How to Create Drama with Dark Paint Colors

dark grey living room with pops of colour

Moody hues. They’ve been on our radar for quite some time now but 2016 looks to be the year that dark paint colors become much more mainstream than a trend just adopted by the design-saavy.

I’ll be honest with you – when I first saw black walls becoming a ‘thing’ on interior design sites a few years ago, I assumed it was a passing fad. It reminded me of my youth, all black eyeliner and ripped jeans with Doc Martins and posters of obscure bands on my wall, writing furiously into my journals about my parents just not understanding me and endless tomes about my latest crush.

But I realised slowly, this was different. It wasn’t “parental rebellion” I saw in these images. It started with the odd feature wall but slowly, I was seeing entire rooms enveloped in dark cozy inky colors, natural textures comfortable against their moody backdrops, pops of bright hues engaging my senses in ways I’d never before noticed and metallics gleaming as stars against a night sky.

inky blue wall colour Abigail Ahern

This dark movement started quietly but for me it was probably British interior designer and entrepreneur Abigail Ahern who was the main culprit in bringing it to the mainstream. Her inky hues are the signature of her maximalist California / Old West/Bohemian look.

The legions of followers of her popular blog (myself included) picked up our paintbrushes by the masses, equipped with the tools and advice we needed to make this look work and soon thereafter, I committed myself wholly by saturating the walls in my bedroom with a nearly-black slate grey. I was immediately converted as was my other half who took a full year of convincing before he let me do it.

Swoon Worthy bedroom black paint

my own black bedroom

The main concern most people have before committing to a dark color is that it will make the resulting space feel a lot smaller. While this may be the case, I do find that the edges of the room, encased in that darkness, become inconspicuous and therefore tend to recede. It’s less of a feeling of claustrophobia and more one of coziness and intimacy.

dark bedroom Abigail Ahern

The secret really lies not in the paint color itself, but what goes against this velvety backdrop. Whatever it is that you place against it will be where your eye is drawn and so best make whatever it is worthy of attention. Objects and furnishings pop against dark colors – more so than they would against a white backdrop – and colors appear brighter and bolder.

dark living room Graham Atkin Hughes

Take care when choosing your art and accessories – ensure they engage the mind, attract the eye and tantalise the senses. The more interesting and engaging your choices, the more the resulting room comes to life.

dark grey living room with pops of colour

A hint of shimmery metallics will add a natural glamour as well, piercing the darkness with their reflective surfaces. White provides a fitting contrast, becoming brighter and starker.

black bathroom

In a room full of warm neutrals, be sure to bring in plenty of texture to keep things from looking too flat and creating a cozy and welcoming vibe.

dark dining room with feather light A Beautiful Mess

Lighting in a dark room plays a prominent role as well. You want to create pockets of light with plenty of options – not just for your general lighting but also by way of things like table and floor lamps as well as wall sconces, illuminating various areas of the room that you want to draw attention to.

farrow and ball dark paint colour bedroom

GET THE LOOK

Choose the right furniture and accessories for your dark walls with eye-catching details, textures and statement color.

Dark Paint Colour Accessories and Furniture from My Two Designers

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While I won’t necessarily be painting every wall in my own home a dark hue, I still love my bedroom with it’s warm and intimate coziness. Will dark paint colors become the next ‘builder beige’? That’s probably doubtful as I do believe it takes a little bit of courage to take that leap but I certainly hope this trend which is certainly getting stronger all the time, decides to stay awhile.

What do you think of the latest trend of dark wall colors? Is it something you’d like in your home? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Image sources: David Cleveland for The Guardian / Abigail Ahern / Swoon Worthy / Abigail Ahern / Graham Atkins-Hughes for Remodelista / David Cleveland for The Guardian / Donna Dotan for Living Gazette / A Beautiful Mess / Farrow & Ball

How to Use Accessories to Warm Up a Space

cosy living room with fireplace

Ahh yes, it’s January. Once the seasonal decorations come down and your homes is stripped back to it’s former state, you may be feeling as though your house is lacking a little lustre. And while this may be the case, it might be too cold to venture outdoors at this time of year and so you may be spending more time at home. With that comes the desire to feel as though your home is a bit like your personal nest – somewhere to can curl up, safe and warm, with a good book and a cup of coffee or huddle down until the roads are clear on a comfy sofa with our loved ones to catch up on the latest series on Netflix.

Well, you can bring in a lot of visual and practical warmth simply by changing up some of your accessories. While pale colours and light fabrics may work well in your home in the warmer months, the winter requires a little more coziness. Of course, you don’t have to completely redecorate with every season but there are a few things you can add that will make all the difference.

Textiles

cosy bed with cushions and throw

This is probably the most obvious one but it’s certainly worth mentioning. Creating that cozy nest will require a few changes in things like cushions, throws and blankets and possibly rugs and curtains. Who doesn’t love the feel of warm, fluffy fabrics against their skin at this time of year?

Create an inviting and warm look by swapping your regular pillows for some knitted beauties, consider adding a throw or two to the sofa and keep those chilly nights at bay with something soft underfoot. The textures of things like wool, velvet, fur, knits and pelts immediately bring to mind comfort and warmth, something that we crave when the temperatures dip.

My Two Designers Textiles

 

 

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Wood

warm wood and textiles living room

One of the beauties of wood is that unlike man-made materials, it tends to warm up to the temperature around it. So it never feels particularly cold or unwelcoming. The natural grains and colours of wood also bring a warmth in terms of color into our homes and tends to ground the space, bringing the best of the outdoors in.

Choose a few wood accessories in deeper shades to accent your décor and remember that Mother Nature never gets it wrong in the style stakes.

My Two Designers Wood Accessories

 

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Metallics

gold tables in cosy living room

With it’s reflective properties, the beauty of warm metals (think brass, gold, copper and rose gold) is that any available light will be bounced around a room. During a time when the sun may be a bit more scarce than normal, make the most of it by using accessories that warm up the space by their ability to transform the light into something magical.

Consider introducing warmer metals into your home by way of gilded cushions, a gleaming side table, smaller ornaments, tables and lighting.

My Two Designer Warm Metals

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Lighting

multiple lights in one room

Speaking of lighting, there’s no better way to bring a bit of softness and ambiance into a space than with your lighting. So often a neglected feature, a blazing overhead light does little to create a cozy atmosphere. Instead, ensure your main lighting is on a dimmer and then accent it with soft pools of light from table lamps, sconces and floor lamps. A soft golden glow will be cast, creating a flattering and comforting light for those around it.

My Two Designers Lighting

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So these are just a few ways to add some warmth to your abode this winter! How do you warm up your space in the winter? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Image sources: Julien Fernandez via Abigail AhernFlo Design Studios via Domaine / Amber Interiors / Ashley Gieseking via Domino / Diana Ousdal

How to add color to a neutral space

While I can appreciate the nuances and textures of a neutrally decorated room, color makes me and my home feel alive. It can be something as simple as a bright yellow vase or a blush pink cushion but a little bit of color in a room can mean the difference between a room feeling a bit bland and something that tantalizes the senses and makes me want to stick around for a while.

Pink-curtains-in-neutral-dining-room

But how do you gain the confidence to decorate with color? There are some simple rules to using color that will make your choices a little easier and certainly more enjoyable than slapping some paint up on the walls only to experience crushing disappointment when it doesn’t look as you’d imagined in your head. While choosing colors for your home may be the most exciting part of decorating a room, you will need to first think about your existing furnishings and accessories. Starting from a blank slate can also be a bit intimidating when there is so much choice out there. So where do you start?

Color Inspiration

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My first tip is to either use or find something with multiple colors within it that you love. It could be a painting or a fabric or wallpaper. Try pulling the colors from this item into the rest of your room. You can see above how one piece of art can inspire two very different room color schemes. Which one would you chose?

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10 Ways to Create a Statement in Your Interiors

You can call it the ‘Wow’ factor or the ‘focus’ of a room but one thing is for certain – making a big statement in terms of your style is big news in interiors right now. It’s the one thing that draws attention, turns your head, perhaps even makes your jaw drop and creates an instant style moment in a space.

While I firmly believe that every single room in your home should have some statement quality about it, how do you inject that magic element of surprise or intrigue into your own home? Today, I’m going to share with you 10 different things you can do – either individually or if you’re feeling brave, in combination – to get that statement look in your interiors.

Art

statement art

While the gallery wall is still popular, the newest way to make a real design statement is go big with your artwork. Choosing one large piece to anchor your room will dictate the mood and possibly palette of your space so deciding on a piece you really love will be the most crucial step.  While larger art may be pricey, don’t forget you can also get large canvases from your local craft or hobby store and with a few paintbrushes and paint, you may just unlock a secret talent!

Shop This Look:

Understated II     statement art product 2-1     statement art product 3-1

Wallpaper

statement wallpaper

With the trend of wallpaper still riding a crest in popularity combined with new technology in the digital print arena, narrowing down which one to use in a space can often be overwhelming with all the choices available. Consider things like your preferred color palette, the addition of texture or movement within a pattern and the mood you want your room to evoke.

Shop the look:

statement wallpaper product 3   statement wallpaper product 2-1    statement wallpaper product 1-1

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