Decorating with dark colours

decorating with dark colours

Using deep colours on your walls can be the most effective way to make a statement with colour.

The most common reason that people shy away from colour and end up opting for neutrals is that they are unsure of the effect that dark tones will create – will they make my room look small? Dark? Or what if it’s just too strong a statement and I have to paint over it and start again?

Deep tones can feel comforting when using around a whole room, or can create a focus if used on one wall.  Whether you frame with white on the woodwork, accentuate with fabrics and textures or blend accessories with similar tones, you won’t regret being surrounded by rich colour.    

One of the main misconceptions about decorating with deep colours is that decorating a small room with dark colours will make it feel smaller and ‘cavelike’. Often when you use deep colours on walls, especially highly pigmented paints such as our Chalky Emulsion, the effect is that the walls absorb light, making the deep colour look like it is receding – this effect can actually make a space look larger. The most important thing to consider is lighting. If you have a small room that has loads of natural light then you can go even darker to get the full effect of the colour. If there isn’t a lot of natural light then consider how you will light the room  - strategically placed lamps, fairy lights and candles all add to the effect. Lastly consider the colour of trims such as woodwork and ceilings. Painting these white will give a strong contrast with the deep walls and reflect light.

Tips for decorating with deep colour

1. Consider the effect you want to create and therefore the other colours you want to use. A flash of bright colour can look fantastic with deep tones. White is often used to contrast with deep colour. For a cozy effect, you can also choose deep tones for woodwork to blend in.

 2. Think about light! How the room is lit will determine the overall effect of the colour  - do you have lots of natural light? Will you add multiple sources of light? Do you want to keep lighting low level for effect?

3. How much do you want to use? If you aren’t entirely confident painting all of the walls in a deep tone, consider a feature wall or two in your rich colour and the others in a lighter or more neutral tone.

4. Different colours create different moods – not all dark colours will feel the same on the wall. For instance deep greens  can be quite soothing and team well with wood, creating a scheme that feels close to nature. A deep red can feel more energising and alive with warmth.

5. Test it first – It’s always a good idea to choose a few different shades of your chosen colour and then buy testers to see how they work in situ. Colours can often look lighter or darker than you expect when on walls. Test it in a few different areas in the room  - either straight onto the wall, or onto card that you can then reposition around the room to see how it changes in the light.

    From rich, velvety reds to deep purples and from muted greens to complex teal blues, there are a wealth of deep, rich colours to choose from. Our paints are formulated to perfection giving complete clarity and unsurpassed intensity of colour.  

    Go on, make a statement with colour