The Canaries slumped to their second defeat in two games thanks to Juan Mata's superb first half effort.
Hughton was happy with his side's showing and felt the difference between the two teams was that little bit of quality from Mata
"Chelsea came into the game on the back of a real big win, but we were right in it from the first whistle until the end," said Hughton.
"Our goalkeeper hasn't had to make too many saves, the one real bit of quality was shown by them and of course it was a wonderful finish by Mata.
"I thought at one stage when the game opened up I thought we could get something.
"We were close today if we have a little more guile, a little bit more quality in that final third then we get something, but we gave a good account of ourselves.
"If we had got something from the game today I don't think anybody would have begrudged us that because we certainly worked enough for it."