The trend for painting rooms in darker shades is really taking hold, with the likes of Abigail Ahern and Rockett St George taking this look into the main stream. Even M&S’s latest press show showcased a F+B Hague Blue set!
Deeper shades have traditionally been seen as a bold move, but they can be used to great effect, giving character and warmth to a space.
Personally, I like to mix both lighter and darker shades of a palette through a property to create interest as well as cohesion as you move through the space.
Joa Studholme, Colour Consultant for Farrow and Ball, advocates using a dark colour for your hallway to provide drama as you enter, with lighter shades for the rooms off. I love this, but with a practical head, I also like being able to maximize the light in my hallway, to help when grappling with children’s shoes and clothing!
For me, dark colours come into their own for those spaces you want to feel warm and cozy. Bedrooms, living rooms, snugs and studies all lend themselves to deeper shades. They also look great in spaces which are already dark, such as north facing rooms and cloakrooms, where it’s best to embrace nature and architecture rather than fight it.
There are numerous paint colours to choose from, including grey, blue and green shades. Farrow and Ball and Little Green have some of my favourites. One word of caution, many dark greys can look very different depending on the light source. Do try out your colour choices on all walls of your room before you take the plunge.
If you want to go all out then don’t stop with the walls. Painting the woodwork in the same or a tonal shade really adds to the drama and sophistication. Again, with an ever-practical eye, a lighter shade for the doors and skirting can also look smart, and does not need to be repainted every time you want to update the walls! Just make sure you avoid white, which will look too stark and somewhat cheapen your look. Go for a grey neutral such as F+B Strong White.
Once you’ve taken a leap of faith and created your dark backdrop, attention must turn to furnishings and accessories.
To make a dark room work, you will need texture and contrast. If you’re really scared of colour then try a black and white scheme. Again avoiding optic white but using light greys or neutrals instead.
One notch up the bravery scale are deep jewel tones such as reads and greens. These will really up the glamour stakes.
A final alternative is to use some poppy accents such as bright pink or yellow.
Finally, add some metallics such as brass and copper. These will add to the warmth and help bounce light around.
Whichever way you go, you can be sure that a dark based scheme will have real impact. With the right execution, your room will feel warm and inviting whilst definitely avoiding the bland factor.