Did you ever open a magazine to be greeted by a stunning interior characterised by the use of dark colours? It’s a bold design move, easy to admire and then to immediately dismiss as impossible in our own homes. Well, as the saying goes: high risk equals high gain. Forget old dictums about lighter schemes enhancing the sense of space. Light colours can sometimes have the opposite affect and appear dreary and depressing. Dark colours – when done well – forge a space that is everything from moody, dramatic and stylish to cosy and calming. Here’s why you shouldn’t take them off the table.
- Dark colours are great for budget decorating
White-on-white has been the industry favourite for a long time. This is great – so long as you thrive off cool, minimal spaces and have a large budget for accessories. When the decor budget is tight, it may feel that your options are limited. However, establishing an innovative colour scheme provides a way to lend striking character to any space. Leave the bland behind and allow a darker host of colours to bring the drama.
Characterised by dark wooden doors, a chequered floor and deep wine red walls, this enigmatic hallway evokes an enchanted Alice in Wonderland feel. Note that the space features minimal detail – the only accessory is a sculptural post modern pendant. What creates dimensionality is the daring red colour scheme! A large window to the right allows enough natural light into the space – crucial for avoiding any gloominess. This dark colour scheme is attention grabbing and need not be accompanied by an excess of secondary detail.
2. Having dark interiors doesn’t mean you need to paint everything
Amid the airy bones of this room, the designer has opted to install a room-commanding Rothko-esque painting. It defines the direction of the surrounding decor, providing a dramatic backdrop to the jewel-like teal armchairs. Creating an impactful dark interior does not necessarily mean decking the house top to bottom in deep colour. It’s less of a commitment too, giving you the chance to live with a bold colour statement before going the full hog. This painting is fairly huge, but integrating artwork into the home can take the shape of posters, prints, a gallery wall… there are many ways to trial colour!
Alternatively, embrace a darker interior with home furnishings, such as curtains, or across other key features. Do you have a fireplace? Style it dark with an arresting hue of deep colour.
3. Dark colours make a room pop
Dark colours create a landscape in which secondary colour schemes really pop! To maximise contrast, place lighter furnishings against a dark backdrop: neutral furniture with gain far more interest when nestled within a sumptuous dark interior. Darker colours will often make an interior feel grander than it really is, adding a luxurious, decadent feel. Accent the space with soft metallic references, using brass and gilt accessories to lend warmth and casual opulence.
Some may feel that dark colours are too gloomy but they can be very soothing. Moody charcoal interiors work well in a bedroom, helping to create a calming, cosy scape. Break up the room with white linen and wooden floors; a large mirror will also enhance the impression of space and light.