“We’d like to modernise our home and are thinking about using darker colours as they’re so on trend at the moment. Is it a good idea, or should we stick with what we know?”
Plucky decorators are overcoming their fear of the dark to embrace deep and dusky colour schemes. Do you dare to join them?
Interior designer Rebecca Davies explains why everyone should give in to the lure of the dark when redecorating tired walls – and why it isn’t as scary as you might think.
1. Dark colours are cosy
Dark colours have a reputation for being forbidding but they can actually be incredibly cosy. You can use them to make a cavernous room feel more intimate, or a small room feel super-snug – it’s a myth that you should only use light colours in small rooms. For a cosy, cocooning feel, paint your walls in a deep shade of blue.
Which paints? The Dark Side
2. Dark colours add instant drama
Want to add wow factor to your home without spending a fortune on luxury designs? Paint your walls in a rich, dark colour. This look works especially well in rooms that are used for night-time entertaining – a dining room, for example. Go for a dusky, opulent red that will look its best under the flicker of candlelight.
Which paints? Grenadier
3. Dark colours hide lumps and bumps
If the finish on your walls is less than perfect but you don’t have the time or money to have them re-plastered, painting them in a dark colour can cover up a multitude of sins. Whereas light colours show up the shadows cast by uneven walls, dark colours absorb the light and trick the eye into thinking the surface is silky smooth.
4. Dark colours work wonders with light accents
Take a leaf out of the Dutch masters’ book and celebrate the interplay between light and dark. A dark backdrop makes bright accent colours pop out, creating an edgy, urban feel. Try painting your walls charcoal grey and accessorising with neon yellow, pink or lime green.
5. Dark colours are different
Who wants to be like everyone else? Paint with dark colours and your home – and you – will instantly exude an air of glamour and mystery. Throwing in a few metallic accents will only add to the allure.
Worried that dark colour will overpower your room? Paint the dark tone three quarters of the way up your wall, leaving the top quarter the same light colour as your ceiling. This will make the ceiling recede and the room feel taller and lighter.