Dark Walls – Dreary or Cheery?

What do you think about dark paint and wallpaper? Often when I suggest it, my clients get a little nervous. They become especially hesitant when we’re discussing a small room. However, powder rooms as well as Offices and Dens, are the best places in your house to try something like this.

Here are some of the objections and benefits I discuss with my Fairfield, Westchester and E-Design clients. You may be thinking some of the same things.

Let’s look at the concerns first.

Concern #1
Is it too dark?

No. Going dark does not mean the space will be dreary. Not only do dark walls make a statement, surprisingly they create more light. This happens because more natural light bounces off dark colors.

From kellydesigns
From kellydesigns

Concern #2
Is it too trendy?

People have been painting and papering walls with dark shades throughout time. My feeling is that dark walls are classic and they will not go out of style. You just have to be sure that you are doing it right.

from studio mcgee
from studio mcgee

Concern #3
The rest of my house has lighter colored walls. Will it throw off the flow of the home?

Not at all. It’s okay to have some dark walls and some light. Again, assuming you do it right, it does NOT interrupt the flow of the home but rather adds character and creates some depth.

from studio mcgee
from studio mcgee

Here are some tips on how to add dark walls to your home.

Tip #1
It's all about balance

By incorporating light furnishings and decor into your room design, you will create the necessary harmony between light and dark.

From kellydesigns
From kellydesigns

 Tip #2
Preview the finished look

Get swatches of furniture and fabric and get paint samples to put on your wall. It’s key to see the dark colors in the natural light.

from decoholic
from decoholic

Tip #3
Think of your dark shade as neutral

Dark colors are very versatile in that they blend well with other colors. This means you can play with your decor as much as you want and don’t hesitate to add a lot of texture.

From kellydesigns
From kellydesigns

Here are some of my favorite dark shades from Benjamin Moore:


and my favorite dark shades from Sherwin Williams:


One of my favorite design studios is Studio McGee. I love the way they incorporate the dark walls and light furnishings to create beautiful spaces.

In general, keep in mind that dark colors help make a room feel warm and cozy while light colors feel more cool and airy. Both are great, it just depends on the mood you are going for.

I hope these tips have been helpful. If you want to make sure you get it right, feel free to:

  • ask me any questions here
  • book an E-Design color consultation here for only $85, AND
  • schedule an informational call with me here.