Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How to use dark colours successfully in your home

I'm subject to S.A.D. during winter times so I tend to create white interiors that are filled with natural light, however I love how luxurious and cosy dark interiors look.
Using effectively, dark colours can really enhance an interior but get it wrong and you may end up with a gloomy, unbalanced space. Here are a few tips...

// Enhance Your Space
You can use dark colours on the walls to highlight other fixed elements in the room. In a kitchen with light coloured cabinets and marble worktops for example, dark walls create a contrast and help avoid a washed out look. In the same way you can use dark walls to emphasise other objects. White picture frames, ornaments and lamps will all stand out with darker walls as a backdrop. You can pick out architectural elements like picture rails and window shutters in the same way.

// Get Intimate
Darker colours like browns or greys make a room feel more intimate and can help to shrink a large and forbidding space. However, if you paint the wall behind the headboard a darker colour than the others like I did, in our house in France, this will make the room seem larger.
This is a great way to see how darker shades work in interior design without painting the whole room and regretting it later. Personally, I'm a fan of this scheme and did it in Mila's bedroom too in our London home.
To create a cocoon like effect in one of the bedrooms, offset this with soft coloured linens (light grey linen like this works beautifully) and a wall lamp which adds plenty of dramatic contrast (this Swing-Arm light looks also amazing on a dark wall).

If you have a long, narrow room painting the end wall a darker shade can make it seem wider. As a general rule of thumb the more natural light there is in a room the greater your opportunity to experiment with a darker colour scheme.

// Transform your home
If you’re nervous about painting the walls then you can introduce dark colours in other ways. Dark flooring materials or stained floorboards, built-in cabinets and curtains in dark fabrics can radically change the feel of a room when contrasted against lighter walls. Don't you think this bathroom is A-MA-ZING!?

// Credits: 1. by Pia Ullin | 2. Styling: By me, Photography: Francois Kong | 3. Giorgio Possenti bathroom via


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