… or if you’re not *quite* that daring, keep things interesting by introducing a few dark accents into the home. The #styleitdark interiors trend is one that’s never really gone away in recent years, and now we’re facing down the official end of British Summertime, it feels kind of right to be embracing some of that darkness to create a warm and indulgent home.
It might seem crazy to be ushering darkness in when we’re a nation (if you’re reading this in the northern hemisphere) starved of natural daylight for well over half of the year, but there’s something a little decadent about a streak of black in a pale and scandi-style sitting room, or a significant piece of dark-painted furniture
“Many people worry that dark colours may appear depressing. I happen to think they are calming, super-relaxing and make you feel snuggled and cocooned.”
- Abigail Ahern, Interior Designer
It’s not just about black, though; dark blue kitchens with brassy hardware are the stuff of Insta-dreams these days, and tins of Farrow & Ball Down Pipe have been flying off the shelves for years now. Inky hues are elegant and a little moody all at once, and dark colours actually make a space seem larger if you’re thinking of literally painting it black: “Dark colours recede. When a room is painted a dark colour, the colour will actually make the room look larger, rather than bringing the walls in,” explains Kayleigh Whybrow, colour technician at Johnstone’s Paint.
Now black walls aren’t for everyone, but dark wallpaper, sofa cushions or throws with dark accents and storage baskets in inky tones or will bring some drama to the space. It’s a practical choice, too: you’re not going to worry so much about scuffs and spills with dark colours!
Adding colour will intensify those darker choices: jewel colours like emerald and fuschia bring an intensified sense of opulence when paired with black, whilst a streak of black adds edge and interest to neutral hues. Blush pink is a beautiful pairing for darker charcoals, whilst flashes of neon really pop with a black stripe in the mix.
5 Tips for Styling it Dark
- Pale rugs provide a lovely foil to dark sofas and other items of furniture
- Whether you’re painting walls or furniture, examine paint colour under natural AND electric light before buying
- Paint the backs of doors and skirtings to match the walls. Rooms feel calmer and larger if the dominant colours aren’t broken up – this is more of a general tip for creating space but is extremely effective when dealing in dark tones.
- Layer lots of lighting options - ceiling, floor, table, fairy - to dial up the cosy and banish and threat of gloominess.
- Darker accents can be more gently introduced to the room through wallpaper and curtain choices, throws and cushions, and other accessories like storage baskets for logs, rugs, slippers and knitting.
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