Going To The Dark (Paint) Side

Pinterest has been awash recently with gorgeous dark and brooding interior images. Once the domain of the “feature wall” navy, plum and teal tones throughout the home are storming the internet and the paint manufacturers are stocking the shelves. Intelligent lighting, blended antique and modern furniture with soft textured fabrics have transformed these once bleak, cold and gothic tones into inviting, sophisticated and warm spaces.

Dark blue paint

Always do 2 or 3 coats when testing paint to appreciate colour density

But going dark is not without its challenges. Just a few we have experienced are listed below:

  1. Just because you are open to exciting and bold design doesn’t mean everyone around you will be. When mentioning you intend to paint your home a dark colour you will generally face a wall of tutting. People will think it will be too dark, depressing, overwhelming and it will ‘have to be repainted when you want to sell’. This one is particularly irrIMG_3064ational – as a professional, I would never recommend a client make ireparable alterations to a property that would harm its resale value, but I would also insist they decorate it in a manner that suits them and their lifestyle and to worry about selling it when the time comes. Why would you design your home for its next inhabitant?
  2. Dark paint is harder to visualise en masse. A sample paint tin will give you a good idea of drying colour, but like wallpaper, can’t really convey the impact it will have once the entire room has been painted. Also, the bolder the colour the more you find it can differ from colour chart to reality. You end up testing a lot of colours…
  3. Dark paint is hard to photograph accurately. You will find that images in magazines have several layers of professional lighting and digital fiddling, so you’ll find that tone hard to achieve yourself. Once it’s in place you’ll find you can’t really capture how it looks in the flesh. As an example, this image was taken with an iPhone 6 of a wall painted a bespoke shade. The solid tone box indicates the colour it appears to the naked eye

 

dark paint

Misleading photography

darkteal

The actual colour

Dark coloured walls can be incredibly rewarding. They have long been sort after by collectors. The contrast they provide with lighter shaded art works really makes them stand out. Anything displayed in a darker room and well lit will instantly draw you over and make you notice more detail. So if you have invested in art, collectables, furniture and furnishings such as nice curtains, the darker tones can really highlight them and show them off in a way a lighter room never will. Go on, be brave…

dark paint samples

Watching paint dry

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