What to Know When Decorating with a Dark Color Scheme
If you tend to gravitate towards darker colors but aren’t sure how to use them in your home properly, here are six top decorating tips to help get you started.
While employing a dark color palette in your room design can be a striking choice, it can also be a bit daunting to pull off. When not balanced properly, deep shades tend to feel overly heavy, especially in compact rooms. These hues can also feel out of step with lighter and more vivid schemes of certain design styles, like farmhouse or coastal.
If you are drawn to earthy hardwoods or contemporary styles, however, then these anchoring, rich colors are standard. When executed well, interior design in deep hues can be eye-catching and quite magnificent.
Go Bold with Paint
When it comes to wall colors, experience tells us to simply go bold. Painting interior walls and doors darker shades like black, brown or different grays has the ability to bring drama and visual interest to your space.
Not quite ready to make the commitment of covering a whole room in a dark color? Start small with painted accents, since they provide a customized look without darkening the space. For example, painting base moldings and crown moldings in a dark shade is a very effective strategy. It not only brings some drama, but also can make your ceiling look taller and transform boring moldings into a feature. You can also play it safe and simply use a dark color on an accent wall.
To bring some function to your painted walls, consider using dark chalkboard paint in appropriate spaces, like kids rooms, entryways, or kitchens. The dark color gives that striking visual, but will also be useful for coordinating schedules and become a backdrop for fun as family members cover it with notes and colorful designs.
If going big is your thing, give your space a really distinctive appearance by painting the ceiling. Embrace your chosen dark palette through strategic use of paint to make the space stand out.
Use Light Colors for Balance
A dark color scheme means you must find balance with white and light tones. In fact, white paint on walls creates a versatile backdrop to make dark furniture and wall art in deeper hues pop. Put your creative cap on and start integrating lighter neutrals into the room to simultaneously contrast and balance the dark shades.
Focus on Lighting
Another essential element that boosts a dark color palette is lighting. Consider putting a spotlight on the dark facets of a room so that a striking piece of furniture or an accent wall is showcased rather than blending into the background.
For attractive lighting in the evening hours, consider trading your light-colored lampshades for those in richer hues with reflective silver or gold foiled interiors. Balancing color and light is critical for conquering dark spaces.
Whether rugs, drapes, or bedding, working fabrics into the design is often an afterthought. In fact, textiles continue to be the forgotten hero in most living areas. For dark room designs, you can either use dark textiles or contrasting ones to give the space an intentional and expensive feel.
Rugs especially can be art-like when displayed effectively, for instance on top of dark hardwood flooring or deep gray cement. Also, window dressings in rich shades can add to both interior style as well as exterior curb appeal by creating a beautiful framing effect.
Upgrade Hardware or Cupboards
If your budget allows, custom cabinets and built-ins are a great way to incorporate deeper, richer color palettes into a room. Paint is another way to add a customized look to otherwise standard elements.
When a drastic change is desired in the kitchen, it might be a good idea to look into cabinet refacing, as it offers an opportunity to make the switch to deep wood veneers or rich grays. Dark colors help recreate that fine-dining atmosphere at home, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
For a more subtle upgrade, installing matte black hardware on drawers, cupboards and built-ins is a small-but-mighty way to bring darker accents to a room. You can also try switching out furniture legs to matte black versions for a customized look.
Maximize Natural Lighting
Sources of natural light should always be evaluated when designing a living space with saturated grays or matte black elements. For example, picture the space at high noon, when the most sunlight will be streaming in — what areas would be most affected and what arrangement would make dark furnishings the most visible? Wherever you enjoy sitting, working or playing the most is where the dark hues should be.
Natural lighting is much like artificial lighting when it comes to providing contrast to a dark color palette. Rather than shuttering windows, frost them instead. If you happen to have a skylight in your space, position a bold dark chair or rug beneath it. Incorporate deep shades in any spot you can see yourself enjoying a deluge of warm light.