For the majority of us, the thought of taking the plunge and painting the walls of our homes as dark as the night is far too terrifying to become a reality. Despite the promise of this oh-so-chic look that we swoon over with every new Pinterest board or magazine spread that we come across, the commitment just feels like a step too far when it comes to our own homes. But for many of our insta-crushes, those day dreams of Farrow and Ball Downpipe, Hague Blue or Railings have become a reality and a room (or two) of their effortlessly stylish homes is swathed in a gorgeous shade lying somewhere towards the bottom of our paint sample swatches.
Going for dark walls in the living room
Dark walls have the ability to hide imperfections in plastering that lighter shades seem only to highlight. In the same vein, key features of a room that you wish to draw attention to can be achieved through a bold choice of colour on the wall. Whether it be a cosy alcove, a key piece of furniture you really want to ‘pop’, or your favourite piece of art adorning the wall.
Dark delivers drama. There’s no two ways about it. It has a certain ‘wow factor’ that simply cannot be easily achieved in a wash of white. Dark colours set the stage for texture. Depth, dimension and contrast can all be achieved in a room with the right shade on the walls. Think cosiness, opulence, mysteriousness etc. Bold colours and accents can be beautifully balanced against a dark wall. Contrasting time periods and textures can be brought together in greater harmony in this way, too. It has the appeal of tying a room together by providing the strength of a solid base.
Tiny spaces demand grand gestures, not a tentative touch. The same goes for dark rooms, believe it or not. Adding white will simply exacerbate the problems present in these kinds of spaces. This may sound barmy, but it’s true! Play to the strengths of the features you do have and turn these areas into a carefully considered use of space. Dark walls have a very ‘finished’ feel – the bold clarity of them gives any room a complete, statement look that is endlessly alluring… don’t you agree?
Gorgeous styling above by @keeleytara who cleverly adds pops of yellow to draw her scheme together and create a sense of unity in a room that has so many points of interest.
Using dark paint colours in small spaces
Dark walls give the illusion of more space, not less. They help to blur the edges of a room so that it becomes less obvious where walls end. Alter the perception of the layout of a room by enhancing contrasts – some areas can be made to look lighter by comparison to a dark wall, resulting in a room feeling larger or longer, for example. Adding a light coloured ceiling or a light wall surrounding a natural light source such as a window or door will help to achieve this.
A clever use of dark paint and furniture by @artynads who keeps the ceiling and lights white to ensure the rooms are airy and bright. We love how she uses a mix of pattern, texture and art to create a modern, fun and sociable space.
Dark feature walls
Large rooms can be assisted with creating different ‘zones’ by painting certain walls darker. A classic example would be creating a cosier dining area section within an open plan kitchen. By visually designating the different areas within a larger room, it can make the space more usable.
One wall painted in a darker shade to the others can provide an eye-catching feature without demanding the total commitment of a whole room. This can be a less daunting place to start, whilst you’re building up the courage to go the whole hog, so begin with creating a feature wall in a darker shade to build your confidence with the concept…. We can guarantee you’ll love your bold home improvement and you’ll be painting walls left, right and centre in no time!
As well as her walls, @lou_a_watkins paints her fireplace dark too so it seems like an extension of the room, creating a feeling of space and providing a perfect backdrop for her artwork and colour pop furniture to shine!
Words By Sophie Brentnall