Vail Daily design column: Time to go indigo |

Vail Daily design column: Time to go indigo

Painting one wall indigo will dramatically change the mood of a room. Far from making the space dark and gloomy, it creates a feeling of warmth.
Special to the Daily |

We’re on a color run. Last week we talked about white-hot decorating tips. Of course, we love marsala, “the color of the year.” Next up? Indigo blue. It may or may not be coincidental that we are focusing on variations of red, white and blue, what with the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships right around the corner. We will be cheering for all the U.S. competitors, but obviously, we have a special place in our collective hearts for our hometown heroes: Lindsey Vonn (who just recently tied for most World Cup wins) and Mikaela Shiffrin. Sorry, I lost my focus.


Indigo — it’s not navy and it’s not just a trend. Indigo has been used for centuries in decor. It’s more broody than deep blue, more dramatic than purple. It has hints of purple and is in the blue family. In accent pieces, it can anchor a room. As a wall color, it will dramatically change the mood of a room. Far from making the space dark and gloomy, it creates a feeling of warmth. It can be used in any room; I love it as surprise element in the kitchen. It makes for a cozy media room.

I know not everyone is ready to commit to a new wall color so it’s easy enough to add bursts of indigo through pillows and throws or even interesting art. It’s a good way to test to see if you really like the color, if it elevates your mood and feels welcoming, you can take the next step and go for a wall or even the entire room.


One way I love incorporating new pieces and new colors is by refinishing something I either already have or at an estate sale find. I had a side table that had seen better days. A weekend’s worth of sanding and painting it indigo, now I have a piece that I love and ties in with rest of my house in an unexpected way. If you’re not a DIY-er, there are a few companies in the Vail Valley that specialize in transforming dated pieces into colorful creations.

Patterns in indigo are phenomenal — bold and dramatic, lively and interesting. Think a batik print that is all grown up, lovingly framed and carefully hung for maximum visual impact. Try four or six smaller prints, laid out in a block pattern for even more of a statement.

Indigo is well represented at the beach and beach-inspired homes. Picture it: Greece, stark white buildings with shocks of indigo in the doorways, on the patios and in the details. Later this year, as a matter of fact, there is a design conference in Greece; I can’t wait to see the juxtaposing colors together. Pairing indigo with white is classic and timeless. Clearly ancient Greeks knew what looked good.

For a fresh, modern take on indigo, pair it with magenta or bright orange. An indigo sofa with brightly patterned pillows in pinks and oranges is cozy but fresh and invigorating. On an indigo wall, hang a starburst-shaped gold mirror or try a cluster of smaller gold-framed images. It looks inspired and contemporary.

If you’ve been a fan of the monochromatic look for a while, try mixing it up. Your guests will love it, and you might find you’re looking forward to nestling in on your sofa with a good book, a glass of wine and the gentle glow of an indigo wall.

Yvonne Jacobs is the president of Slifer Designs and has been with the company for 17 years. She’s part of the Official Interior Design team of the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships. For more design inspiration, check out

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