Create an ideabook for your next remodeling project!
Browse more than 1,000,000 photos from top designers and save your favorites
1. Pick the right room. Darker colors immediately make a room feel more intimate and cozy. For some rooms, such as a parlor, bedroom or large living space, this is the desired effect. The deep charcoal gray on these walls set the mood for a perfect gathering spot for an evening with friends around the piano, or having cocktails and great conversations.
Try Sherwin Williams Peppercorn (SW7674) for a deep gray-brown tone.
2. Create contrast. The deep reddish-brown tones on the upper portion of these walls are offset by the white wainscoting and the white wood ceiling. There's no better way to greet your guests than with a room rich in comfort, a little drama and all the amenities.
3. Use a dark wall color to highlight the other design elements in the room. With any other color on these walls, the stunning cabinetry and marble counters would look washed out. By pairing these design elements with a deep navy, each element gets a chance to be noticed and appreciated.
5. Consider a deep neutral tone to highlight bright colors. Some might say using a deep brown in a nursery is crazy. I beg to differ. The particular tone of brown is a perfect backdrop for all the colorful toys, artwork and furniture that makes this room a perfect space for your baby. And it's neutral enough that you could decorate for either a boy or a girl — just imagine pink and brown, a classic color combination.
Benjamin Moore's Riding Boots (CSP-300, from their full-spectrum colors) makes for a perfect deep brown.
6. Use dark tones to highlight architectural features. This well-appointed vintage powder room is really about the contrast between the walls painted in Devine Paints' Truffle walls and white architectural elements: window trim, crown molding, shutters. Because of the contrast, we really notice the cute little window, which I think is the real star of this bathroom.
7. Consider your lighting plan. No matter the room, thinking through the lighting plan upfront, especially if you're remodeling, allows flexibility in using a darker tone on the walls. In this master bedroom remodel, we designed a full lighting system based on the eventual location of the clients' artwork. By spreading the light around the room, rather than just having a central ceiling fixture and couple of nightstand lamps, we were able to use a more dramatic shade on the walls.
We used Woodstock Tan (HC-20) from Benjamin Moore's Historical Colors collection in this bedroom remodel.
8. Use a darker color to define the function of a space. In this grand master bathroom, the tub area is called out with a deep brown tone, setting off the white tub nicely.
9. One dark wall might be all that's needed. There is something about this room that is incredibly special. It's simple, clean and uncluttered. The charcoal gray wall is used to great effect, helping make the room seem a little larger. This type of treatment is a good starting place if you're hesitant to paint all the walls a dark color.
Tell us: Which dark paint most attracts your eye?
More: Stepping Into Black
Wallpaper: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark