Don't be afraid of the dark! Be brave. Experiment with inky hues and slightly surreal objects for an utterly dramatic interior. Paint the walls dark and add jewel tones and texture for a space that will wrap itself around you and create a level of cosy that even Hygge can handle!
Here are your five steps to build a deliciously dark space from start to finish.
1. Start With Dark Walls
The perfect spaces to go dark in are North-facing rooms, and small spaces with little natural light, don’t fight nature, embrace the darkness and use it to your advantage to create a dramatic and cocooning interior. Light from the North is cool and harsh and it can be very difficult to create a feeling of light and space. So don’t fight it - go intense!
You may be surprised at the swanky and sophisticated space you will end up with. For gorgeous examples, check out Londoner, Abigail Ahern, whose signature style hangs off dark, bold backdrops.
2. Add Statement Furniture
Here’s your chance to add some colour. A small amount of jewel tone in a fab texture will go a long way, try a green, red, yellow or turquoise velvet sofa, chair or bed for sophisticated contrast. Even a beat-up tan leather pieces work with dark walls, this really doesn’t have to be an expensive look – use some of what you already have and mix in some new elements. An old sideboard and mirror painted in a gloss red like the example below can be quite striking.
3. Nail The Lighting
If you’re going dark on the walls, it is essential to get the lighting right. Try to avoid just one strong light, like a single bright pendant, for example. Add many light sources to the room in the form of floor, table and wall lamps to create little puddles of light around the room, which will intensify the cocooning effect you’re trying to achieve.
4. Liven it up with Plants and Texture
This look needs some foliage, it will provide a break in the solid colour and add much needed texture. Try one large impressive plant strategically placed, or a few smaller ones, either arranged around the room or in a group.
Even more texture can be added with rugs and sheepskins, natural materials and hides work really well with this look, or if you want to go really wild, try an animal print rug or throw.
5. Unique Accessories and Art
Now this is where I get excited! Grab the chance to bring in a touch of quirk and eccentricity to make your home unique to you. Scour charity shops for old paintings and artworks you can update, or search for some unusual pieces online.
I’ve discovered some awesome pieces recently from Mineheart who support British design and manufacturing and French company ibride, who I saw at M&O this year, who also produce some highly unique pieces. Use some interesting artwork to break up those dark walls - like “Madame Blush”, below, from Mineheart.
At Ibride, the trays and bookshelves are so good, they can easily be displayed as art – your guests will definitely do a double-take!
Want to try the look in your home?
Then come on over to the dark side! I've searched the high street, trade shows and the internet, to put together the moodboard below to help you on your way, and if you need even more inspiration, check out my Deliciously Dark Pinterest Board.