Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Drama After Dark

Decorating in dark colours can seem daunting. Walking down the paint aisles in shops, it's so easy to head towards neutrals and whites. They're familiar, safe, you know what you're getting. Magazines reinforce this and show a 'blank canvas' where we use accessories to inject colour or interest. It's hard to embrace a dark colour you may love if there are naysayers who put you off with calls of 'oppressive' and 'gloomy'.

But don't let them stop you from heading to the dark side! They'll soon be converted. We're missing something if we ignore a whole colour spectrum.  Dark colours inject personality, they create a warm atmosphere and are the perfect backdrop for furnishings and accessories. Dark colours are beautiful. Take a look below to see why.

Painting a room in a dark colour will make it feel bigger. This is especially true if you embrace it not just on the walls, but also the floors. The dark paint seems to eradicate boundaries, making the whole space feel much larger:

Using a dark hue on your walls means you can pick out architectural features and key pieces of furniture in white or a lighter colour:

If you have a dark, windowless room, play to it's strengths and paint the walls in a dark colour to enhance its snug and relaxing feel:

Dark colours create the perfect back drop to display prints, art, photos, mirrors. They make everything on the wall 'pop':

If you want glamour or opulence, dark is the way to go:

By going dark, you will sit in the room and realise that the walls recede, you end up noticing more what's actually in the room:

Around Christmas time and through the winter, you'll often find dark colours making a resurgence in stores and magazines as a way of making your home feel 'cozy' and 'snug'. But dark is not just for one season! Dark colours look equally amazing in the summer months with the lush greens of plants and flowers against them and the full sunlight making all the pigments in the paint shine:

One tip though, you really do get what you pay for in terms of quality. If you buy a very cheap paint, there is very little pigment variation, you'll end up with something that looks very flat. If you're going to do dark, do it properly and buy a good quality paint. Yes, they are more expensive, but buy from companies such as Farrow & Ball, Little Greene and Zoffany and you'll see why they are so great.

Don't be afraid of the dark...


  1. I really love the bright pale colours. Especially when it comes to photography but our home has very limited lightening.

  2. I'm a fan of dark to a point, sadly my rooms are too small to have more than one wall dark...maybe once I have my mansion

  3. I love dark feature wall, and I love the image of the dark wall with the light pictures. It really makes the pictures stand out. The dark blue kitchen is beautiful, you may have convinced me for next time we decorate!

  4. Love some of these. We live in a late 60s, Scandinavian chalet inspired house! Wood clad ceilings, some wood clad walls, exposed brick in the lounge and pitched ceilings upstairs. Needless to say we've gone very neutral on the paint...but having looked at these, maybe I'll brave a splash of dark next time!!