how to do dark walls in your home

Elegant by day, cosy by night – my dark blue lounge is my favourite in our house

It’s been two years since we went to the dark side, but I can still remember the horrified expression on our decorator’s face when I showed him the paint we’d chosen and briefed him that we wanted it everywhere: walls, woodwork, skirting boards, ceiling. ‘Trust me,’ I said, ‘I’ve done a Pinterest board!’

Dark blue might be the interior colour du jour, but back then it was a bold move more commonly seen in gastro pubs than family homes. We had several Farrow and Ball samples to choose from: Drawing Room Blue created a clean, regal look; Stiffkey Blue gave a moody, coastal air, but eventually, we chose Hague Blue for its elegant, aged feel.

The colour works all times of days and all seasons: it feels opulent not oppressive, glam not gloomy, cosy not cell-like. But winter nights are my favourite; when the fire is lit and we’re all snuggled up watching a movie, I can’t ever imagine decorating it again. My only regret is that we chickened out of painting the ceiling; I think the room can totally take it so it’s on our to do list this year. Think you’re ready to go to the dark side too? Here’s 3 handy hints to make it work:

3 ways to make dark walls work for you

1. go for gold
Gold and blue work perfectly together: piano optional!

Adding splashes of glimmering gold accessories like picture frames, cushions and candle holders will create reflections of colour and warmth against dark walls.

Tom Dixon Gem Vase, £85 – BUY!

Habitat Clarkson brass metal dinner candelabra, £20 – BUY!

John Lewis Gold Pineapple, £40 – BUY!

2. lights, camera, action…
This light adds the perfect amount of light and drama to this part of the room

I’ve never been a fan of harsh, overhead lights but my current ‘lamps-in-every-corner’ obsession stemmed from my need to create pockets of light in our dark room (well, it’s that or wear a head torch to read the newspaper). Current lounge lamp count is 4, but I reckon there’s room for at least one or two more! Chicago Floor lamp, £189 – BUY!

Graham and Green Webster Table light, £79 – BUY!

Not on the High Street Carnival Wall Letters, £20 each – BUY!

3. make like the Queen
My turquoise velvet cushion and matching curtains (both Ikea) provides a cheering splash of colour

Bright, regal jewel shades like turquoise, emerald and amber work brilliantly against dark walls. Choosing furniture in rich, opulent velvet fabrics will create drama, depth and warmth. Put off because velvet’s not kid-friendly? Make textured cushions, sumptuous throws and tactile ornaments the crowning glory to your room.

Abigail Ahern EDITION Turquoise Beagle Bust, £60 – BUY!

Chartreuse Velvet Cushion, £60 – BUY!

H&M Soft blanket, £24.99 – BUY!


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