I had to press pause on pumpkins today.

Just for a minute.

I was getting a little pumpkin-overwhelmed.

I thought we’d discuss paint colors today instead.  I’m in the middle of a house refresh because I have people coming over next weekend to sit around my dining room table and discuss business and blogging and how to make money and discovering the amazing that we all have inside of us.

10 wonderful, amazing, incredible people are stopping by for the first ever Inspire Workshop held at right here at the Thistlewood dining table.

And you know what happens when you have people coming over.


Painting.  And more painting.  And painting with extra painting on top.

If you are like me and you’re getting your house ready for company or the holidays or book club, this is the post for you.

Here are my favorite blues–the best blue paint colors for any space.

A couple of quick things before we get started:

1. If you want some amazingly sound, totally non-intimidating, non-judgemental advice on how to pick a paint color learned from all the years I’ve spent staring at the paint chip display.

Read this post first.

2. If blue is not your thing—I have some other paint color posts, too.

Like my favorite white paint colors.

And my favorite gray paint colors.

3. Paint is a super tricky thing to see through the eyes of a computer screen.  It can look one way on the computer screen and another way on your paint chip and still another way on your walls.  That’s the amazingness of paint.  It looks your own special way in your own special house.  For questions on this—refer to number one.

4. If some of these colors seem a little overwhelming for your walls—think about furniture or even the back of a bookcase instead.

5. And lastly, these are my favorite blues.  They are ones I’ve used for my own home and client’s homes.  They are colors I’ve tried again and again and work perfectly in so many different spaces.  They all have their own personality and their own character.  I hope you love them as much as I do.

Dress Blues SW 9176.

You can see it and all of its friends on the paint chip here.

I showed it to you in this living room so you can see its superpower.

It’s a networker.

It’s the perfect blue to navigate the entire blue world.  See all the different blues in this living room?  It totally brings them all together and introduces them to each other and anchors the space with a brilliance that brings everything together and make it work.

Plus—I have a soft spot for a navy blue uniform.

Adrift SW 7608

I get asked about this bookcase all the time.

What is that paint color?

I get it.

I understand.

This is the blue that’s kind of a wedgewood blue and kind of a classic blue and kind of a soft blue and kind of a blue that you want to bring home and introduce to your family.

(total aside:  there’s a lot of sunlight in this picture—depending on the light in the space, this blue may appear a little darker)

Naval SW 6244

This blue and I have been friends for years.

I was working on a project for a client that needed a true navy and I found this color and never looked back.

You can see it on the back of this built-in bookcase in the living room.

I’ve also painted an entire room this color that you can see here.

It really is a true navy and the perfect classic paint color.

Gris SW 7659

This is the bathroom from the farmhouse.

It was such a surprise when I painted it.

When I picked this color out in the paint store, I was expecting it to look more gray than blue.  But then?  After the room was finished it turned out more blue than gray.

This is one of my favorite blue-gray paint colors.

Rain SW 6219

This color is my go-to for a soft blue.

It’s friend on the paint strip–Tradewind SW 6218 is amazing too.

It makes me think of rainy summer afternoons.

It’s soft and subtle and a classic blue that works with almost any palette.

And here they are all together.

Look at that beautiful blue pallette.

Aren’t the colors so pretty together?

And now I’m off to paint some more.  I can’t help it.  I have a house to get ready.

It’s called the Inspire Workshop and I want them to be inspired from the first paint color they see. 🙂

PS Don’t worry.  Pumpkins to return shortly.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Have a fantastic time with your guests ~ can't wait to hear about the ideas, giggles and stories from this day!! ps- love the blues, too!

  2. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Blue is my next adventure, I'm pretty sure. I have this huge gold-tile (circa 1916) fireplace that I have a love/hate relationship with, and I'm thinking blues and golds (go Murray State Racers!). And my yellow bathroom? It's getting tired. Blue may be coming there, too! Thanks for the inspiration, and have an AWESOME time at your event!!

  3. Image for Peg Peg

    Good luck with the Inspire Workshop! I'm a Weight Watchers member and it's no longer a meeting, it's a workshop!! #wellnesswins Love, love!!! xoxoxo

    1. Image for Sue Sue

      Funny coincidence, I was in my local Price Chopper (where my youngest son works in the seafood department.) and heard a woman ordering a WW fish supper. I tried WW long ago, but found my local leader ran things in a very judgmental way, against the original rules. She actually confronted me over my veggie selection in a grocery store. Are things better? I also recall they did not allow for thyroid meds and issues, allergies, and how grapefruit causes problems with meds, including mine.

  4. Image for Deb Deb

    Oh Karianne~ Your home is "blue"tiful. :-) Seriously, the many shades of blue are stunning. I have been toying with the idea of adding some navy blue to my home. You have sold me, friend. I will be adding it soon. Have an amazing time with your guests. Deb :-)

  5. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I want to be in a workshop! I haven't touched my blog in ages because I'm frozen in fear due to some criticism that I received. But I still have it. Crazy, huh? Fear is debilitating. Anyway... I love the blues. Most of my spaces contain combinations of different shades of blue and green. Those seem to be my go-to colors. Except that recently I fell in love with millennial pink. So my bathroom and sometimes my bedroom has that in addition to the blues and greens. It works ;-)

    1. Image for susan susan

      Yes, me too! It is fall, I should be looking in the soft fall colors, but some how that pink is suggesting warmth, safety, pretty and happy. I can picture my bedroom in peony pink floral bedding with tons of lovely faux blooms every where. I am in upstate frozen land in NY. I need a safe, warm space.

  6. Image for Cynthia Nessel Cynthia Nessel

    I wish I was at the workshop but I’ll be in Tennessee. Hopefully, I’ll catch the next one and can’t wait to hear how it goes. Everything looks so beautiful as always! Happy pumpkins!

  7. Image for Gina Gina

    You inspire me every day. Your emails say, "Inspiration for your inbox". I may have to steal that line one day if I ever start my blog. So, yep, I need to be around your table. I suspect I would enjoy it as much as just chatting with you while thrifting or casually browsing Walmart. Shine, KariAnne!

  8. Image for june june

    Enjoy your guests! As always you know how to just pull it all together. I too have taken to blue this year with my living and dining room redo. My house is sort of a blue gray colored siding. I have had deep plum shutters and a front door for a long time. Thinking blue needs to pop on the outside. Any thoughts on a color? Thinking I will take a small piece of siding I have leftover and bring it to my local paint store. Although from fade and exterior wear it might be best to see if the hubby can remove a lower piece for me from the house:)

  9. Image for Mary from Life at Bella Terra Mary from Life at Bella Terra

    I painted a bedroom in Rain and it was so beautiful. The color would change throughout the day, depending on the light. It was so restful, with white trim and baseboards. It was a remodel/renovation I did and the property sold for a good amount. Just LOVE that color! Thanks for sharing. It was nice to see the paint chip on the photo displaying the color in use. Very informative. Thanks for sharing...

  10. Image for Lauren Lauren

    Carrie, Can you comment on where all your blue print pillows came from? Are they pillows or pillow covers? For the life of me, I can't find navy blue prints in pillows I my local stores- Homegoods, TJ Maxx, etc. Thanks!

  11. Image for MiMi Mary MiMi Mary

    Thank you for leaving the pumpkin craze. I have checked out your list of blues, then whites, and grays and am NOW headed to SW to get started. We are remodeling a farmhouse and these paints seem perfect... Thanks again for letting us tag along on your journey.

  12. Image for Kris Kris

    Beautiful ... but all I can think of is the song Madame Blueberry sings from Veggie Tales. "I'm so blue I don't know what to do ....". In my world, there's a song for every occasion, even when the topic is .... blue!

  13. Image for PJ PJ

    Karianne, I, for one, appreciate the break from pumpkins! One can never have enough blue. Have the best time with your workshop.

  14. Image for Carol Carol

    I'm not a "blue" person, but I do love the way you have used blues in each of the rooms. Especially the Naval Blue on the back of the bookcase! At the moment I'm into greens. Carol in IA

  15. Image for Vickey Vickey

    I love your decorating style. STUNNING 🌳🌳🌳 Could you please tell me where you purchased your living room rug? Cheers, Vickey

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