Whether you extend your chosen dark colour onto woodwork and ceilings or you go for a complementary neutral, decorating doesn’t stop there. Now you get to experiment with the effects created by furniture, fabrics and accessories.
When you use a dark colour on your walls, it can be quite striking to have other elements in the room in the same (or a very similar) colour but a contrasting texture. Picture a sofa in one of our deepest velvets – Mallard, Swallow or Grouse, for instance – against a wall in an equally as bold, matching shade (try Cactus with Mallard, Ink with Swallow and Walnut with Grouse). It means the sofa melts into the wall with just the lustre of the velvet whispering their separate existence. And if you’re not keen on velvet? Other fabrics can have a similar effect, like our Linara at Neptune linen-cotton in Dark Fig, which has a brushed texture that subtly picks up on light and would pair well with walls in Clove. Or you could choose to try this technique using furniture, with matt emulsion on the wall and the contrast of eggshell’s subtle sheen on the furniture.
That said, don’t have everything in the room in the same colour, or there won’t be anything to excite the eye. Think of colour contrasts as the squeeze of lemon in a dish that enlivens all the other flavours. The white mounts on framed artworks and the milky glaze of pottery are both easy ways to do this. Or, as we touched on with paint earlier, if you’d like less of a contrast, choose paler timbers and other natural materials to do the job. Don’t forget other colours can add the element of difference you need as well – Old Rose with Clove, for instance, or Saffron with Ink. And make use of metals, mirror and glass too, which will highlight as they catch the light.
The confident use of dark paint can be mellow or it can zing with drama. It’s all in how you use it.