How to use dark colors in home decor

Dark colors can make a home feel chic, sophisticated and modern. Used incorrectly, however, they can make an interior feel gloomy or small. Here are some tips for using dark colors in your home successfully.

Black sofa and rugs in a well-lit room

Picture source:

In a large, airy room with lots of natural light, you can get away with using more dark colors (even black). Darker rugs or dark furniture do well in these rooms, since they won’t overpower the space. Just be sure to add a pop of color or a lighter neutral so all of those dark colors don’t blend together.

Dark walls in a living room

Picture source:

Dark walls are a great way to make a large room feel cozier. If you’re worried about the room feeling closed-in, paint just one wall as an accent, or pair darker walls with a warmly painted ceiling and light wood floors. Test paint swatches in a variety of lights–morning, afternoon, and artificial–to get the best feel for what shade you need for the room.

Dark navy bedroom walls

Picture source:

Even in a small room, a darker shade of paint feels crisp when paired with light, bright accessories: furniture, linens, pictures, etc. A warmer shade of navy blue, rich green, or deep chocolate is great for a small room, since it will feel rich and modern without making the space too visually dark.

Dark bedding with light walls and bright accents

Picture source:

If you’re not ready to commit to dark walls, try dark bed linens or dark furniture. Again, you can keep these large dark pieces from overpowering a room by pairing them with light or colorful walls, floor coverings, curtains, and artwork. That way, the rich focal point won’t weigh the room down.

A dark interior with lots of natural textures and wood

Picture source:

Another way to keep a dark room feeling warm rather than gloomy is to incorporate lots of natural textures: plenty of raw wood, plants, and woven rugs make a room feel rich and warm. And again, the more natural light, the better!