How To Decorate Your Home With Dark Colours

dark colours muted grey coloured sophisticated living room

When it comes to decorating with dark colours, we might automatically reach for light neutral paints and wallpapers. Mostly because we imagine that they are more versatile for decorating. However, when it comes to updating your home, there’s really no reason to be afraid of the dark.

The truth is, deep, rich colours can completely enhance your home, creating a dose of glamour and sophistication to any space. Inky blues, charcoal greys, chocolate browns and even good old black adds impact in a way that no pastel shade ever could.

Let’s see how we can translate this into our home decor with these ways to decorate with dark colours!

Create A Backdrop

dark colours muted grey coloured walls with black and white artwork in a large bedroom

Imagine this room if the walls, shelves and floor were white. Nice, but nothing out of the ordinary, right?

However, that rich grey backdrop does something magical, making every other colour in the room pop. Luxurious style is only a paint pot away. So why not take your bedroom from ordinary to amazing with a dark-grey wall colour?

Wall-mounted lights, the black and white artwork and stylish ornaments all add to the luxurious, well-planned feel. With comfort like this at home, who needs an expensive getaway?

Join The Navy

dark colours navy coloured wallpaper in a sophisticated bedroom

Bring some energy into your bedroom with a daring print in vivid navy. A navy wall covering gives this bedroom a wonderful cocoon-like quality.

When using an extreme colour in the bedroom, a good trick is to counterbalance it with white bed linen, then pick up the wall colour in your cushions and throws.

The design evokes the twilight hours when everything is beginning to go calm at the end of the day, making it very appropriate for the bedroom. Light colours on the headboard and bedding keep the look grounded, while silky bedding adds to the luxurious feel.

Get The Light Right

dark colours a stylish brown coloured bedroom with ceiling lighting

How does a windowless room predominantly decorated in dark colours manage to look glamorous rather than gloomy? The secret’s in the lighting.

Having the right indoor lighting can bounce light off all those reflective surfaces, showing that dark colours can be bright. Let nature provide all the inspiration you need for decorating with dark colours.

Rich chocolate brown makes this a truly inviting sleep space and works beautifully alongside the dark wood. Beat that, pastels. The headboard adds a dose of pattern to the space, while picking out all the earthy colours of the bedding.

Try Role Reversing

dark colours marble walls and black bathtub in a large bathroom

Using a dark hue on your walls means you can pick out architectural features and key pieces of furniture in white – almost like a negative.

In this room, it’s not the marble walls you notice, but the elaborate cornicing, elegant black bathtub. Dramatic looks can be subtle. If this sounds like a contradiction in terms, just check out this beautiful bathroom scheme, which oozes character, while remaining deliberately neutral.

A big black bathtub is all this space really needs to add interest, but the stunning white towels draping over the bathtub take the look to another level.

Start Small

dark colours subtle blue cabinets in a large open space kitchen

Sometimes a little hit of deep colour can be more effective than slapping it on every surface, and so it is here.

This navy countertop appears to recede, so rather from making the room look smaller, it fools the eye into thinking it’s larger than it really is. Neutral colours hold a lot of appeal in kitchen schemes right now, and blue shades are no exception.

While white will show up every dirty finger print, muted blues are a lot more forgiving – which is a bonus for those who don’t want to be attached to their cleaning cloths.

Work In The Dark

dark colours black cabinets in a white coloured kitchen

Unsure of using dark colours all over your room? Then go for a slightly less daunting approach to decorating with dark hues by painting your kitchen units black and keeping the rest of the scheme white.

A single wall of ebony units teamed with white walls and pale flooring is a great idea if you’re not ready for an all-black kitchen. It also makes it easy to zone different areas in an open-plan room.

White worktops create a brightening effect, while gently veined marble tiles add richness to the walls. This scheme just goes to show that you don’t have to use dark colours all over to achieve a stylish look.

Luxe It Up

dark colours a luxurious dark coloured bathroom with a funky bathtub

If there was an award for the world’s most luxurious bathroom, this would be on the shortlist.

Black adds a sense of opulence and is a perfect foil for the showstopper tub, while a white ceiling keeps the room from feeling too enclosed. Monochrome schemes can be powerful. When you break it down, this room is quite simply decorated, but the overall look is anything but.

The floor-to-ceiling wallpaper is the key, as they create a great backdrop to the fabulous bath. The fact that it has been mounted in a diamond shape, rather than as squares also adds to the effect. A hit of red is the perfect finishing touch. It all depends on your style!

Add A Dark Furniture Piece

dark colours black sofa in a light coloured living room

Another way to create a bit of diversity and break up neutral tones and colours in a space is to add a dark piece of furniture to a room.

In this design, we can see how a black sofa works beautifully with a predominantly white living room, creating a very classic look and feel. Use pattern if you want to decorate with dark colours, but don’t want the ‘solid’ appearance of a block hue.

Prints with a tiny amount of neutral shading on them are a great way to introduce a bit of lightness. Nature-inspired designs are ideal for creating a relaxing environment.

Going Monochrome

dark colours black kitchen walls with white cabinets

What better what to introduce dark colours into the kitchen, simply by painting a wall completely black so that the residents can use it as a chalk board? This way the family members can write down shopping lists or recipes, add their favourite inspirational quotes to the wall or even draw some pictures.

This kind of design adds a very personal and homely touch to the kitchen space. Go for this option if you have a lot of natural light in your kitchen. You don’t want to end up with a very dark and gloomy looking cooking area.

Dark colours make a big statement, especially in places where you don’t expect to see them, such as the kitchen. Black walls make a confident statement in a casual dining nook.

Other Dark Colours

dark colours muted grey coloured walls in an unconventional dining room with red chairs

Other dark colours can be introduced into the dining room space to add personality and charm, especially if they come in the form of patterns! Use dark grey as a smart backdrop to brightly coloured accents.

This dining room features a gorgeous array of brightly coloured frames, which add so much life to this space. It also works beautifully with the bright red chairs.

Don’t be afraid to be a bit bold and daring when it comes to darker colours in the dining room. This is truly the heart of the home, so what could be more fitting than a dark red colour for this space?

Go Industrial Chic

dark colours industrial inspired living room with dark grey furniture accents

Decorating with dark colours is not all about architectural modern looks – industrial schemes can get in on the action, too. The industrial look not only looks really trendy, but it’s not too expensive to put together because you are working with the original materials.

Use dark colours for the finishes in your home to create a very industrial chic look, especially if you can get away with retaining some of the original materials in the home like the ceiling beams, the raw bricks of the walls and the steel staircase.

Add a stylish lamp made from copper or brass to an industrial looking home as the final touch! Interior lighting is key to a home that features dark colours.


There is little truth to the rule that you shouldn’t use dark colours within your home. It’s just about knowing how to style, use and incorporate the colours.

Tip: Don’t forget to explore dark colours of every shade, like a velvety green hue or gold and black – a classic combination for any design style. Find out more about colours in your home in this guide to how colour can affect your mood, and home.

Have you decorated your home with dark colours? Do you have any tips for our readers? Let us know!


Updated November 2021

Decorating Myths Busted: Easy Ways to Decorate with Dark Colours
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Decorating Myths Busted: Easy Ways to Decorate with Dark Colours
Using darker shades of paint, wallpaper or accessories may feel like a risky move, but a few tricks will help you confidently decorate with dark colours!
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The Rug Seller
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