MARCH 2019

Living With The Blues

I love working with blue, not only because it is so emblematic of the sea, and a truly perfect range for designing beach homes. Blue comes in an endless variety of shades, from my favorite dark navy, to a lighter sky blue, from deep royal blue, to soft, silvery blue hues. From dark to light, blue is at once simple and luxurious, noble and mysterious. Blue is as light as the morning sky, and as deep as the deepest ocean.

Blue loves other colors, from bright white to clean neutrals, and is – at least to me – a neutral in itself! Imagine the perfect navy twill sofa, with white piping, with indigo and denim pillows one day, then coral and white pillows the next.

Blue is found in landscape paintings and photographs of the sea, in pottery from my family’s homeland Portugal, in summer flowers from New Jersey violets to hydrangeas.

Blue represents summer so perfectly, whether the most comfortable pair of blue jeans, to the breeziest chambray scarf.

In the rooms I am so fortunate to design for my clients, I love very white walls, beautiful natural wood floors, natural light colored or blue-died braided rugs, clean white lamps and lampshades, and comfortable, classic and customized navy sofas and chairs with exciting blue and white ikat prints, and pillows and throws: lots of pillows and throws!

Some of the favorite pieces in our studio and shop are those blue-hued and embellished pillows, and soft, comfy hand loomed and indigo dyed throws.

You can use blue in any room in your home, or on the exterior of your home, like this home we designed, built and decorated recently in Ortley Beach, New Jersey.


Blue works in living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms and studies, and even in the kitchen, especially when combined with white tiles and stainless appliances. There are so many beautiful linens and towels in shades of blue, which make it easy to refresh rooms each season.

Baskets work beautifully with blue, as do simple arrangements of flowers in classic Chinese Ginger Jars or pottery vases.

Peaceful, meditative, natural, fresh, and clean – blue has long been a favorite of artists and designers who turn to blue for prints ranging from French provincial to classic stripes, zig-zags, and more. As a truly natural color – sky, water and flowers – blue just works!

Xo, J.