If you haven’t already tried incorporating swathes of dark, dramatic colours into your home décor, now is the time.
A decade ago it was considered quite avant garde to use darker shades on walls and ceilings, but in recent years this has become a tool frequently used by interior designers and DIYers to heighten a room’s sophistication and raise the style stakes.
The myth of “shrinking” rooms
If you’ve been tuned in to interior design for longer than a decade, you probably approach dark walls with no small amount of trepidation. Dark walls make rooms feel smaller is a cautionary adage just waiting to be debunked – and the experts at Ideal Home UK are more than happy to oblige…
Those wise interior design professionals consider the idea a misconception, since more often than not dark colours work to add definition to spaces and “push the walls out”. So, don’t let a fear of dark walls limit your ambition or creativity.
Once we surpass our hesitancy, it can feel quite liberating to work with dark paint or wallpaper – expanding our palette of colours and design possibilities exponentially.
However, in order to use dark colours correctly (ie without making your home uncomfortably dark and cave-like), you have to boost other sources of light and reflection in order to create balance.
This could be a source of natural light, such a Velux window, sun tunnel, French doors, bi-fold doors or floor-to-ceiling windows. If your room or your hallway has a ready supply of natural light, there’s no reason to shy away from a dark wall colour.
Mastering light and dark
Very few of us are so lucky as to have heaps of natural light, or ample sunlight we can rely on year round. That’s why it’s important to invest in great-looking, high-quality lighting fixtures.
In a recent episode of BBC’s Interior Design Masters hosted by Fearne Cotton, guest judge Sophie Robinson – a renowned British interior stylist, designer and journalist – lauded the bold shades chosen by one aspiring interior designer, but marked the competitor down for failing to balance it with a well-considered lighting scheme.
If you’re going for dark walls, lighting should be a major part of the room’s overall design – not an afterthought. Reflective surfaces including mirrors can help to make light sources have more impact, and teaming these up with white-painted or bleached wood furniture can help to further create balance, depending on the darkness of the shade and how much of the colour you’ve used in the room.
Remember: your lighting fixtures, as well as your light-coloured furniture and home accessories, will stand out more against dark walls. Take advantage of this opportunity by installing lights which make their own style statement. For example, you’ll find in our own Alchemist range a selection of stunning, hand-crafted wall lights which are among our most popular choices for creating a dramatic effect when paired with dark walls.
Take a look at the grey palette used in this cover feature from internally renowned magazine Warehouse Home in a collaboration with developers Urban Splash. Here, our long reeded glass wall lights are looking simply exquisite.
However, since that time we’ve rounded out our range to provide a wider selection, adding the gorgeous Barcelona, Alicante, Malaga, Evo Organic, Madrid and Sevilla wall lights.(image courtesy of Oliver Perrott and My Warehouse Home)
Armed with these incredible selections, you’re sure to create the balance and interest you need to pull off dark walls with ease. So, brushes and rollers at the ready… it’s time to bring the drama.
Discover the complete indoor collection from Gwyn Carless At The Light Yard here