Coming up with decorating ideas for dark rooms is tricky. Often the lack of natural light can complicate your choice of colour scheme. People too readily make the mistake of painting their room bright white, in an attempt to wrestle it into a sunnier submission. But the dark room won’t budge. It looks all the more gloomy and depressing. So the next mistake is to try and cheer it up and paint it a sunny colour like yellow. Because yellow in the colour of SUNSHINE. But sunshine yellow in a dark room is just like attempting to be really jolly at a really inappropriate time. And that’s just cringe-worthy, and so will a yellow room if you’re not careful.
So here are my tried and tested decorating ideas for coming up with an interior design scheme for a dark room. It may be because it is north facing, has a titchy window, or backs onto an exterior wall. Whatever the cause of the dimness, one thing I can promise, is your room doesn’t need to feel dingy.
First up I’d consider embracing the darkness! I say this a lot, and yup, I’m going to say it again. We’ve all become way too obsessed in aspiring to bleached out sun filled interiors. All that sunlight can get, well, a little exhausting don’t you think? Dark rooms are cosy, alluring, restful, and dramatic! So I’d be inclined to go with the dark theme and paint the walls in a dark colour. Then throw in some rich colours like walnut wood, red rugs, gold accessories to spice things up a bit. Finally ping a bit of atmospheric lighting around the place and voila, it’s looking smokin. Wall sconces, lamps and a pendant light on a dimmer switch so things can be kept on the down-low, will all do the trick. Drum shades lined in gold are a great idea too as they kick out a luxurious warm glow. This style will make a great reading room, bedroom or snug. They can also add drama and sophistication to hallways and dark thoroughfares.
Failing that I’d go bright. Really bright. Bold bright colours can look a little more sophisticated in a dark room, whereas they may go Play School in a sun filled room. A rich azure blue, a verbena pink or arsenic green would look rocking. Then sprinkle a little monochrome and metallic throughout for a little added spohistication. The other big thing to consider in your dark room is contrast. The light in a north facing room is actually lovely and even. You don’t get the stark streaks of light and shadows that you find in a south facing room. But to prevent it looking flat and bland add plenty of contrast, in both colour and texture.
What I would steer away from is the predictable off whites, pale greys or pastel colour scheme’s, as in a dark room they often just look disappointing (and there’s no crime worse than that). However if you do go pale make sure it is a warm tone (think magnolia, a mousey grey, a greenish blue), as the warmth in the pigment will counterbalance the cool natural light. In a north facing room your not getting a lot of warmth so do think about this and choose warm colours and textures for your interior design scheme.
If you have a dark room and you’re struggling to find any helpful decorating ideas, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below. If you’d like more colour scheme inspiration and decorating ideas, make sure you check out my collection of images on my Pinterest page.
Featured image at the top of this post by Lifestyleetc.co.uk
Welcome to my blog where I share my passion for interior design and everything I know from 20 years in the business.
I’m a self confessed colour lover, pattern clasher and cushion hugger.