“Don’t choose a shade that’s too dark!” “You don’t want to go too dark, the room will feel smaller.” “That’s a good color, but it’s just too dark.”
I honestly used to cringe at these phrases. Ok I still do…but I control my need to roll my eyes a little better.
I want to help people understand the truth about dark walls, debunk the myths, and open up a whole new understanding to the world of darker colors. Come to the dark side. (Yup. I said it.)
Listen. I get it. NO I DO! It’s terrifying to make a giant leap like painting an entire room dark navy, or deep gray. I won’t criticize you for hesitating. Please just keep reading and humor me while I rant.
Think of a space in your home that has big windows, or lots of natural light. Got one? Perfect! Start brainstorming there!
Does this space also have room for some fun art? Think BIG. Maybe some fun wall decor or tapestry? Think texture! When you have beautiful wall accessories, you pretty much need a dark background to anchor them. Add a good source of natural light, and you literally cannot go wrong.
So walk with me through these next 10 pictures as I explain WHY I think they work, why they are so luxurious and why I squeal every time I see them.
(ALSO, In the caption of each of these images, I’m putting in my best GUESS as to what the paint color used was or is very close to. So hopefully you not only feel inspired, but have a direction for your paint color! You’re welcome…)
(Above) This hallway is strangely inviting, right? How can they get away with black on the walls and trim? The answer is those big, massive glass windows to the right. The other reason is the use of artificial light dimly scattered at the ceiling and doorways. Notice the light illuminating the art work draws your eye to the end of the room. Also, the floors are light and the ceiling is white…making dark walls the perfect balance!
(Above) This bedroom screams for you to jump into bed. Its walls are dark, yet somehow soft. The paint is flat (or matte) and gives a velvety background for her minimalistic art work. The other reason I am drawn to this room is because the dark gray isn’t overwhelming with all those huge pieces of art work. Have I mentioned yet the DARK = COSY? Mmmm, yessss so cosy.
(Above) Dark dining rooms? Yes please. You can see that off to the right there is a major source of natural light…likely a sliding glass door. Notice how the homeowner chose a bright white buffet table and a light rug to go under the table? Also notice the awesome light fixture and the dimly lit lamps, as well as sconces on the back wall help to break up the dark mood.
(Above) Here’s another simply peaceful bedroom that invites you to sleep in all day. The other walls are bright and light, and I like that they choose to paint only the back wall. (Tip-if you’re going to paint an accent wall in a bedroom, always use the wall that the bed sits against!) The moody gray also helps draw your eyes up to that decadent vintage crown moulding. Why? Because contrast.
Here again. Where does your eye fall first? On that cosy, soft chair. Contrast. You may notice the wall is dark, but it’s not distracting or excessive because …(you know this now) BIG WINDOWS and BIG ART! I love how the other pieces in the room are screaming texture and yet color is minimal. I didn’t even notice the sculls until now…who cares! I’d still kill to have a room like this.
**Hey- side note. There’s TONS of cool moody colors to choose from other than black or gray tones. It just so happens that I chose mostly blacks. Okay, moving on. **
And this fantastic bachelor pad belongs to Douglas Friedman. I love that he wasn’t afraid of using black trim and doors and even dark floors! The key here is the way the hallway is lit. I can’t see outside the cropped image of course, but I’m guessing there’s some adjustable track lighting up there. The lamp is also essential.
Great idea! Now I want to paint my stairwell a dark accent color. Go ahead, you tell ME why you think this works….Good answer! Big art and light floors and white trim were somewhere in there I’m sure 😉
Mmmm…I could live in this bathroom. The combination of shiplap walls and moody dark paint are killer. Throw in that gold faucet and toilet paper handle and I’m SOLD. You can see some light reflecting off the walls here, probably due to the window and the help of the mirror. Add the light floors and light counters and something fun on the walls and you’re done. And did you notice the ceiling is white? My next bathroom is totally shiplap…
It took me a few moments of soaking in the space before I noticed the unstained natural wood on the ceiling, and even lighter wood tones on the floor. And it was laid at an angle? Awesome!? This is a perfect random wall to choose to paint dark and show off a collage of books and art collected. Can you think of any bare walls in your house that are in need of this yet??
K. Last image guys.
Is this wall navy? Even BETTER! It might not even be navy, but if you weren’t fond of using black, go navy dude. Throw in some navy pillows and natural wood and I’m in heaven.
Have you gained any insight from this post yet?
(And again, these colors listed under each photo are just my best guess of the color- which aught to point you in the right direction!)