21 May

Tips and tricks for dark colours

Yesterday, after a longish day we piled on the sofa (when I say we that’s me and the two M’s), no room for G, as we like to stretch out, to watch the Block. The Block is an Australian reality show where couples take over houses or in this case an old hotel and have a set amount of time (generally a week) to gut, revamp and design a room.  A challenge I would freak out about (having done something similar on Get Your House in Order) for Chanel 4 not so long ago, so I know the pressures, constraints and limitations. One of the couples painted their room black (a pretty bold move I thought to myself) which regrettably didn’t pay off. Image of their room below:

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The black was the wrong black which is a bit like saying the snow is the wrong kind of snow but stay with me. When going dark regrettably (although I wish this wasn’t true) its not such an easy case of pulling any old dark hue and assuming it will work. Black is a tough colour to opt for so the tonality of it has to be right. I am sure I am putting zillions of people off right now by saying this but it’s all down to the tonality. Dark colours envelope a room and make it feel squishy and comforting, wrapping you up in the biggest blanket – but they only do that if the hue in question has soft undertones. Anything harsh or hard will look and feel harsh and hard. I use Railings a lot from Farrow and Ball which is the softest black I know almost buttery if that makes sense, it has depth it draws you in but it doesn’t jar.

Same with chalk board paint it has incredible depth and almost feels like you’re residing in a Vermeer painting or hanging out in some gentleman’s drinking den.  So I think that’s where these guys went wrong, the black was regrettably to harsh, that and the huge amount of white contrasts.   Its a simple trick but if you can limit the amount of white contrasts with dark colours it will really help you out. The odd white thing is cool but too much white feels way to jarring. Instead if you opt for taupes, soft browns, the odd caramel, a dash of toffee they will gently contrast and complement your darker undertones. Contrasting the odd thing is cool but when you overdo it rather than feel beautiful and sophisticated it feels uncomfortable and a bit off key! The thing about decorating is that its all a learning curve. I’ve been there a zillion times, painted a room out filled it with stuff stood back and bam – not happy with the end result.

However its exactly at this point where you have to play detective and figure out what is missing why it doesn’t all add up. Learn from the mistakes. Do that,  tweak and then magic happens and rooms could end up looking  as cool as these two interiors below:

onecccThis interior designed by Roman and Williams does contrast in the living area at least, neutral tones. But spot the difference the walls are buttery and soft and not white and harsh. The bedroom is beyond beautiful , no huge expanse of white bed linen everything quietly harmonizes. Love it!

oneccSee how softer tones like browns and toffees make the darker hues look even more sophisticated. That’s the thing about interiors you never stop learning one of the reasons I never tire of what I do!

Have a lovely Tuesday x

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