Catherine Cuddy's Blog
Dark colors can be striking in any home, but too many darks can make your home seem gloomy and depressing. Fortunately, simple changes and choices can help you create a space with a dark palette that is attention-getting, not depressing.
Lighting at various levels matters for any space; the right setup of lights from above, on tabletops and even as accents for artwork visually brightens and expands a space. This effect is even more important when you have a darker wall color and furnishings. Make sure your room has adequate light and your space will look cozy, not grim and overly dark.
Go for the Gloss
When it comes to paint for your walls, doors and trim, you have several options ranging from flat, matte finishes to shiny, glossy surfaces. Choose glossy finishes to make your walls and trim pop, even in a dark room. Flat paint will absorb light and look dull, but glossy finishes will reflect light and brighten up your space. Use satin and semi-gloss on walls and accessories, and high gloss on trim for best results.
Soften with Textiles
Dark spaces can lose their impact if everything blends together. Incorporate some texture and color using throws, pillows and other textiles. These items can pull your space together, offer some contrast and ensure your room is striking, not gloomy, too.
Choose Dark, not Black
Navy, deep eggplant and burnt umber are all dark shades that still have interest and color; use one of these rich shades instead of black for your walls and furnishings. You’ll get the striking results you want without the Halloween-like appearance.
Use Mirrors to Reflect Light
Mirrors help bounce natural light from your windows around the room and liven up the space. Mirrors or reflective metallic surfaces help add highlights and interest to your space and make it more visually appealing.
Use Colorful Artwork
Dark doesn’t mean colorless or boring. Choose bold artwork and showcase it on your darker walls. You’ll not only highlight your favorite pieces, you’ll get a look worthy of an art gallery, right in your home.
Use a Variety of Shades
Dark furniture against a dark wall on top of a dark rug will look flat and boring. Opt for a palette of colors that work well together instead of a single, unified shade. You'll create a more interesting space and avoid a gloomy, foreboding look, too.
Used correctly, dark colors can have a striking impact on any space and allow you to create a room that is uniquely yours -- use one or more of the ideas above to incorporate darker shades the right way and you'll end up with a look you'll love.