The Dark Side: Decorating with Dark Walls
Not everyone likes to decorate their home with white or light colours, many prefer the darker side with moody colours and dark hues.
Not everyone has the love of a light, bright, white home and there are more than a few who love to decorate with colours on the dark side. You have to be fearless when you decide to go dark, and it shows complete confidence in how you want your home to look.
Decorating a home with dark walls is all about making a statement, and whether you believe it or not, having walls in a dark colour gives you even more options for working with colour. The trick when deciding to paint walls in a dark colour is achieving an effect that is dramatic, even gorgeous but never gloomy.
#1 Stick to one room
If you don't want to overpower your home with darkness, dark walls are best for a single room or not more than two rooms in the home. You want to grab attention from a light room leading into a dark one that creates that unexpected gasp of breath, the glint of shock and the expression of awe when walking into a room with dark walls. It's not just about the walls being painted in a dark colour, it's about everything else in the space, from the floor and ceiling, trim and skirtings, furniture and accessories; these are what make any dark room a true masterpiece of art and interior design.
#2 Choose the right paint
Deciding to go dark is one thing but choosing the right paint is just as important. With so many choices you can go with, you need to determine what will work best in the room. In a large room, you can use a glossy sheen paint if you want to introduce even more drama while a matte or flat paint will evoke a more industrial theme and bring a gritty feel to a room.
In some settings, using a matte or flat wall paint will provide the perfect backdrop or canvas for what is in the room. So, if you are choosing a colour to reflect a certain mood or theme, think about whether glossy or matte will bring out the best.
Painting walls in a matte black colour lets the white fittings and trim bring light into the room and energizes the space.
#3 Use colour to your advantage
When painting walls in a dark colour, you can play around with colours to your advantage. Having dark walls let you create a sharp contrast with furniture and accessories in any space. Take, for example, how the black walls in the passage above only serve to highlight the white trim and ceiling. Far from being a gloomy space, it feels vibrant and sensual.
Painting walls in a dark colour creates a dark backdrop against which other elements stand out. In the kitchen above, dark painted cabinets let the metallic pendant lights take centre stage. The dark colour also enhances the marble countertop and backsplash.
#4 Let accessories take the spotlight
In an all-dark room, architectural details and accessories take the spotlight. A dark colour on walls fades into the background, and particularly matte or flat walls, and any accent pieces, artwork or furniture immediately grab the attention.
Dark walls can appear masculine and moody but are perfect for making details pop.
Dark walls and fittings fade into the background and let art or accessories be more prominent. Dark walls are an excellent way to showcase any art you have.
A dark wall colour works well to highlight architectural details such as crown mouldings and vintage or traditional fireplace mantels. The additional benefit of dark wall colours is that it also allows accent pieces, such as the chandeliers above and below, to shine as a gorgeous centrepiece.
Using dark and white on a wall has the effect of making the dark walls recede into the background and brings the white walls forward.
Dark grey or black walls bring out the richness in colours, particularly jewel-hued colours such as emerald green, ruby red and sapphire blue.
Below is the perfect example of how colours can pop when situated against a dark wall and, in this case, a deep blue wall colour.
#5 Highlight features or details
The clever use of dark painted walls can be used to fool the eye in many ways. See how effective a dark blue colour, painted underneath and down the side of a staircase [below], creates a stunning graphic image using nothing more than paint. The light wood balustrade appears almost a work of art - a beautiful visual.
Use dark wall colours to create eye-catching focal point, enhance architectural details or highlight features. Notice how the black floor, black door and black feature above the door add a stark contrast to white walls.
Dark walls can be painted any colour and it's not just black that provides drama and elegant appeal. Other darker hues also work well, as can be seen in the red room below.
A master bedroom is one room where a dark wall can make a statement and instil a sense of intimacy.