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Decorating with Dark Colour Schemes

Last Updated Jul 30, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

Dark colours can make a striking impact in the home but many people are scared to use them for fear of making the home feel smaller, or depressing.   The key is knowing how to use them, which is why we thought it’d be a good idea to put together a guide on how to decorate using dark colour schemes.  Here are the hints and tips that you need to get started. For more help, just have a chat with your local interior design professional.

Watch Out for the Walls

Darker paint colours look spectacular when used on large expanses of wall but the trick is not to overdo it.  Unless you have a huge room or are trying to create an extremely cosy feel, you may not want to use dark paint on all four walls in the room.  Darker colours are much better used as feature walls.  If you do want to paint the entire room dark, make sure your furnishings, curtains and other elements are light in colour to help lift the space.

Use Dark Colours to Complement Your Decor

Whether it’s purples, reds, browns, greys, blacks, deep greens, or navy blues, the simple act of using dark colours as part of your decor doesn’t have be bold by nature.  You can use dark colours in a very complementary way, especially if you have a lot of lighter elements in your room.  If you have standard light neutral walls, it’ll look fantastic to use deep, rich tones in your furniture or even in your accessories.  Think deep red roses, lacquered teak, rich brown or black leathers and so on.

Go Dark on the Floor

One thing that many people unintentionally overlook when creating a colour scheme in the home is the floor. The floor is a huge space in the home and it makes a difference to the overall theme and feel of a room.  Dark colours work wonderfully on floors – think deep grey tiles, chocolate carpets, or near black timbers.  All these make a hell of a design statement!

Make Good Use of White

One of the best ways to use dark colours to your heart’s content without them becoming overwhelming is to counteract them with plenty of white.  Paint ceilings, skirting boards, and cornices white, so they act as a frame for dark colours on the wall.  Add white furniture and plenty of white accessories such as lamps, vases, cushions and throws.
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