Indigo – especially when used in shibori patterns – can transform a space. Image: Andrew Flesher

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Indigo. It’s a color that’s been making a splash for centuries, yet it still feels decidedly fresh and modern. Whether you’re looking for a deeply saturated hue to anchor a room or a vibrant pop to lend visual interest, indigo delivers. It’s also known as blue gold, and it has a history as rich as its hue. Whether you want to use indigo as a baseline neutral or in an eye-catching shibori textile, it can help you take any room to the next level. Here are four reasons why you should incorporate indigo in your next room design.

Indigo has staying power, so you can safely use it in your largest pieces. Image: CB2

It has history

People groups have relied on indigo to bring color to their art and textiles for over 4,000 years. It’s been a hit from the beginning – even when European civilizations had to rely on less potent flowers than the Indigofera tinctoria, they still found ways to dye textiles blue. If you’re looking for a color with staying power, indigo is a great bet. Use it in investment pieces – like this Decker 2-Piece Velvet Sectional – for a look you’ll love long-term.

There’s a reason we’ve kept this color in our design repertoires for generations upon generations. The beautiful thing about indigo is that it’s simultaneously traditional and modern. The deep blue screams heritage but also evokes decidedly fresh images like the evening sky or open ocean. When hunting for a color that will help a room feel established without getting tired over time, turn to indigo.

Add playfulness to your space while keeping it adult with shibori. Image: Pottery Barn

It’s boho for adults

If you’re a free spirit, a child at heart or a world traveler, you probably like to add a sense of play to your space. Bringing boho style home gives you that feeling of creative openness, but it does present a challenge. How much is too much? How do you create a boho space without falling over the line into messy or unrefined? Nailing the boho space is all about choosing pieces that can comfortably balance on that razor’s edge. And shibori is a slam-dunk addition – and an easy DIY. You can see it in action in the Shibori Framed Prints above.

Shibori is a dyeing technique that traces its roots back to 8th century Japan. By leaning into such a traditional style, you help your indigo accents feel distinguished – all while tipping your cap to tie-dye. Tie-dye was a favorite of early boho style, but it can make a room feel a little dorm-esque. Shibori is like its grown up, well-established sibling. Layer different shibori patterns in a space for major style points.

Indigo and white are a softer, more welcoming black and white. Image: Hayneedle

It’s the most interesting neutral

If we polled people, asking them to list the first five neutrals that come to mind, indigo probably wouldn’t even make the list. But that doesn’t mean it can’t anchor and establish a space as well as any white, gray or sand. Navy has long been embraced as an interesting neutral, but indigo – with its subtle purple hues – goes a step further. If you’re looking for a neutral around which you can build a highly interesting room, look to indigo.

Don’t be afraid to work with this hue. It might seem more challenging than the more traditional neutrals, but think about the staples of your closet. Blue denim is a key neutral in almost every wardrobe. And, in some cases, indigo might be even easier to work with than traditional neutrals. Black and white is a beloved high-contrast pairing, but it all too often veers into feeling stark. Indigo and white – especially when paired in a shibori piece like the Watercolor Shibori Indigo Comforter above – delivers the same high-impact contrast but feels warmer and more welcoming.

This shibori rug gives the space a moody feel without weighing it down. Image: Target

It’s moody – but not depressing

You’ve seen them: the gorgeous dining rooms and seating areas filled with dark, moody hues. They’re interesting and soothing at the same time. They’re also daunting to pull off. Deep-hued walls can overwhelm a space. How do you pick colors that will give you the gravitas you’re wanting without making the room feel grave?

Indigo is the answer. It’s a moody blue that will never feel depressing. Because it’s a plant-based dye that we’ve used for thousands of years, it feels natural. It pairs well with woods and other jewel tones, helping you create a space that’s both moody and vibrant at the same time. Just take the Shibori Waves Outdoor Rug above as an example. 

Are you looking for a neutral that will get your design creativity flowing? Or are you hunting for the perfect accent piece? Whatever your current design needs, indigo – especially when used in shibori patterns – is there to help.