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High-Impact Hues: Why Dramatic Interiors Can Be So Striking

What is an interior colour scheme without a little dash of drama? You want your home to be an interesting, impactful place to be, not just for yourself but also your guests. And dark colours are the ideal way to add that all-important touch of compelling drama.

Dramatic interiors add the wow factor to any home, and it’s easier than you might think to implement them, no matter what size home you’re styling.

The Benefits of Darker Colours

There are several reasons to choose a darker colour scheme, starting with the fact that it adds atmosphere and creates a cosy mood in your home. Dark colours are enveloping and cocooning, making any room feel instantly more inviting.

Dark colour schemes are also great for hiding any imperfections in your home, such as uneven walls.

Deep, rich colours such as navy, emerald green, charcoal and aubergine are perfect backdrops to art and decor, making every colour you place in front of them pop.

And, despite the consensus that dark colours can only be used in large spaces, these colour schemes work brilliantly in smaller homes when you embrace tinier areas of the home and lean into the dramatic nature of deep shades.

It’s also a way to work with what’s already present in your home. If you have an older property, for example, that has darker wood tones on the floors, cabinetry and trim, darker colors can work well to embrace that colour scheme and bring out the natural beauty of the wood. You can then pair these darker rooms with pastel furniture or neutral textiles that can add brightness to the space.

Here are some tips for creating a striking impact in your home with darker hues.

Limit Dark Colors to One Feature

If you’re scared off by the idea of decorating an entire room in dark colors, why not choose a feature and transform that into a darker shade instead? Maybe you choose a feature wall for a splash of colour, keeping everything else neutral to balance out the dark with the light.

Or perhaps you choose a functional element of the home to go darker. For example, blinds and curtains are the perfect way to add colour or pattern to a space in a more subtle way.

Concealed blinds can be hidden away until you want them on show, where you can then bring in those deeper hues for a touch of drama, especially for larger windows.

In the kitchen, worktops and cabinets can be an effective way to add depth and character, especially when paired with a paler colour on the walls.

Interior design by Jeff Schlarb | Photography by Aubrie Pick

Add Atmosphere with Earthy Colors

If you love to create a sense of occasion, earth tones are a wonderful addition to any property, particularly for living rooms and dining rooms where you’re likely to entertain.

When paired with dark woods like mahogany and walnut, rich velvety colours couple beautifully with the warm glow of low lighting for an elegant and luxurious colour scheme that makes for a very cosy space.

Why not go extremely bold and really embrace the cocooning effect that these velvet colors provide by painting the walls, trims and ceiling all the same color? It’s a tip that Abigail Ahern, an expert in moody interiors, recommends when using dark colors and one she’s even implemented in her own home.

Contrast Textures

You aren’t limited to dark colours on the walls. In fact, mixing textures in various deep shades can be a great way to play with this trend, adding drama and interest without it feeling overwhelming.

For example, maybe you add a plush rug in a deep red over your floorboards, black throws over your leather couch or statement metal light shades to add a moodier tint to your lighting.

Textures shouldn’t be overlooked when you’re creating a colour scheme, as they’re the elements that add depth to a room and make it more inviting. If you only stick to colours on the walls, you’re missing a huge opportunity to enhance your overall scheme and bring in features that add that wow factor.

Image credit: Jaz Rosten-Edwards

Lean Into a Theme

If you’re not sure where to start with dramatic interiors and bolder colours, why not choose a theme to help guide your colour palette? For example, Art Deco is a theme that utilises darker, bolder colours and geometric patterns, and can make for impactful decor in a home.

Black and gold, chrome and polished woods are commonly used in Art Decor palettes, with chevron and zigzag patterns.

Or maybe you want something more traditional. Older properties can work well with Victorian themes, with purples, greens and peacock blues that have an opulent feel to them and make any room feel instantly more cozy and welcoming.

Think about the period of your home, your personal style and the items of furniture you already have to choose a theme that works well.

Darker colours may seem more subdued in theory, but when you put them into practice, they have the potential to be every bit as dramatic and exciting as bright shades.

It can help to ground a room, create an enveloping feel or help you make the most of a smaller space to create a cocooning vibe that smaller spaces lend themselves well to.

Above and below: Design by Jaz Rosten-Edwards


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