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‘How To’ Dark Colours


How To Use Dark Colours In Interior Schemes

Darker colours are often shied away from in interior design schemes; they are said to be too gloomy, that they further close-in small spaces, and diminish illumination in spaces where natural light might be lacking. On the contrary, dark colours in interiors can have a unique, luxurious, and elegant vibe to them. To convince you, we have taken a few of the common misconceptions of using bold colours in interior spaces, and provided suggestions for tackling them, while showing you some beautiful ways its been used to achieve different styles.


1) Dark Colours Makes A Space Appear Smaller.

The idea that a space ‘appears’ smaller because of dark or bold coloured walls instead of the lighter whites or pale hues we’re used to seeing, is just that – an illusion. Ultimately, the same space will fit the same amount of contents in the same layout no matter the colours they are in. So here, the balance of colour and layout is key; Because darker colours tend to blur corners and edges, try using them on walls for the illusion of an elongated and expansive space, and try contrasting it with a lighter floor and ceiling or furnishings for balance.


2) Dark Colours Take Away From The Illumination Of A Space.

To give a room that 'light and bright' feel even when using darker colours, we recommend you consider the following: - Use eggshell or satin finishes for darker colours on walls to bounce light around, instead of matte colours which tend to absorb light. - Choose window dressings that maximise the outside light, and reflect the natural light about the space by placing mirrors, or any furnishing with reflective quality (glazed interior doors for example) opposite light sources such as windows or lamps. - Accessorise wisely – choose lighter, brighter or reflective accessories to break up darker spaces.


3) Difficult To Work With In Larger Or Longer Rooms.

Darker hues can actually be great for dividing longer or multifunctional rooms such as living-dining rooms, kitchen-diners, or open plan studio spaces. Use deep colours to draw the eye to specific sections or focal points, creating a ‘journey’ about a large space, and highlighting the functionality of a specific section in a space, such as a cozy corner.


4) Dark Colours Are Overwhelming And/Or Feel Restrictive in Its Styling Options.

If in doubt, start small; begin in smaller spaces – cloakrooms, smaller spare bedrooms, or studies. Otherwise, use it for a feature wall, splashback in kitchens, with changeable freestanding furniture items like an upholstered sofa or easily replaced or changes pieces. These will allow you to get comfortable before getting into full-blown dark interior schemes.

Shop The Look!

Here is a sample moodboard to get you started. Depending on whether you are a novice, feeling challenged, or wanting to make a bold statement of style, pick some or all of the scheme. Recreate the board yourself by getting in touch with us for the shopping list, or better still, let us tailor it specifically to your space and taste!


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