A historic purple-blue color with a naturally bold and tradition-filled personality that holds the memories of the past and gives hope for a brighter future.


In the 2023 Colormix Forecast at Sherwin-Williams, you can find the bold collection Origin with bright colors, highly in demand now. Indigo, a cleanly bright and vibrant blue, is one of the first shades that draw your eyes. Among other impressive things, SW 6531 was the July 2018 color of the month. Yet, the indigo color changed the world centuries, if not thousands of years ago. 

In the past, indigo (it means from India) was a luxury found in royal courts only. Then and thousands of years ago, the indigo dye was produced naturally from the Indigofera Tinctoria plant in India, Africa, and China. The process was truly demanding. To this day, it is a mystery how our ancestors found out that this plant can give off such a stunning pigment. However, today, the synthetic process of achieving the gorgeous violet-blue meets the contemporary demand, and indigo is more popular than ever.

Some of the most recommended indigo shades at SW are Indigo Batik SW 7602, a more soothing dark blue; Gale Force SW 7605, a worn-by-time ink blue; and the star of this article – Indigo SW 6531, a saturated purple-blue. Discover the individuality of the much-endeared color in the fashion and design world and witness the development of its potential in interior and exterior design.

Indigo Paint Color Features

All over the world, people tend to value blue very much since “it is the color of the sky and the sea,” as claimed by Sue Wadden, color marketing director at Sherwin-Williams. The prominent representative of its class, Indigo SW 6531, is no exception. At some level exotic, yet so familiar and appealing, the vibrant and lively blue is part of the Purple color family. Still, we cannot deny the pure blue color with so much history to tell and inspiration to share. Bearing in mind the memories of the past and hoping for better times, Indigo fills with energy and refinement. 

Indigo: Is It Warm or Cold?

The deep purple-blue is a sky and ocean-fresh paint color with no preference for the icy side. What’s more, Indigo is an impressively strong shade of energetic blue, as if out of an artist’s watercolor palette. 

How Does Lighting Affect Indigo?

Without many noticeable changes, Indigo turns from a slightly cooler and deeper blue in a room with northern exposure, bathed in cold natural light, into the effervescent indigo you see on the color sample, when bathed in the warm sun rays that penetrate the space through south-facing windows. 

When the color lacks natural light at night, the purple-blue shade is substantially darker, gravitating towards a very bright navy blue. You can still preserve its dynamic spirit by using warm-temperature artificial lighting.

Indigo LRV

If you have ever wondered how colorists can precisely tell how light or dark a color is, they have a secret to reveal – it depends on how much light the color reflects. The Light Reflectance Value of Indigo is 6, close to 0 (true blacks). 

We don’t recommend using Indigo in small rooms, especially with no windows. You need enough natural light to open the true bright blue in SW 6531. 

Indigo Undertones

If we were to stick to the color family of this paint color, as mentioned at Sherwin-Williams, we would say that Indigo is a deep violet with very firm blue undertones. At least, this is how colorists from SW interpret this paint color. 

Similar Colors

Almost 45% of the world’s population likes blue. Blue is a classic, and we cannot change this, not that we want to. Therefore, there are plenty of blue shades to choose from, even when you search for similar colors to Indigo:

  • Commodore SW 6524 by Sherwin-Williams – with a 98% resemblance to SW 6531, this is a darker purple-blue; in most cases, they would look the same;
  • Dignity Blue SW 6804 by Sherwin-Williams – even if the LRV is the same, this hue is a true shade of bold blue devoid of purple undertones;
  • Dress Blues SW 9176 by Sherwin-Williams – a roaring dark blue with a few hints of magnetic violet, noticeably darker than Indigo;
  • Downpour Blue 2063-20 by Benjamin Moore – almost the same deep indigo, although this one may feel slightly softer; they look more or less the same;
  • Champion Cobalt 2061-20 by Benjamin Moore – a vivid dark cobalt blue hue that, unlike Indigo, is devoid of purple notes and, despite the same LRV, seems darker than SW 6531;
  • Chilly Night ECAT-20 by Behr – a cool marine blue shade diluted with much more purple to resonate with a quiet late night.

Coordinating Colors

The first choice that drew the colorists’ attention was light and calm blue to emphasize the refined blue undertones in Indigo. Worn-out gold, dark bronze, classic white, and even earthy red, all from the same manufacturer, came next.

  • Rarified Air SW 6525 – a very light pastel blue with the softest cool undertones that astonish with the refinement of airy tones;
  • Alabaster SW 7008 – a warm white with delightful creamy undertones that feel natural, mindful, and unpretentiously simple;
  • Greek Villa SW 7551 – a warm and thoughtful gay-beige white; another timeless white, slightly brighter than the previous one;
  • Tamarind SW 7538 – a mid-tone shade of light brown, a warm pastel paint that can work successfully as a neutral;
  • Peristyle Brass SW 0043 – a slightly muted shade of warm yellow-green yet full of vibrant gold undertones resembling worn-out brass;
  • Heartthrob SW 6866 – a vivacious and warm red full of energy and emotions;
  • Urbane Bronze SW 7048 – a meditative dark tone composed of black, brown, gray, and even a subtle note of green.

Use of Indigo in the Interior

Indigo is a great accent color for a bookcase in the living room and a base color for the interior walls. Sue Wadden says that “ Indigo needs very little competition” since it is a firm bold shade. It will lead to a familiar ambiance due to its belonging to history’s favorite colors, whether paired with lighter neutrals or contrasted by other vivid hues. 

Traditional New England

If your attention span reaches unimaginable levels when you hear Traditional, you should definitely try the classic American style for your house. Thanks to Indigo and a crispy white shade paired with traditional furniture with familiar prints and wooden items, you can recreate the look of a classic New England interior. Your list should include the absolute must – plush-padded furniture, paneling, accessories inspired by the marine world, and even a few personal touches, say, a customized large picture on the wall. 

Summer All Year Round

Use the ocean-fresh blue paint color to recreate the beach style in your interior. Take any direction, say, Nautical, Coastal, or Mediterranean. Rely on a fresh color palette with Indigo mainly for accents and crispy white as a background color. Organic textures, such as jute and linen, will go for textiles. Don’t forget about natural light ensured by large windows.

Living Room

You better use Indigo in large open-floor lounge areas, where it can operate as an accent or background paint. Combinations with white are much appreciated, yet bright oranges and yellows, such as for textiles, look equally stylish on a purple-blue canvas. Or, you can redecorate your historic interior with history’s beloved color by adding an indigo accent to the traditional look.

Kitchen and Dining Room

We couldn’t think of Indigo as a paint color that pairs so well with traditional patterns, not after discovering that it simply thrives in a true traditional kitchen with gorgeously decorated cabinets and brass hardware. The traditional concept also stays in the dining room with Indigo pairing with natural wood dining tables and chairs, classically shaped side tables, and vintage textiles with ethnic motifs. 

On the other side, try blue and yellow for the latest contemporary dining area as if inspired by the trendy color palette from van Gogh’s art. 


Navy blues won’t let us lie, their brighter cousin, Indigo, is always welcome in the bathroom. Whether you apply the purplish blue to the walls or vanity, don’t forget its compatibility with white, wood, and gold. 

Indigo Accents

We have spoken so far about the perfect combination of Indigo and relatively traditional styles. Regardless of how strong the bond between those two is, SW 6531 finds its use in modern interiors as well. Designers mostly like to play with indigo-blue accents in all-white rooms, such as blue accent chairs, furniture parts, floating shelves, accessories, and others. 

Use of Indigo for the Exterior

Indigo is a confident paint color. It most likely won’t fade in direct natural light. SW 6531 looks equally well on traditional and contemporary styles for exterior design. Professionals recommend white paint or wood texture for the trim. Another great design idea using this trendy paint color is to consider an indigo blue front door with white exterior walls, especially for Modern Coastal exteriors. 

The Indigo SW 6531 paint color by Sherwin-Williams is a safe color choice for connoisseurs of everything traditional, historic, and classic. Remodel and redecorate your beloved design styles with a paint color that designers won’t stop discussing for years. Or, inspired by the luxury of the past, give new meaning to your modern projects.

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