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Through the process of researching our September Color of the Month and compiling inspiring interiors and decor in this shade, I came across some pretty interesting online debates that verged on hostile. Apparently, defining this color can stir up some heat. Surprising for such a peaceful color. (You’d think we’d picked fire engine red.) Is it possible that a greater internal struggle surfaces not when asking “To be or not to be” but rather…

…what is the difference between “indigo” and “navy”? And which blue is a true indigo blue? Various shelter magazines and home decor stores have called all of these blues…indigo…

Indigo – Blue - HGTV Color of the Month – September 2011 – design blog

(clockwise) House Beautiful, Ralph Lauren Home, Real Simple, Elle Decor

Since indigo is such a contemplative color, here are a few quotes from members of our color team followed by our favorite indigo-infused designs…all for you to ponder.

Indigo is an intriguing alternative to black; this inky color calls forth fall and has a soothing, global style. Kelley Walters, Executive Editor

Indigo – Blue - HGTV Color of the Month – September 2011 – design blogWest Elm

Indigo – Blue - HGTV Color of the Month – September 2011 – design blogDiesel Home Collection by Moroso

Indigo is nautical navy’s sexy, mysterious cousin.Liz Gray, Senior Editor

Indigo – Blue - HGTV Color of the Month – September 2011 – design blog Designer Paola Navone’s Milan apartment via Interieurs

There is a spiritual quality to indigo that makes it so enticing. Anna Millman, Online Manager

Indigo – Blue - HGTV Color of the Month – September 2011 – design blogFrench by Design via Style Files

From me to you color of the month design blog indigoFrom Me To You :: Hudson Merchant House, NY

Indigo reminds me of brand new blue jeans on the first day of school, when the weather just starts to turn cooler. — Marianne Canada, HGTV Home Studio

Indigo – Blue - HGTV Color of the Month – September 2011 – design blogDesigner Tom Scheerer

Indigo – Blue - HGTV Color of the Month – September 2011 – design blogDesigner Bunny Williams

This shade of blue is so fresh that it makes me want to redo everything I have (even my wish-list items) in this color. Indigo feels very organic. I think of the natural dyes used all over the world and am nostalgic for ink-stained hands. I want more, more, more. — Lili Zarghami, Managing Editor

Indigo – Blue - HGTV Color of the Month – September 2011 – design blog

Anthropologie (left) + John Robshaw Textiles (right)

After reflecting on these indigo designs, will you decorate with this inky, mysterious, organic color?

Tell us in the comments below.

91 Responses

  1. whistlerpotpie says:

    We painted our media room (just our third bedroom that we use for evening TV watching) in Farrow and Ball Hague Blue. It is a dark, inky blue. It has a ton of pigment (it's like pudding coming out of the can!) with a tinge of green. It is a fabulous color that made me fall in love with navy all over again!

    • Lili@HGTV says:

      That Hague Blue is such a fabulous color! I was just researching it and found one source that says it was inspired by Dutch blue (hence the name). It does seem very European, indeed. Great color choice for a media room.

  2. Suzanne says:

    About 8 years ago I painted my bedroom a non descript color of a gray blue. Today there is a company that has given its material products a name for this color. They call it Porcelain Blue. It is a very beautiful settling color. One can totally relax with this color around them. Even my young grand daughters , when they come to visit like to sit and talk in my room. They say the color makes them feel comfortable and relaxed in the room.

  3. Briana@HGTV says:

    I totally agree with you, @Suzanne! Indigo is somehow both bold yet soothing and comforting. I think that's part of what makes it so versatile.

  4. I love blues. My current bathroom is a nice deep navy with terra cotta accents. Blues are calming. I wish more people would give "color" a try in their homes.

  5. anna@HGTV.com says:

    I have to get this book: Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World by Catherine McKinley http://www.bloomsburyusa.com/books/catalog/indigo

  6. I feed my #Hydrangeas a mixture with aluminum sulfate just to attain that hue!

    • Briana@HGTV says:

      Wow! That I wish I could see. Sounds beautiful, Kathy! P.S. My father lives in Bucks County! I sure do miss that area and all its greenery living in NYC.

  7. Dawn Emanuel says:

    I agree with the person who compared Indigo to new, dark wash jeans. Many of the colors used in the photos I would catagorize as Cobalt Blue.

    I LOVE blues. My living room walls are a blue gray called Rocky Cliff. My bedroom walls are a different blue called December Winds.

    My couch is a neutral beige with accent pillows of dark blue large color blocks. Pictures, black and white engravings,are matted in navy.

    Blue is calming. Men don't mind it because it is also the color of Navy, Police and Marine dress uniforms, the ocean and sky, and isn't specifically feminine.

  8. CplusE says:

    Great color of the month choice! Indigo makes me think of Japanese blue and white textiles, which are the color of that pillow on the bottom left of Anna's post. My husband brought back a lot of items in that color from Japan when he was there — my favorite is a little drawstring bag that I used to use for carrying a lunch. We also have several of the Japanese door curtains called noren in blue and white. They are great for when you want to leave doors open but don't really want to see the insides of rooms! There is a Japanese denim company called Pure Blue Japan which uses pure indigo dye as well as natural plant indigo to achieve their color. The picture of the fabric at the top of their home page is the color I think of as indigo:


    • anna@HGTV.com says:

      CplusE – thanks for sharing the link. Very cool to learn about Pure Blue Japan. And now I will do research on noren (curtains)!

  9. [...] of Blue, West of Violet : September 2011 HGTV Design Happens Fri, September 2, 2011 12:00 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate this story Share this story [...]

  10. @muralmaker1 says:

    Beautiful pics. I love indigo. It's the perfect shade for the element of Water in feng shui in place of black. Softer, yet still rich. Like a deep, deep body of water.

    • Marie says:

      I do love the color indigo. These pics are beautiful. By all means love this color as much as possible

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