How to use dark colours in small rooms

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One of the most frustrating design myths that we hear here at homify, is that dark colours aren't suitable for small spaces. Truly nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, dark colours, if used incorrectly, can make a space feel smaller. But conversely, and when skilfully incorporated, compact areas can greatly benefit from the added drama of a dark hue. Now, most people will undoubtedly tell you that pale and muted tones are the best shade to use within a minute space, but rich shades, and a dark colour palette can actually help to enlarge your space far beyond its diminutive size. 

Essentially, when choosing a colour for your smaller interior spaces there are no rules! Many individuals believe that an all-white scheme and few furnishings will enhance the perceived floor area of a room, but this is surprisingly far from the truth. Sharp colours, and a well-defined scheme are the best way to lengthen and enlarge your compact room, with colourful hues adding to the clarity and openness of the space. 

For some stylish examples and gorgeous visual demonstrations, check out the unique images below and get inspired!

First things first… choose the correct hue

One of the easiest and quickest ways to expand a compact space is with very obvious hues and colours. Although it may seem as if it should be the other way around, dark vivid tones expand a space effortlessly. One room that many individuals assume require light, bright, white tones is the bathroom. On the contrary, bathrooms can greatly benefit from dark and dusky shades, enriching the depth of a space, and invigorating the overall ambience.

The above example is a brilliant illustration of how to include a dark hue within a relatively compact washroom. Although the room feels spacious, there are surprisingly few square metres. A textured black tile is used to add a romantic feeling within the space, and the contrasting cream tiles and bright white tub add the sense of cleanliness and contemporary style.

Secondly, add appropriate furnishings that compliment dark colours

Next up we need to think about the furnishings within the room. In a small space, if you are using dark walls, you are going to want to pick your furniture carefully and selectively. Too much furniture can crowd the space, and when this is paired with dark walls, you will find your room cloistered and cluttered. However, if you choose your furniture well, you can expect a space that is welcoming, spacious, and effortlessly enjoyable. 

This studio space is a great demonstration of the importance of choosing furniture to suit the interior. Here the area is quite compact, but the use of dark colours upon the walls greatly increases the sense of spaciousness. The furniture balances this with both black and white pieces that effortlessly work in tandem with the rest of the accessories and items. Evoking a yin and yang ambience, the room is perfectly balanced, and looks seamlessly integrated.

If you find you are struggling to make sense of your space and need a helping hand, chat to a professional interior designer, and get a little assistance.

Window dressings are important

Window dressings are important in any room of the house as they provide privacy, seclusion, and complete the interior aesthetic of a space. Whether you are redecorating a bathroom, a bedroom, or a kitchen, you will want to consider your choice of curtain, blind, or drape, etc.

With darker colour schemes it can be a good idea to pick a lighter window dressing. This will ensure the light that enters the room is illuminated, and unimpeded by a dark fabric or material. Neutral hues and muted tones make especially great additions to darker colour schemes. They stand out, make a statement, bring natural light into the space, and work to enhance the window, rather than hide it.

Incorporate interesting artwork

Artwork is a timeless and essential addition to a home, whether you have a simple or lone photograph upon the wall, or a gallery style setup replete with various styles and designs.

When we think of hanging art on our walls, we immediately imagine the wall being a neutral bright white, reminiscent of galleries and art displays, but this is only one possibility when it comes to hanging art. Dark walls respond especially well to artwork, and within a smaller space this will create interest and help to break up the monotony of one singular hue.

Picking the right accessories!

rustic Garden by Luiza Soares - Paisagismo
Luiza Soares—Paisagismo

MÃO NA TERRA, Belo Horizonte, 2015

Luiza Soares - Paisagismo

Accessories really make or break a room, and when using dark colours upon the walls, this is certainly something you are going to want to consider. There are plenty of different accessories, accoutrements, and curios to add to your home, which can make the process a little challenging at first. 

Think about your colour scheme, and try to pick pieces that are complementary. Plants make a wonderful addition to dark rooms as they inject verve and vivacity with relative ease. Choose stylish planters and pair with indoor plants that are low maintenance and require little light.

Choose a good ceiling colour

modern Bedroom by Urban Myth
Urban Myth

Ultra gloss chocolate bedroom suite

Urban Myth

Finally, and possibly most importantly we have ceiling colour. Ceiling shades play a huge part when designing a colour scheme for a small space, as they are the final touch, and impart the largest impression upon the room. Most individuals think that white is the only colour that should be used for a ceiling, but this is not true. White certainly has its benefits, but when decorating a smaller area with dark hues, sometimes white can look out of place. If you have an extremely compact room, try a colour that is one or two shades lighter than the wall colour. This will increase depth, and avoid a huge inconsistency between the walls and ceiling.

This example is a great illustration of how white does work when paired with dark walls. The bedroom is compact yet sufficient, and beautifully utilises dark walls to create a moody romanticism within the space.We hope our Ideabook inspired you to recolour your home with fabulously individual hues! If you would like some more tips and tricks for compact spaces, check out: Small spaces with big ideas

Have you ever tried dark hues in a small or compact room? We'd love to hear your stories in the comments below!
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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