Dark magic. Colour with confidence

Drawn to the darker hues of decorating? Want to add depth of colour to your home but not sure where to start? Our Interior Design team share the top 5 ways to infuse, inject and install lasting and attractive colour choices into your home. 

Use colour correctly and you can make your interior style selections pop, sparkle and shine, while colour clashes can destroy even the most expensive furniture or accessory investments.

Colour code with confidence using our team’s top 5 tips and create a lasting look with a little dark magic

1. Paint rich

  • The bedroom can be your outlet to splash your preferred richer colour, with the moody hues encouraging a sense of relaxation and intimacy
  • A lounge room that has a fireplace or has doors on it is a great space to add a rich colour, with a welcoming and engaging vibe more reflective of a hotel feel
  • Home theatres are definitely the place to inject dark paint colours, where they not only look great but also reduce reflective wall surfaces - making for better movie viewing

Remember when you add a darker tone to the walls, keep the ceilings, doors, architraves and skirting boards white to create a frame around the colour. This lifts the overall space and stops it from feeling closed in.

Wallpaper can also be a great option in a rich colour but choose a product that either has a texture, wave or pattern, or a stunning small pin stripe to suit your overall theme.   

2. See the dark side

  • Dark floors can look great in a home, especially when installing timber or laminate but make sure you use a version that has an aged feel – either a scraped or two tone finish or consider second hand boards, as the diversity of wear can stop the colour from looking flat and heavy
  • Darker tiles are a great feature option, particularly for a powder room as it’s not a room that needs to look large. Create a stunning hotel room feel and don’t be afraid to put the tiles on the wall and add a pendant to give off some soft feature lighting

3. A moody formula for furniture and furnishings

  • When it comes to furniture, dark timber tones work well but ensure you keep the tones similar throughout all of your selected pieces, as it will generate an effortless flow factor
  • Use dark colours in fabric but with caution! Only use dark fabrics when there is a lift somewhere in the space - whether it’s on the walls with artwork, cushions or a rug. Consider keeping the main sofa in a lighter colour and then feature your occasional chairs and dining chairs in a darker colour

 4. Décor with depth

  • Darker décor can be really inviting but it must be balanced. A black frame on your artwork works with most styles and is readily available. It’s ok to have strong pieces with a darker finish but it will rely on a story of lighter tones nearby, so that the dark piece stands out. Do too many darker pieces and they will fall flat by blending into each other and you will lose the overall affect
  • Cushions are available in plenty of darker colours - consider adding a small pattern, stripe or texture to help the cushions sit really well in your overall theme


5. Contrast in cabinetry

  • Current kitchen cabinetry trends are becoming lighter but there is no reason you can’t do darker cabinetry, if this is what you are drawn to
  • Black benchtops looks stunning but go for a honed look, rather than a shiny version. If you choose to go with a darker finish then make sure your base cabinets are a mid tone to achieve the all important balance of contrast
  • The contrast of a black benchtop and white cabinets can be very stark and consequently, it makes it harder to flow with the rest of the surrounding rooms. To make it work, consider the reverse and choose darker cabinets and a mid tone benchtop
  • Consider a lighter benchtop with a vein similar to marble eg – Verona Mist from Essa Stone, as it has a grey vein that complements with darker cabinets.

When using colour across any hue, tone or palette, it’s most important to consider the effect across the whole house, as well as room by room, so that the style flows from one space to the next.

Have you used colour to create WOW in your home? Share your pictures or tips with us!



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