Our Tips For Going Dark

Incorporating moody hues isn't as scary as you may think.

30 October 2020 -

It’s safe to say that over the last several years, light, bright, and white has been the name of the game in design. It’s a classic, totally livable trend that will never truly go out of style. Now we are starting to see a shift toward dark and moody spaces, and we are loving it! It still feels classic, but in a fresh and modern way.  Here are some of our favorite spaces that incorporate darker hues.

In our Vineyard Parade Home office, we went dark with tone-on-tone painted shiplap and cabinetry.


From our Parade Home Project

Here’s a handy guide we made with our favorite black paints and how to use them.


This gorgeous reading nook got it right with dark walls, ceiling, and built-ins.

Design by Sean Anderson

This home mixes dark walls, door, and trim for a rich exterior.

Design by D. Stanely Dixon and Nancy Warren

We love that this dark gray-green is used on the paneling, walls, and ceiling.

anvil-hotel-studio-tack-interiors-hotels-wyoming-usa_dezeen_2364_col_14-1704x2556 (1).jpg

Design by Studio Tack

In our Promontory Project master bedroom, we added a dark textured grasscloth behind the bed to give it an upscale yet cozy feel.


From our Promontory Project

This entry combines dark painted stair treads with the same tone on wainscoting. Dark floors make the whole scheme complete.

Want to go dark on your front door? Here’s our favorite dark paints from this post.


This pairing of dark painted walls, wainscoting, and a dark bathtub feels both classic and fresh. We predicted that dark green would be one of our favorite trends for the new year, and we were not wrong! Our favorite green paints? Find those here!

Design from The Marion House Book

While we love the aesthetic and feeling of light and bright spaces, there’s something about a good dark and moody look that can make the right room come to life.

It can be intimidating to take a room dark, but we’re here to argue that it’s less risky than you may think it is.

Over the years of working with clients, we’ve noticed that people tend to have the same fears about incorporating darker hues in their spaces, so today, we’re going to address some common concerns about taking a room dark and share a few tips about how to do it right.

Fear No 1: “My space is too small to going dark.”

Out of all the hesitations about taking a space dark, we hear this one the most. When you have a small room, especially if you’re remodeling, it’s easy to revert to painting it white without considering other options.
Sometimes, though, small spaces are the safest places to take risks!
Plus, accent rooms like offices, powder rooms, or secondary living spaces can make the best rooms to create that moody, cozy feeling.

Fear No. 2: “Dark walls are too trendy.”

We believe that good design comes with longevity, so we completely understand the concern of investing in something you may not love in a few years. However, in our opinion, dark walls are a totally classic, live-able trend that never goes out of style.

Fear No. 3: “Dark walls will make the room feel gloomy.”

Sometimes there’s a misconception that dark walls equal a dark and gloomy space, but dark paint often allows for natural light to fill the space and bounce off of the walls to create reflection, and therefore, more light!

Another thing to remember is that f you decide to incorporate dark paint, you can still incorporate light elements to balance the room. When we go with a full dark wall, we’ll typically bring in some light elements through our furniture pieces, window treatments, and textiles to add some contrast.

In one of our recent projects from our Netflix show “Dream Home Makeover,” we did the bottom paneling in a dark, bold color and then painted the top half of the wall white to create a “moody & bright” feeling.

Fear No. 4: “If I go dark in one room, it won’t flow with the rest of my home.”

Although we like to keep many elements cohesive throughout a home, we’re all for bringing some depth and drama to prevent it from feeling too one-note. A dark and moody room can be the perfect way to add some character and sophistication to achieve this.

Fear No. 5: “Black paint just seems too risky.”

It can be hard to commit to black paint, and you don’t have to! If you want to go dark but don’t love the idea of a true black, you can still achieve a good dark and moody look with a good dark blue, green, or even gray.

The key to finding a paint that works for your space is swatching, swatching, and more swatching. You can often tell right away once your favorite swatches are on your wall, but if you can, let it live for a day or two and observe how the tone looks throughout different times of the day.

If you’re looking for some hue inspiration, be sure to pin our favorite dark and moody paint colors below!

This post has been updated from its original version.

Date Posted
30 October 2020