Interior Trend: Dark is the new light

Dark is the new light in interior designPale and muted colours have long been associated with elegance and minimalism in interior design, but a new era is being ushered in by some of the world’s top designers. This year, many industry professionals have been experimenting with deep saturated tones, with gorgeously effective results.

Although light colours have been lauded for their ability to create the illusion of space, darker colours can create atmosphere by adding mood and ambience to the room in which they’re applied. When selecting a colour for wall paint you shouldn’t be afraid to go for darker shades, especially if you’re considering a feature wall. This can often be the best way to acclimatise yourself to darker wall paint than you have previously been used to. Painting or wallpapering just one wall can add stunning depth and tone to the room, especially if the other walls are off-white or stone coloured.

Get the balance right!

As with all interior design decisions, the most important thing is balance. Too much colour can be just as damaging to the ambience as too little. Neutral shades (particularly brown) and metallic accessories are the perfect foil for rooms decorated in dark colours. Brass embellishments look fabulous teamed with bold walls, as do hardwood accessories such as occasional tables and picture frames. The sumptuous dining room of Ballymac House in County Cork exemplifies this with its plum feature wall and golden highlights: the chandelier, candlesticks, and the mirror. The hardwood dining table adds an elegant touch, and the wide windows ensure that the room exudes grandeur, never gloom.

The best place to begin experimenting with dark walls is, perhaps surprisingly, the guest bathroom. Whilst traditional advice dictates that light colours should be used in small spaces, many designers have found that dark colours can actually emphasise the four walls and make the space seem more interesting and impressive. Again, neutral accessories are important here, so keep embellishments white and light.

Do you have the courage for colour?

To introduce dark colours to your home in a more gradual way, start with the accessories, replacing muted drapes with curtains in a bold colour, or switching light coloured cushions for darker ones. The living room in this marvellous Chelsea apartment provides an excellent example of how effectively a few dark embellishments can impact a neutral living room. The dark throw pillows are an eye-catching addition, and match perfectly the coffee table accoutrements, the artwork, the fireplace, and the mirror frame above the mantel. 

To search for more spectacular properties that make exceptional use of dark colours, visit Engel & Völkers online. With luxury properties located all around the world, we can help you add a stunning design statement and worthy investment to your portfolio. 


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