How to decorate with dark colours

As a wise sage named Christopher Leach once told us, ‘be brave and decorate with dark colour. It doesn’t mean you will end up with a room of Stygian gloom. If a space doesn’t receive much natural light, there is no jolly yellow or bright white on earth that will remedy it.’ Instead, opt for a deep navy blue, or a seductive oxblood. The result will be a room that envelops you. The same applies to dreary rooms with no apparent features; a well-chosen dark colour can be transformative. We’ve collected our favourite examples of dark rooms done right. Don’t be afraid of the dark…

    DARK MATERIALSIn the main bathroom of his home designer Robert Moore has painted the walls in a deep blue ‘Basalt’ by Little Greene. The applied mouldings form a framework for the French empire wall sconces and a Fifties French mirror.Taken from the June 2014 issue of House & GardenLike this? Then you’ll loveHow to decorate with blue
    STYLE AND SUBSTANCEDark cupboards with glass panels make for a beautiful combination in this kitchen by Plain English.Like this? Then you’ll loveMore amazing kitchens
    ABOVE BOARDDesigner Adam Bray transformed this typical Eighties conversion in east London for a young client to create an environment that is ‘dark, exciting and sexy’ using a combination of oxblood red and olive green paint from Papers & Paints.Taken from the July 2014 issue of House & Garden.Like this? Then you’ll loveLiving room design ideasCHRIS TUBBS
    SEEING RED’Murrey Red’ from Papers & Paints has been used by designer and antiques dealer Adam Bray in this room. A light gloss finish bounces the light around, while the nineteenth-century alabaster light was chosen to impart a grown up mood.Taken from the July 2014 issue of House & GardenLike this? Then you’ll love Beautiful ideas for bookcasesCHRIS TUBBS
    REVISED HISTORYMayfair’s Albany apartments were designed 200 years ago as pied-a-terre for gentlemen about town. The challenge for owners Jojo Grima and William Grant was to update theirs into a space fit for modern living – an ambition realised with strong colour, elegant furniture and discreet storage by interior designer Chester Jones. In the living room Chester worked with the idea that the room would be used mainly in the evening. ‘I coloured the room using shades that come alive after dark. The whole mood of the place was intended to suggest this.’ Unlined reefed curtains were carefully chosen to delineate and emphasise the architecture, also – Chester points out – casting a soft and flattering light.Taken from the August 2014 issue of House & GardenLike this? Then you’ll loveThe allure of the Albany: A look inside one of London’s most exclusive addressesPAUL MASSEY
    COLOUR CLASHInterior designer Robert Moore chose to a rich yellow cotton velvet (‘Safari’ in Old Gold, £69.50 per metre from Marvic Textiles) for his sofa, which works beautifully with the dark blue walls. The geometric carpet is ‘Synchronised’ from Tim Page Carpets (£210.84 per square metre).Taken from the June 2014 issue of House & Garden.Like this? Then you’ll loveHow to decorate with colourPAUL MASSEY
    TOBACCO WALLPAPERInterior designer Douglas Mackie has a passion for detail, including unusual finishes. The walls, for instance, aren’t covered in paint but exquisite, hand-glazed wallpaper which resembles flattened-out tobacco leaves. Created by SJW studios in Seattle, it is made using a complex process of folding and hand-glazing.Taken from the February 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Leonie Highton.Like this? Then you’ll loveWallpaper design ideasSIMON UPTON
    MODERN LIVING ROOM WITH WALL MURALWhite walls are paired with dark furnishings in this room by decorator Jorge Estevez. Three large rough boards painted with delicate flowers inspired by details in Botticelli’s Primavera, rest behind the dining table.