grays has made the biggest impact on how the living room looks this summer. Previously there was a dark blue and white diamond patterned 4'x6' rug in front of the sofa. The new rug is 5'x8' and fills the space better. 

The soft blue colors go with the overall color palette much better than the previous dark blues did. 

Summer Living Room Blue Decor
A closer look reveals the variations of the blue and white threads in the background of the rug's pattern. A darker blue outlines the floral patterns and creates a wandering outline. 

Summer Living Room Blue Decor
Can you believe this beautiful rug came from Home Depot? 

Often, for me, my favorite new decor finds happen by chance when I was not looking for the specific item. This summer I am focused on finding materials and products for remodeling the second floor bathroom. Several new bathroom items came from online Home Depot which means a long list of emails confirming purchases, providing electronic receipts, and tracking shipments. In other words, Home Depot communications almost on a daily basis. 

Which translates into targeted ads on social media websites I visit. 

A new rug was not on my things-to-buy list this summer, but when an advertisement popped up with a photo of this rug, I knew the rug was perfect for my living room. I also know how hard it is to find that just-right shade of pale periwinkle blue in a rug. After weighing pros and cons, I squeezed the price of this new rug into my careful budget. More at-home hotdogs this summer; fewer take-home restaurant meals. 

Decorating is ever changing, but I think the new rug will stay for years to come. 


Safavieh 5'x8' Rug - Home Depot - Several sizes, designs, and shapes - no affiliation 

French Country Dining Chairs | 6 Features - See details for the dining chairs that replaced the upholstered chairs.