Go Dark or Go Home?
Go Dark or Go home?
The trend towards dark interiors started for many of us with Abigail Ahern, a few years ago now. Seeing her interiors and getting that lightbulb moment, that made us think that maybe we should try it, that maybe having a dark home, need not be gloomy or "too dark", or dingy but might be liberating, cosy, cocooning, warm, relaxing, bang on trend and cool?.......it's not going to be for everyone, granted, colour style is personal, one person's love is another's hate, but for those of us, who love the dark side, it has been quite a revelation. Once you try it, it's hard to go back! And many of us have gone further, from painting one wall to ceilings, doors, the whole house!
I've not always been a dark lover, for years my home was painted in lovely light colours by Farrow and Ball, always with an eye to selling the house, through how a potential buyer may see it, but it was not me, I felt cold, I needed drama and depth of colour, I need to relax and so I tried an odd wall in darker paint and was instantly hooked, and have been gradually going darker and bolder ever since.
Naturally, since starting on Instagram, I've come across a whole raft of people that are dark home lovers too. There is even a hashtag #styleitdark, just for such inspiration.
And why do I think that dark interiors work so well?
They are dramatic, look at the pictures below and see how each room is enhanced by being dark. Look at how everything pops in a room, the art, the textures, the colours? They are glamorous, and atmospheric, I can't imagine a better place to eat dinner that at Kate's @cowboykate_ dining table. Look at how the wood is enhanced by the dark walls, or the green of the plants stands out against the black.
The colour is durable, great for a mum of small kids, you can't see the fingerprints! trust me! I spent hours with lighter walls covering up dirty toddler fingerprints. This works well in kitchens and hallways that need to be durable regardless of whether you have small kids or not.
They make a room look larger, if you paint out the walls and the ceiling and the floor, skirting boards and doors, there is no break in your eye, the room appears to go on forever, see @jazzierere@patirobins@madcowinteriors, @bo_decor.
Not convinced to move over to the dark side? We’ll have a look through the stunning interiors of some of the Instagram community, in this post and see if you remain that way inclined.
Look how the brown of the wood table and sheepskins stand out beautifully in the dining room by @cowboykate_ above. Brown works really well against black walls. The Greenery pops against the black too. It is dramatic, just what you want in a dining room, where you will often be entertaining people in the evening. And look at the dining room of @thisstyle_rocks below, or @restoringlandsdowne painted in a deep blue, which is beautiful colour in a room for entertaining. Dramatic lighting is the key here!
In Bedrooms, dark walls create cosy, cocooning atmospheres perfect for snuggling down in, it needn't be black, here in the bedroom of @jazzierere the chocolate brown creates a lovely vibe. And in the bedroom of Judy @atlantishome below, the vintage lighting and textiles, stand out perfectly against the black wall, a recent edition to an almost totally white home.
Hallways, as shown in mine above, or Catherine's @Bo_decor's or Sue's @madcowinteriors, below, are tricky to get right, often narrow, lacking in space, often dark without too many windows, the natural tendency is to paint them white or bright colours, I know, I did it myself. But you could embrace the lack of light, choose to add drama with dark paint and lots of art, create a real talking point the minute someone walks through your door? I haven’t gone as far as to paint my ceilings, that's a personal choice, but you can see it works fantastically well in the hallways below, blurring the boundaries between the ceiling, and the walls.
Living Rooms that are dark are great for that relaxing evening, but how do you get them right, or any other dark room for that matter? Well the secret is to use Matt paint, add lots of colours with accessories, see the fantastic rug in @kim-dti home or cushions, seen here in my room and @kylamagrathinteriors room, plants as in @myoffthewallinterior room and knockout furniture, the MADE sofa in my living room, or the gorgeous chocolate sofa in @myoffthewallinterior shot, and art. Bring in colour as it will stand out against the dark walls, even if its gold or white, it's a contrast.
And, look how dramatic gallery walls look with black or dark walls behind them, here with examples from Nadia @artynads and Jen @blissfully_eclectic.
Like hallways, kitchens can benefit from dark walls, that are durable and can withstand the knocks and bumps that come about in this high traffic, high use room. Here Shelley @hilaryandflo has softened hers with lovely wood, to add texture. Below the metallic of the stools in Pati's @patirobins kitchen and the wooden table stand out against the dark walls, as does the feature clock.
So, what should you do, if you want to try the dark side but not embrace it yet? Well, not every home shown here uses dark paint in every room, or even on every wall. Judy @atlantishome, has largely a white, light, boho look to her home, but has recently embraced the dark side with one black wall in her bedroom, similarly Jen @blissfully_eclectic has this dark wall in her dining room, but the rest of her home is light. @kim-dti, has pink in her dining room, a beautiful contrast to her black living room. So, you could try one wall, one room, the smallest room, and see if you like it. Remember to get the lighting right, though, darker rooms need to be lit well, to create the right ambience.
And what's the worst that could happen, you don't like it, well you can always paint it back, but dare I say, that you will have learnt something in doing so and it might just work for you because when it works, it really does work well. Look at the beautifully atmospheric shot of @villabetulablog below!
The Girl with The Green Sofa