4 Simple Tips For Decorating With Dark Colors

Contrary to what you may have heard, decorating a room with dark colors won't automatically leave it feeling dingy and depressing. From rusty reds and burnt oranges to deep emerald greens and rich royal blues, there are loads of ways to swap the boring and basic neutrals for bolder tones that'll truly bring your space to life. And of course, if you're a fan of the more gothic shades like gunmetal gray and jet black, then it's definitely possible to use them in a way that's classy rather than creepy.

According to Vaunt Design, dark colors can work in any room — regardless of its shape, size, or function. Whether you're after a luxurious and grand-looking hallway, a bedroom that feels cozy and cocooning, or a living room that exudes Art Deco opulence, you can be sure that you'll definitely be able to find a way to embrace dark decor in your home that perfectly suits your vibe.

Consider the size and feel of the space

The function of the room is important to consider when you're perfecting your palette. For example, more bold and energizing tones typically work well in living and dining spaces, while they may feel a little too formal in a bedroom. Essentially, you need to make sure that the dark tones you've chosen give off the energy you want the room to exude — whether that's sexy and luxurious or cozy and comforting.

And as for the size of the room, it's a total interior design myth that dark tones don't work in small spaces. In fact, according to Livingetc, dark walls can offer a sophisticated energy that still feels cozy in a small living room and, in turn, makes it seem bigger. While in larger rooms that feel a little barren and soulless, bold and opulent dark tones give off an appropriate air of grandeur.

Create contrast with pops of colour and light

In order to nail the dark decor aesthetic, it's crucial that you still create balance by incorporating some contrasting hues. A few well-placed metallic accents such as light fixtures, ornaments, and picture frames will ensure your space looks glamorous rather than gloomy, while pretty pastel pinks and blues will provide a subtle lift when used for soft furnishings like cushions, rugs, and throws.

Also, as Real Homes points out, dark walls actually highlight color far more than lighter ones do. So placing your favorite vibrant piece of pricey art, cheeky neon light sign, or eclectic gallery wall consisting of your favorite prints on a background that's a little more muted than classic magnolia will make it stand out much more and accentuate your treasured pieces in all their glory. And if you're not sure whether you want to paint the whole room that color, you can still make a statement by just painting the accent wall where the artwork is hanging.

Add depth by mixing materials and textures

You want your space to feel multidimensional and thoroughly put together — so that means reflecting your choice for dark decor in more than just the color of your walls. Even if you've picked a bold and brilliant wall color, the room will still look bland and superficial unless you accessorize and style it accordingly.

Livingetc reckons the best way to do this is to style the room with many different tactile fabrics like velvet, suede, and wool — in a few chosen shades of your preferred color. This kind of layering will make the room feel cozy and inviting — rather than cold and a little bit hollow. So if you're working with a bedroom, think about pairing navy blue bedding with soft furnishings like throws, cushions, curtains, and rugs in subtly different shades instead of going for a more neutral tone to accessorize with. 

Keep it interesting by working with architectural detailing

It's clear that adding depth and intrigue are key ways to nail dark decor — so think about whether the room has any existing architectural details that you could bring to life with bold color. For example, if you're not sure whether you want to fully commit to dark and daring walls, Vaunt Design suggests leaving the walls neutral and making a pretty alcove or woodwork features like skirting boards, door frames, and wooden beams stand out instead, by painting them your chosen darker color.

But don't worry — if your space is lacking in natural character, you can simply create it yourself! Adding decorative Shaker-style molding to an otherwise blank wall or applying wooden paneling to the space behind the television can really help add that much-needed depth and rustic charm to a dark room — and ensure it doesn't appear too dull and bland.