Playa Blanca, Lanzarote

We’ve just returned from a lovely holiday in Lanzarote. Feeling refreshed and inspired by the white washed buildings, beautiful palm trees and gorgeous clear blue sea I now want to redecorate my whole house! Do you ever feel like that when you’ve had a week in the Sunshine?!

Whilst we were there my 11 year old Son said “Mum, if we lived here would you still have dark walls like at home” Such a good question and ties in with a few other questions and doubts that I often come up against with clients, “how do the dark walls feel during Summer”, “I’m scared it will feel too dark” or “my Husband thinks it will make the room feel smaller” 

I had to think about it for at least a millisecond! The answer to my Son would of course be yes, absolutely! I would miss having the dark, cosy vibe to my house if I decided to decorate every room white, which ever Country I lived in. In fact I think it would be even better in the sunshine, doesn’t everything look better in the sunshine? It might fade quicker but that’s easily solved with a touch more paint. I don’t feel that the weather and seasons make a difference to me. I love kicking back in an evening, flicking on the lamps and lighting the candles to make the living room into a cosy retreat to chill and watch tv. For me that is the big decider when it comes to dark or light rooms. In the living room I go in there to relax and switch off so I want it to cocoon me plus everything pops out and looks way cooler against a dark, inky backdrop. This is the room that I would always encourage people to try first when they are considering crossing over to the dark side. 

Living room, dark walls, stiff key blue

 In our previous home I painted the walls black in the kitchen and I loved how it looked against the pale units but it did take some getting used to. It didn’t help that I insisted on using these beautiful Moroccan style ceiling lanterns that we had picked up in Turkey (see below), they only had a tiny oven bulb in them which meant when you turn them on it didn’t really make much difference! My Husband used to switch them on then joke and say “put the light on… oh yes I forgot… it is on!!” Still I’m not a fan of having the “big light” on, I much prefer smaller pools of lighting around the room. Lighting is key when you decide to go dark and can be the difference between love or hate so it’s important to get it right and try different options before you decide to scrub the walls of any signs of dark paint!

Moroccan lantern

Dark painted kitchen

Bedrooms again you want them to feel cosy and relaxing but unless you’re lucky to have a separate dressing room, you also need to get ready and do your make up in there which can be tricky if the room feels too dark. This personally wouldn’t bother me too much but it is something to consider when thinking about going darker. 

Dark bedroomKerry Lockwood - I detail, bedroom, Vintage gym mat headboard

My dining room is small and doesn’t get much natural light at all so I went for a dark feature wall with a white, painted wooden floor. The balance is perfect, it doesn’t feel too cave like in the day but still has a cosy feel in the evening with low lighting.

Dare to go dark dining room

So painting is one of the quickest ways to transform your room and painting them dark instantly takes it to the next level. Here is my advice if you’re worried about taking the plunge. 

Think about what your uses are for that room, how functional does it need to be? 

Does it get much natural light?

I would advise starting in the living room and if you’re still not 100 % convinced on painting every wall dark then paint a feature wall first, or an alcove or a door and see how you feel. I promise it won’t stop there, you’ll be hooked and amazed at how everything in the room pops and looks much cooler.

Make sure you get the lighting right, add more lamps… then add some fairy lights…. then add another lamp! It really does make all the difference.

Add texture, sheepskin rugs, chunky kinit cushions, plants, metallic vases. Layer the room up and move things around until you’ve nailed it.

Here are some some more examples from Pinterest. You can see more images on my Pinterest boards here.

If you’re renting your home don’t let this put you off going dark. Read my House Rental tips for tenants post all about paint.

If you’re stuck for inspiration and need help taking your home to the next level then check out my express styling package.

Dark painted door

Light walls, dark doors.

Dark painted staircase

If you’re worried that painting your hallway will feel too dark, keep the walls light and paint the banister dark.

Dark painted alcove

Great way of separating two rooms.

Dark woodwork

Go dark on your wood work and keep the walls lighter until you feel more confident about taking the plunge.

Dare to go dark blog post



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