(Designer: Barclay Butera)


The simplest color combo - blue and white - has been attracting us since the beginning of time!  Every palace, whether Occidental or Oriental has a blue and white room; every schmancy-pants socialite or dowager-designer has a blue and white collection. Personally, I'm not 'a blue person,'  but there's no denying its attraction and beauty.

Let's Get This Party Started!


(Designer: Peter Marino)

(Catherine Palace, Russia)

(Tente Tartar at Chateau de Groussay)

(City Palace, Jaipur India)


(Home of French author Jules-Amedee Barbey d'Aurevilly) 
This stunning trompe l'oeuil chamber with the faux-painted blue and white Delft-ware vessels is really, really charming - but if we tried to reproduce it would look like caca!  There's things that just can't be duplicated well.

(Designer: Axel Vervoordt's home)
Axel Vervoordt is a genius at creating spaces that are timeless, they feel ancient and modern simultaneously. Personally, this room feels a bit old-lady-ish - but it's definitely a pretty room.

(Fashion Designer: Andrew Gn's home)
The new, white-HOT couturier in Paris, Andrew Gn, is less than 30 years old, yet lives like an old European Dowager. The rooms are truly beautiful, but dude, c'mon, really?

(Designer: Charlotte Moss)
Ms. Moss has created a ski lodge for herself in Aspen. Clearly her Richmond Virginia interpretation of a ski-lodge wasn't designed as a respite for athletic, musky smelling, triple-black-diamond mogul-jumpers - but more in the hopes of impressing a crowned head of state - or the 1%.


(Source: Carolyn Roehm)
Ms. Roehm must have the largest collection of Blue and White in the whole freekin' world, all her books and photos have it EVERYWHERE...But, she does it right, always.  Casual groupings of it used with other things, flowers, tablescapes, etc. are always impressive.

(Source: Decorating Ideas)
This beautiful foyer has a pale palate with warm wood furnishings allowing the blue and white to make a statement. I'd lose those antlers as they're superfluous... I'm just sayin'.

(Source: Carolyn Roehm)
Another tablescape which is balanced and simple; each piece is well-selected for its color and 'visual' weight. The look is good because it's a bit decadent but not too"over the top."

(Source: Photobucket)
This casual beach house has a great clean-n-lean thing going on.
The corner cupboard with the pottery and books work well, but the few pieces of blue and white on the coffee table add a slightly upmarket feel to the space. If they'd used pottery there also it would feel flat, the blue and white add depth and quality.

(Source: Oscar de la Renta: NYC Apartment, 1970)
WTF is going on here? 
This is before he married Annette Reed.

(Source: Oscar & Annette de la Renta Connecticut Foyer)
This is after  he married Annette Reed!
Lovely, large-scale pieces in a white foyer with dark furniture is perfect! Notice it's not all cluttered up with small pieces, just 'statement' ones.

(Designer: Ashley Whittaker)
Simplicity and Contrast Rock!

(Designer: Sfeer Interieurs)
Perfectly simple and symmetrical; no lamp, no vase of flowers, no 'staged' stack of books.

(Designer: Mary McDonald)
Imagine this foyer without the large blue planters - all you'd see would be red curtains! The crisp blue and white adds depth and a sense of antiquity without taking on a 'red, white and blue' thing.

(Source: Burleigh Company)
Is your kitchen dying from a slow, boring, colorless death?
Buy some inexpensive colored bowls and  put them on the counters with your breads in one, dish-towels in another and fruit in another.
You'll create more drawer space and snap up that deathly kitchen.

(Source: JPG-England)
Who says blue and white export is for traditional interiors only?
This clean-lined contemporary space is grounded with the large temple jars which add warmth and color. They're also complimented by the use of blue and white pillows on the chairs. Why use a piece of "fart" (fake art) when you can do this fairly inexpensively?

(Designer: Mark Sikes)
I'm totally into this look!
The garden seats add weight to this contemporary tables ensemble. 
 Monochromatic rooms often need a small punch of color to make  them less boring. What better choice than crisp blue and white?

(Designer: Beth Webb)
Pretty and elegant, but...
A tad 'staged' looking for my taste. 
A mixture of different types of things would be better - this is mostly all vases and ginger jars - too many upright pieces - looks like a schmancy florist shop.

(Source: English Style Decorating)
This deliciously bland room is ramped up a bit with the use of the temple jars. That soft spot of color doesn't distract - it exemplifies the off-white palate.

(Source: Elle Decor)
This mid-century modern dining room didn't blindly do a "70's fad room." The antique painting and Ziegler carpet add patina while the blue and white porcelains add crisp color, all adding a broader sense of history not just one narrow period.

(Source: Elle Decor )
Mexico has its own blue and white ceramics. They blend beautifully as they add contrast to the earthy, umber tones of the desert regions. The beautiful Mexican Talavera pottery below can be just as interesting as Asian, but more for rustic and casual interiors.

(Source: Carolyn Roehm)
Scale, Scale, Scale!
Almost always - bigger is better. Here, the mantle garniture is over-sized and looks perfect. When the table is set in blue and white the whole room becomes a part of the party decor.

(Source: Wisteria)

Even the Wisteria catalogue has beautiful vignettes of blue and white used very creatively. Their prices are great too! 

(Source: Decorating Ideas)
In cabinets it can be much more interesting than tired, old books. It can lighten up the heaviness of a bookcase. In this photo the jars on top are actually what makes that whole cabinet-vignette look super coolio; it adds height to the room and the large-scale ginger jars look 'important.' (and I know how ya'll love lookin' important).

(Source: Tory Burch's Southampton Home)
Well, if this taste-makers home ain't enuf to convince you, nothing will.
The soft palate of beige and the white broken up with those bright blue and white pieces making it feel casually elegant!

(Source: Tory Burch's Madison Avenue Store via Habitually Chic)
Even in her Madison Avenue store, she wanted to use pieces that looked like her own home, which is what makes her boutique one of the prettiest and most welcoming in New York.

(Source: Ralph Lauren)
Lauren, who's no stranger to blue and white, often uses export porcelains in his well-defined spaces.

(Designer: David Kleinberg)
Notice the few, but significantly placed, blue and white pieces in this handsome room - which beautifully defines the "new traditional" interior look of today. A few jars and a few blue and white pillows makes it less rigid and slightly more feminine.

(Source: Aerin Lauder's Hampton's Home)
Using a huge collection she got from her grandmother, Estee' Lauder, Aerin has creatively showcased them with lavender(!) walls and simple blue and white textiles - which creates a fresh "new traditional" interior. Notice the coffee table which is an old Asian serving table - the plates are countersunk into the top.

(Source: Aerin Lauder's Hampton's Home)
In her Brittany blue dining room, more of Estee's collection.
Displayed on the walls is a 17th century Delft mantle garniture set while on the table are Chinese porcelains.  The play between the traditional and contemporary shown here are what it's all about in today's today's design world.


(Designer: Mary Douglas Drysdale)
Known for her wonderful ways with color, Ms. Drysdale has accessorized a bright green desk with various blue and white export pieces. It's fresh looking and not bubbie-ish at all.

(Source: Carolyn Roehm)
If you've got pretty things, then show 'em off baby!
Here, miscellaneous containers, pitchers and vessels are behind glass doors creating a beautiful and useful vignette.

(Source: AOL Images)
An old country kitchen uses Willow Ware in a wall display which cozies it up.  It's just got something beyond description that's charming and attractive.

(Source: Real Simple)
This old, mismatched collection of WillowWare by Minton is used in this country home regularly for meals. It's got a great look, is easily replaced and can have mismatched pieces and still roll with it.

(Source: Fashion Designer Andrew Gn's Home)
This collection of antique Delft gathered on top of this cabinet is pretty impressive when shown en masse. 
DON'T have a piece here and there, put things in groupings.

(Source: Nesting Instincts)
Cute and casual!
Works for me.

(Source: AOL Photo)
This is geeniiiuuuus ! (Oprah voice)
All those ridiculously large, dark-wood kitchens always have cutesy little cubby's and acres of shelving which are often filled with unused raggedy cookbooks and "fart."  
BUT, this kitchen is more interesting and chic - just by a coupla trips to Home Goods or the local antique mall. The blue pieces totally break up all that heavy brown and adds a punch of color - which draws your attention from all those ubiquitous surfaces.

(Source: Photobucket)
The ongoing conundrum - How to accessorize that ping-pong-table sized island?  Duh...break it up with a few largely scaled temple jars and a large charger filled with fruit, done! Move on.

(Source: Coastal Living)
Spongeware and spatterware is an American country favorite. It looks charming by the seashore or on a ranch and it accomplishes the same thing as export, only more casually.


(Source: Tory Burch's Hampton's Home)
Yessss, Tory Burch again...  But her house is soooo pretty!
Temple jars and garden seats can be used outside as the rain and summer weather won't hurt them at all, they'll look beautiful all the time whilst adding a punch of color. If you're geographically below the frost line you can use these lovely pieces outside all year long.

(Designer: Beth Webb)
I definitely see myself laid up in that daybed every afternoon!
Those pieces with the deeper blues look sensational on this porch. 
Use larger scale items outside as the space is obviously larger and you're competing with the entire garden.

(Source: Photobucket)
This modest vignette is mint!  
Simplicity, color, patina and plants make a charming and welcoming statement to guests as they approach. 
A 'moment' as it were...

(Designer: Mary McDonald)
Imagine walking outside to this every day!
Well, you can: This nondescript garden is zhuzhed up with a re-purposed coffee table, reclaimed 70's wicker covered in blue and white textiles and the sisal-looking indoor-outdoor carpet which holds the grouping together. All of this is brought 'up-scale' by the use of the weatherproof blue and white ceramics.

(Source: Veranda)
This Palm Beach style porch with everything painted bright white is perfectly accented with the natural bamboo tables and blue and white jardinieres and bowls. 


(Source: JPD)
There's a fine line between "Deliciously Bland " and boring. This room at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills was boring, their designer tried to do the 'blue and white thing,' but it didn't work, there wasn't enough blue - duh!  It needed another blue accent somewhere - whether is was a porcelain piece or another textile. Looks like a movie set from The Housewives of DC.

Dude? Stuffing bookshelves with off-the-rack blue and white porcelains takes some thought...please.  
Those shelves could use some additional items that aren't blue and white; some books or brown wooden items to add contrast and to warm it up. Don't just go buy four of this and six of that and think you're done. And definitely don't go out of your way to position the pillows for the photo...

Nice try, but no cigar!
The issue here is not with the ceramics or the books, it's with the bookcases. If they would've painted the backs of the bookcases (the bead-board) blue or tan it would've created a warmer, less frigid appearance. As it is now, it just looks staged without any real design thought.

I know, I know - at first glance it looks swanky....The room has stunning bones and murals - but here's the problem...  They mixed a very pale turquoise blue with a deeper French blue (entirely different values of blue) which looks like crap, and then threw in the blue and white export which you cant even see.  To correct this mishegas you could paint over the paneling in a soft white, yellow or green which would make it pop. 

You can do it, I'm here to help!