Dark colours for dark months

After all the merriment leading up to Twelfth Night fades, the low winter sunlight can start to feel dark and depressing. Our homes lack natural light, but we can turn this to our advantage. This will most likely sound totally counter-intuitive, but by painting the more dingy spaces in our homes in dark hues we not only make them seem bigger (yes you read that right!) but we also make them far less dull than a muted, pale shade looks with only half-light on it.

I have always loved interiors decorated with deep, dark, rich colours, although they’re relatively rare, but appreciate that it is a daunting prospect to most people!

We’re not talking gothic teenager bedrooms in black here though. Think glamour, decadence and perhaps of a Victorian gentlemen's club. Imagine how cosy and inviting a room can feel when painted out with a heritage chocolate or aubergine tone, or even a black-blue, enveloping you in its deep pigmentation.

Designer Abigail Ahern has long been an advocate of the darker palette, and as she has recently joined the team at retail giant Debenhams, it seems the world is wising up (again) to the delights of dark colours.

This toilet scheme I put together a few years ago has instant impact, drama, and the black adds to its sense of intimacy and privacy. The slight sheen of the wallpaper pattern livens it up a little, giving another texture.

To liven up a dull room with dark decor in your home, try starting with a smaller space that you don’t spend much time in such as the toilet, hallway or utility room, before taking on say the master bedroom and panicking and backing out halfway through. Be sure to paint the ceiling too, not leaving it standard white, to fully achieve the look.

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Zoe HewettComment