If you’re feeling especially brave, using dark tones in a continuous way, from skirting and radiators to walls, cornicing and yes, potentially even the ceiling, is a beautifully enveloping application of colour.
A big reason you might want to go down this route is if you have any architectural features in the room that you want to hide. That might be doorframes of different heights, awkward angles, or plain skirting. Painting them all the same colour as the walls means that they just sort of blend together and become less noticeable. You can, of course, do this with a lighter colour too, but it’s a particularly effective trick for dark colours because even the most muted of off-whites on woodwork or radiators will be a distinct contrast.
Similarly, you can also do this to visually alter a room’s proportions. Dark all over is a look that works just as well in a small room – where a strong contrast between the walls and other elements can make the room feel ‘bitty’ and busy – as in large rooms, where a strong shade all over will absorb light and create intimacy. Likewise, by painting the ceiling the same colour, you create an optical illusion that’s particularly effective at making low ceilings disappear by blurring the boundaries between where walls end and ceiling begins.
Our Suffolk kitchen scene shows how using Walnut on every surface (as well as a dark timber floor), in a room that’s medium-sized and with a good amount of light (not flooded, but neither sombre) works wonders. The single use of colour means that every part of the kitchen flows into the next, making a practical and sometimes busy space feel more harmonious. Meanwhile the Constable Green dining room demonstrates how one colour can unite walls and woodwork and create a space with a contemporary sort of minimalism, even in a period home.