Decorating with dark, dramatic colors

By Kathryn Weber
Feb. 1, 2018 at 10:30 p.m.
Updated Feb. 2, 2018 at 1 a.m.

Kathryn Weber

Kathryn Weber   Contributed Photo for The Victoria Advocate

While homeowners on almost every homebuying show will ask for a bright home filled with lots of natural light, there are times when almost every homeowner craves a cave.

Rooms that are dark and dramatic are exciting, stylish and sensual. It's the place that begs you to curl up with a book or binge-watch your favorite TV series in a dark, soothing bubble.

While the bright home is appealing, you can't deny the magnetic draw and dramatic appeal of a deep or moody color.

Going dark

One of the trends now in dark colors is to move toward tone on tone. When you combine a deep brown sofa in a room painted the same color, the room morphs into a chocolatey cocoon. What better way to escape the heat and glare of August or simply withdraw from the world to read, nap or watch movies? Look for ways to pull color into the room with drapes or soft furnishings or even by painting furniture a notch or so off from the color to stand out yet blend into the room. Keep patterns to a minimum in this type of room so the color stands on its own.


If an all-encompassing color is too much and being surrounded by four walls of it seems overwhelming, try painting the ceiling in a moody shade. This creates an ambiance without feeling too heavy and helps to tone down the volume in a room that's very bright or that needs some balance from an overabundance of light colors. This touch of contrast is often enough to make the room feel more balanced and approachable. The darker color on the ceiling makes the room visually seem more meditative and relaxing.


While dark colors look glamorous and rich, they can feel oversaturated. Keep the room from going into a black hole of blue or gray by adding some contrast. Dark walls will look smashing with a light-colored ceiling and flooring. Light-colored furnishings will also help keep the room from feeling sullen and balance the saturation of the color. Even black walls can seem vibrant paired with bright white trim, floor and ceiling hues. Or go with all-white accessories in a dark room for a dynamite look. For an extra posh twist, try painting doors in your home with a high-gloss deep shade. Whether it's crimson red or deepest ebony, it will be a tease to see what's behind the door and give your interior doors a shot of glamour.

Another wonderful way to balance all that dark drama? Glitter. Go for shining and glittering light fixtures to make the room pop. Add in lots of metallic accents and boldly framed artwork for a spark. Don't forget the light-enhancing abilities of mirrors. Dark rooms are the perfect backdrop for the shimmer and shine of mirrored furniture or wall mirrors. For more interest and to keep the colors from feeling too heavy, give pattern a thought. A wallpapered ceiling or a patterned flooring that ties to the color will unite the color and pattern and keep the room feeling fresh and updated.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website,



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