How To Use Dark Colors Without The Gloom

by Ellen Johnson 12/07/2020

Photo by Media Design and Media Publishing via Pixabay

Dark colors can be striking in any home, but too many darks can make your home seem gloomy and depressing. Fortunately, simple changes and choices can help you create a space with a dark palette that is attention-getting, not depressing.

Lighting Matters

Lighting at various levels matters for any space; the right setup of lights from above, on tabletops and even as accents for artwork visually brightens and expands a space. This effect is even more important when you have a darker wall color and furnishings. Make sure your room has adequate light and your space will look cozy, not grim and overly dark.

Go for the Gloss

When it comes to paint for your walls, doors and trim, you have several options ranging from flat, matte finishes to shiny, glossy surfaces. Choose glossy finishes to make your walls and trim pop, even in a dark room. Flat paint will absorb light and look dull, but glossy finishes will reflect light and brighten up your space. Use satin and semi-gloss on walls and accessories, and high gloss on trim for best results.

Soften with Textiles

Dark spaces can lose their impact if everything blends together. Incorporate some texture and color using throws, pillows and other textiles. These items can pull your space together, offer some contrast and ensure your room is striking, not gloomy, too.

Choose Dark, not Black

Navy, deep eggplant and burnt umber are all dark shades that still have interest and color; use one of these rich shades instead of black for your walls and furnishings. You’ll get the striking results you want without the Halloween-like appearance.

Use Mirrors to Reflect Light

Mirrors help bounce natural light from your windows around the room and liven up the space. Mirrors or reflective metallic surfaces help add highlights and interest to your space and make it more visually appealing.

Use Colorful Artwork

Dark doesn’t mean colorless or boring. Choose bold artwork and showcase it on your darker walls. You’ll not only highlight your favorite pieces, you’ll get a look worthy of an art gallery, right in your home.

Use a Variety of Shades

Dark furniture against a dark wall on top of a dark rug will look flat and boring. Opt for a palette of colors that work well together instead of a single, unified shade. You'll create a more interesting space and avoid a gloomy, foreboding look, too. 

Used correctly, dark colors can have a striking impact on any space and allow you to create a room that is uniquely yours -- use one or more of the ideas above to incorporate darker shades the right way and you'll end up with a look  you'll love. 

About the Author
Author

Ellen Johnson

I am a longtime time resident of Plymouth, I started my love of the area as a summer resident who was lucky enough to spend summers at the beautiful Priscilla Beach. I am a successful business owner who owned the first salon and day spa in Plymouth. I sold that business and started a highly successful women's clothing and accessory store also located in Plymouth.  My love of the area and real estate brought me to a new chapter in my life full time real estate sales.

Leveraging my experience as a business owner known for outstanding client service, high tech marketing and a personal touch that is needed in a real estate transaction I have guided my sellers and buyers through the complicates process of a real estate transaction. I am proud to say that I received the International Diamond Society designation, awarded to the top 11% of all Coldwell Banker Affiliated Sale Associates consecutively the most recent year 2020.

I am grateful for my wonderful husband and 3 beautiful children. Also, to live on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I can truly say there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME!