When we came out with a post about dark walls two years ago for Undas, some people said that it’s madilim, nakakatakot, nakakalungkot. There were others though who welcomed the idea of having dark interiors. But painting your walls with dark colors requires boldness, expertise, or both. Here are ten styling tips to help you create dramatic home interiors using dark-colored paint.

10 Styling Tips to Ace Dark Walls

Dark colors are dramatic and intense. If you are feeling a little bit fragile because of the dreary times and don’t want to load your life with more gloom, then check out the Bubble Gum Jelly Bean color palette.

For our readers who do like drama in their living spaces, keep reading.

1   Choose a room with lots of natural light


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Natural light in the home is a luxury. It feels refreshing, reinvigorating, clean, and uplifting. That’s because we need sunlight to survive, literally. Rooms that have sunlight streaming in are more suited for dark colors.

You can paint rooms that have no windows or openings with dark colors but you may feel claustrophobic. Although it would suit a movie room quite well.

2   Use the dark paint color on an accent wall


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Limit the dark color to an accent wall, and paint the rest of the surfaces a light color. The dark wall then becomes your focal point so you can put things there that you’d like to highlight, like lola’s wood and glass cabinet.

In this dining room, you have wooden elements to make the space feel warm. The rug, chairs, pillow covers and pendant lamp echo the black color and brings the black color further out into the room for balance.

3   Use white or light paint colors for the ceiling


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Despite the sombre colors, this bedroom feels very cozy, The white ceiling gives the space some breathing room. A combination of lights, textures, and plants add warmth to this dark room. The big abstract artwork on the wall makes a statement and ties the colors of the room to give the space a cohesive look.

4   Have bright-colored furnishings


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The refrigerator’s burnt orange color really pops against the dark blue of the wall. The aqua, dusky pink, and light brown artworks also adds brightness and a fun vibe. Plants and the warm wooden floors give a very welcoming air to the space.

5   Throw in some metallic elements into the mix


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Metallic elements in the room can help bounce light in a space. Even the sheen of your paint helps to brighten a dark space. The more glossy the paint, the higher the sheen, the more reflective the surface.

The whole island is made of brass so we’re not talking about touches of metal here but a huge chunk. The color is picked up by the cabinet pulls, other fittings, and kitchenware.

Read Paint Finish: What Does Sheen, Gloss, or Kintab in Paints Mean?

6   Choose a huge artwork


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To balance the drama of the dark walls, hang a huge painting or artwork on the wall. Note how the eye is drawn upward because of the portrait orientation of the artwork and the vertical lines of the chair. Even the height of the back rests gives drama. The vertical dimension of the room can certainly handle all the sweeping design elements.

7   Use mirrors


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Using mirrors to expand a space is a common design trick. In addition, mirrors help to bounce light around the space, so the space looks brighter as well as bigger.

This room oozes glamor. It has an Art Deco style with those vertical lines on the beveled mirror frames, high sheens from metals, glass, and crystals on the lavish chandelier and table lamp.

Art Deco is also very much the combination of white, black, silver (or gold). You have the patterned black wall, the plush, cream carpet with a marble design, the soft, off-white sofa, armchairs, tasteful patterns on the cushions, and sand-colored ottomans. The only pop of color comes from the fuchsia blooms, extravagant and fitting for a diva. You can almost expect the mysterious Greta Garbo sheathed in white silk, slinking her way into the living room, and raising those famous thin eyebrows.

8   Have textured furnishings


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Add physical and visual textures in your interiors to create more interest. This bedroom has very dark surfaces but it also has a lot of textures in it. You have the black matte wall, ceiling and headboard. The sheets are also dark and matte.

The broad planks of the wooden floor is almost art.  What makes it more interesting is that it is not like the usual floorboards with straight edges. You have curves that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. The wooden color is echoed by the wooden beams on the ceiling.

The focal point of the room is the wall behind the bed which has the texture of a craggy cliff, all moody greys, blacks and shadows.

The only other color you see are the blue decor on the side table and the blue grey of the pendant lamp, which again is very textured.

Despite being so dark, the room looks cozy and inviting, more so because of the glass doors that let natural light in and give a view of the garden.

9   Make sure you have enough lights in the space


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(Click on the arrow to see other perspectives of the home office.)

Because this is a workspace, you have the different kinds of lights that are needed to make a space more efficient. You have the ambient light overhead, the pin lights above the work table, and a table lamp for added illumination.

It helps a lot if a work room also has access to natural light, like this one does.

10   Put plants around the room


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Indoor plants provide a functional and aesthetic purpose. First, plants boost your mood, keeps you healthy, and bring down stress levels. Just be aware what plants are good for cleaning the air indoors, and are not harmful to children and pets.

The other purpose which is aesthetics is self-explanatory. Due to the pandemic, there are now many people who have discovered the healthy hobby of gardening. Now they know that plants can beautify the home. Against dark paint colors, the different greens of plants make the space feel friendlier and lighter.

Read The Healing Power of Indoor Gardens.

Dark Paint Colors in Boysen Color Trend 2020

Boysen Color Trends usually has 4 color palettes with each palette having 6 colors, or 24 new colors every year. The rationale is that because those palettes are well-curated, you can just pick out hues from one palette and you can be sure that your selection would look good.

If you are willing to experiment, then go ahead. Color is personal so if you want to mix colors from different palettes, that is do-able whether or not you have the knack for mixing and matching colors.

For this post, we parsed the collection and chose these nine dark colors.

Halloween and Undas are just around the corner so maybe that will put you in the mood to toy with these dark ideas. Try out these colors the next time you will be painting your home. Don’t forget to use the 10 styling tips to maximize the drama of these intense hues.

If dark colors are really not for you, don’t worry, because we have many thousands more. Just go visit any of our Mix and Match Stations and look at the available swatches.

Subscribe to this blog so you will always get updates on color inspirations as soon as they are published.



Annie is the Managing Editor of Let it B | MyBoysen Blog. An unrepentant workaholic, she runs this blog and her own company Talking Lions (https://talkinglions.com). She thrives on collaborating with people who are good at what they do, and working together with them to create something special. Annie learned interior styling while managing her own wholesale business in the Netherlands, importing high-end, handmade home furnishings to stock four outlets and a showroom in the country.

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