Home & Lifestyle

The Dark Side

When it comes to interiors there’s something quite magical about crossing over to the dark side.  We’ve all experienced the subliminal power and beauty of rooms with dark walls, but it’s something that many of us mistakenly feel is best suited to a glamorous hotel lobby or an edgy restaurant.

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions I am asked about dark colours in the home.

  1. Will dark-coloured walls make a room feel smaller? No. They might make a room feel cosier and more soulful, but not smaller. You can actually use a cool-toned dark colour scheme to create an ‘optical illusion’ which blurs the lines of a compact room and changes the perception that it’s cramped. Connecting the colours on the walls, trims and flooring makes a bigger canvas of colour, hence making the room feeling bigger.
  2. What dark colours might “cool down” a room which gets a lot of heat or direct sunlight? A dark colour can’t truly cool a room but it does make it feel less intense - colours on the green scale are the best starting point - try Taubmans Endure Blue Bayberry and Shimmering Sea.
  3. When talking colour ‘temperature’, do certain rooms benefit from a cooler or a warmer treatment?Using dark colours on the warm scale can enclose a room so I wouldn’t personally use it in a very small bedroom, however, if it is a cosy reading room a warm dark colour would be perfect. A colour like Taubmans Endure Chilled Wine can give a very regal and stately feeling to a room, but for a more modern effect, Madeira Red is a great choice. It’s all about knowing what the desired end result is.
  4. Do you have any personal preference for cooler dark schemes or warmer dark schemes? Colour is so subjective, but that’s what is so exciting about its possibilities too! If you are going bold and dark you have to go with what you love and embrace it. As I gravitate to cool colours, I love schemes that work with deep indigos, navy and emeralds such as Taubmans Endure Black Flame, Daring Indigo, Black Fox and Deep Veridian.
  5. I’m toying with the idea of using dark shades throughout an entire home. What are the rules? Do you stick to the one great shade and continue it from room to room or do you introduce other dark colours in different rooms which complement the scheme? Tread carefully here. It boils down to personal taste and your level of conviction. We’ve all been tempted by those devilishly dark and mysterious homes you see in glossy magazines and online. I can’t say I would advocate using dark colours in the whole house unless you are after an incredibly dramatic interior. It’s a look you have to fully commit to and it isn’t for the faint-hearted.
  6. Under what particular circumstances would you never employ a dark colour scheme? Are there some places / rooms which are just crying out for a pale treatment? None whatsoever! A great example is a toilet cubicle as its one of the smallest spaces and it can be magical with dark-coloured walls. Just make sure you have a great powder room mirror and lighting so it doesn’t feel ‘lost'. Continue a darker tone over the ceiling and trims and you’re really dissolving boundaries and making a space feel bigger.
  7. Is there a general rule of thumb about darker floors and furnishings when you paint walls dark?  What do dark walls do to objects and artworks within the space? If you have a small space you need to have dark-toned flooring or a dark floor accent like a well-proportioned rug (and then have bright pops of colour or burnished hits of gilt or metallic in your accessories to really get the full impact). With large rooms the ‘dark-on-dark’ maxim isn’t as necessary as you want the walls primarily to make the room feel intimate, rather than larger. Generally speaking, the larger the room the lighter the floors can be. This is where dark feature walls in a larger light-filled space can look so effective: giving a sense of scale, contrast and intimacy all in the one room.
  8. What are your personal ‘go-to’ shades for crossing to the dark side…? Taubmans Endure Trendy is my favourite black as it can take on a deep black or charcoal depending on the light. I never tire of it. It’s a great starting point for a darker interior. And the colours I’ve mentioned above are all great choices if you want to take your dark walls in a slightly more colourful direction.

For more inspiration and information, visit www.taubmans.com.au

Image courtesy of Freedom Furniture. Taubmans Black Fox featured.