Dark walls, from inky blue to charcoal and black, are refined and dramatic – but decorating around them without making your space feel too dark can be tricky. If you’ve been thinking of painting one or more walls a deep, dark hue, these ideas for color and decor pairings should help.
Natural wood. Natural wood, whether in a mirror frame, rustic tabletop or chair, helps lighten up dark walls while also emphasizing their richness. You can’t go wrong with a driftwood or barn wood mirror, a farmhouse table or bentwood chairs.
Sculptural shapes. Place anything colorful or white in front of a dark wall, and your eye will be immediately drawn to its contours. Try placing a group of pottery pieces on a console or mantel. Or highlight the shape of an unusual table or chair by positioning it in front of a deep, dark wall.
Green plants. Potted plants and indoor trees look even lusher when placed in front of a dark wall. The dark color recedes into the background, creating the feeling of having a mini forest in the room instead of a few plants. Bonus style points if your plants have a sculptural shape, like the topiaries shown here.
Large artwork. A single piece of oversize art hung on a dark wall has the most impact – even more than a salon-style grouping. The drama of a deep wall color draws the eye. This works especially well with artwork with a large white mat and a slim black frame.
White. If you feel at all unsure about which direction to go in with the other elements in your dark painted room, choose white — it always works. In this bedroom a charcoal wall is set off by a grouping of wall-mounted plants on white bases, white bedding and white window treatments.