When choosing a high-contrast palette for a room, it doesn’t get much easier on the eyes than blue and white. This classic combination can go bold (think cobalt and snow) or gentle (say, periwinkle and ivory). Our favorite is the tried-and-true pairing of navy and white, remixed to preppy perfection by New York City designer T. Keller Donovan.
Donovan generally favors white walls, against which he pops geometrics, toiles, and florals on navy, marine, and cobalt fabrics. Although he likes to combine patterns, he sticks to two or three—one large-scale and the others smaller. He chooses strong shapes for furniture, especially the smaller pieces like accent tables, side chairs, and bookcases, most in a walnut stain that balances out the pale tones and gives the rooms a bit of weight. And who wouldn’t love those plush sofas, armchairs, and upholstered-headboard beds? Everything about Donovan’s designs says, “Life is good. Kick up your feet and stay a while.” We are in.