Designing with Color: How to Use Navy in a Kitchen or Bath

Posted October 14, 2019 by Katlyn Droke

Step away from the builder’s beige, greys, and taupes: this is your kitchen color guide for a bolder choice — navy. We’re talking about a true navy. One that isn’t too cool or warm, too blue or too grey. It’s bold but not too bold, it’s beautifully deep, and it elicits a feeling of strength with a hint of mystery. Navy is quickly becoming a new neutral, as it offers a very adaptable canvas for a wide range of design and decor. It’s a color that grows with you, not one that you’ll likely want to change as the style or trend disappears in a few years. This guide will offer our Top 3 Renovation Ideas and Top 3 Decor Ideas so that you can decide just how navy you want to go. 

Get to know enigmatic navy with our Top 3 Renovation Ideas: 

Kitchen sink with details of flowers, dishes, and a navy tile wall
Navy can add a unique touch to any tile layout.
Image: Fireclay Tile

BOLD: Tile

Add depth and unique appeal to your kitchen or bath with a shiny or matte navy blue tile. In the kitchen, a backsplash with shiny can become a beautiful showpiece. A matte tile offers a protective yet appealing backdrop that meshes well with almost any decor and design. The best thing about tiles is how easy they are to clean, and the navy color draws less attention to messes and stains (like when your preschooler has a little too much fun while helping you make dinner). 


Dinning room with a modern rustic feel with white walls and one wall with a pop of navy
Transform a room with a touch of navy to a wall.
Image: Interiors By Color

BOLDER: Walls

Imagine the coziness and strength that navy wall can bring to your space. Walls are the perfect place to test a color because they’re not as permanent as other renovations. Offsetting any darkness is also easy to do with the right kind of lighting. But if a solid swath is still too much, try stripes with white. Stripes add just the right amount of depth without making a space look smaller. Plus, they’re fun and inviting. With any kind of navy wall, you have the perfect canvas that can adapt for any season.


a small white kitchen with gold accents and navy cabinets
Add a modern look to any room by making your cabinetry the boldest navy.
Image: The Spruce

BOLDEST: Cabinets

One of our favorite emerging trends is choosing non-standard colors for cabinets. A matte navy shaker can maintain a traditional feel with some nouveau appeal, or a high-gloss modern cabinet adds a contemporary look to any kitchen renovation. But it’s not just about buying a full set of navy-colored cabinets, it could also include painting their interiors for a pleasant blue surprise or choosing an island (or standalone wall/base set) to be an ‘accent’ piece. Imagine having open shelving on a navy background and how the color will let your dishware shine. 


Get a little more navy in your life with our Top 3 Decor Ideas:

a navy colored cooking pot on a wooden counter top
Be bold and stand out with navy cookware.
Image: The Blue Door

BOLD: Cookware

Kitchen accessories is a not-so-bold way to incorporate your new favorite color into your favorite space. Cookware is especially a now common place to get creative with color. Whether they’re hanging from a ceiling-mounted pot rack or on display in open shelving, they’re sure to make guests ooh and ahh when they visit. It’s a creative twist on the standard steel, and it shows your love for cooking. 


an all white kitchen with navy furniture accents
Get cozy by bringing navy to the table.
Image: Bedroom Furniture

BOLDER: Furniture or Seating

Take a look at your dining nook or at the seats that belly up to your bar and imagine those spaces with a little more navy. Should seats be reupholstered or wood chairs painted? Or maybe the dining table could leave the traditional browns behind and take on a cool new navy hue. Either way, navy blue welcomes family and guests alike and asks them to get cozy.


a navy bath accenting a bathroom
A new way to add a pop of color to your bathroom or kitchen.
Image: Awesome Bathroom Accessories

BOLDEST: Appliances or Bath Fixtures

Another emerging trend we’re seeing in customer homes is the shift from stainless steel appliances in kitchens or white porcelain fixtures baths. Kitchen appliances are starting to come in unique colors, and it’s now possible to get colored fixtures like sink pedestals. Navy is the perfect color for homeowners who want to make a statement, but maybe don’t want to make one that screams for attention.

So now the question is: how navy blue will you go?