How to use a dark paint in your home? We’re not going to lie, it takes confidence to embrace the current trend for dark walls. The thought of it can, to those with an over-active imagination and a nervous composition, conjure up images of cold, forgotten rooms. Well nonsense to that! Because adding dark walls can in fact create wonderfully warm spaces, transforming them from sterile spaces to rich, impactful rooms. Here is some advice and inspiration to help you go to the dark side.

First and foremost, there’s no need to go in full guns blazing/paintbrushes brushing – once you’ve got an idea of the colour you’re after, you can get paint swatches and tester pots from your local hardware shop and test these out on the wall you plan to paint. Seeing these in varying lights, dependent on the time of day, will help you to decide exactly which shade it is you’re after – you might be surprised!

Dark walls as backdrop

Painting a whole room a dark colour can become overpowering after a while. With most spaces one feature wall will suffice – in fact, its likely to have an even stronger impact than if you were to paint all four walls, with the neutral walls accentuating its shade to create a dramatic effect. In the bedroom we advice you use your accent wall as a backdrop for your headboard.

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But, as with everything, there are exceptions to the rule – painting all the walls dark in transition areas, like stairwells and entrances, can really help to define the space and elevate the area beyond simply being a throughfare to the next room. The same applies to small and oddly shaped spaces, such as snugs and boot rooms – not only do the dark walls add strength to the room, they also add warmth.

Bathroom splashbacks

Equally a bathroom can look excellently decadent when dark throughout, and the use of these dark hues can make an otherwise purely functional small space stand out – you can contrast and heighten the impact further by choosing tiles and a splashback in contradictory colours, like white.

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As for counterbalancing a dark wall, a neutral palette both compliments and softens it effect, and helps to bring light back into your space. Do this not only with your colour choice for the other walls, but also with the room’s furnishings, from the sofa covers to the cushions and rugs. The dark and light tones combined help to emphasize the time of year, creating an airy effect in the summer and a cosy feel in the winter.

Featured: th2designs, piped to perch stool

Feature walls

Just as your furnishings can flatter with wall, your wall can flatter your furnishings – or in the kitchen’s case, your kitchen utensils. And a dark feature wall is not only contemporary in style but is the perfect backdrop against which to display your choreographed pots and pans (just remember to keep them clean and dust free!).


Featured: th2design, boho chair, natural kitchen table

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