Dare to Do Dark

By Kate Riley June 24, 2010

It’s the beginning of summer, and I feel the need to make everything around me light and bright, but I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to the drama of dark painted walls.  When it comes to painting a room an intensely dark color like chocolate or charcoal, I confess I haven’t taken the plunge because I fear the dreaded cave effect that may occur.  Oh, I’ve tried samples on the wall, but in the end I opt for the lighter hue. 

I especially love high contrast in design, juxtaposing the crisp white against the dramatic dark.  An intensely deep hue, balanced with plenty of light, conveys sophistication and elegance – two feelings I absolutely adore in a space.   Here are some intense walls that I’m drawn to these days.  Fancy that, in the middle of June. 

  burnham design office Burnham Design


lonny mag april may 2010 Lonny Magazine

   brown foyer house beautiful  House Beautiful

indigo walls homes and gardens Homes and Gardens

   amanda nisbet brown bedroom Amanda Nisbet


donna griffith brown bedroom  Donna Griffith photographer


mary macdonald indigo room Mary MacDonald


chocolate wall via decorpad via Decorpad


dark walls in bedroom decorpad via Decorpad


house beautiful chocolate brown House Beautiful


lime table country living Country Living


crosby st hotel nyc dark wall Firmdale/Crosby St. Hotel

 dark walls behind cabinet decorpad via Decorpad


mary macdonald dining house beautifulHouse Beautiful


metropolitan home dining room Metropolitan Home


chocolate brown bhg Better Homes & Gardens


kohler play room via Decorpad


country living brown walls white kitchen Country Living


What about you?  What are your thoughts on dark painted walls ?  Does it feel like doom and gloom to you ?  Too bold for your taste ?   Or have you taken the plunge and pulled off the high drama?   Do share your ‘darkest’ thoughts !




  1. Great pics! I LOVE lighter colors….BUT, have used all of the colors shown in our home….and highly recommend taking the plunge. There is something bold and beautiful about them….and the depth is really gorgeous. My kitchen was that blue with white cabinets, and now it is Bleeker beige. It’s more calming…but I often do miss the spark of color. Our dining room is red…LOVE it. Our library is the deep brown…so cozy. The kids’ bath was black, and I loved the contrast again. We just painted it “brooke trout”- a mushroomy gray…it’s gorgeous. That said, I have two rooms that are “glamorous white”– my studio and bedroom, and that is very airy and calming too.

  2. I have a color on my walls, only the lower half & seperated with chair rail the top of lighter…its a deep red called chianti! LOVE dark colors..they are so rich and cozy!!!

  3. I have a dark chocolate sitting room and I love it. It is the only “dark” room in my house and something about it is calming.

  4. I don’t LOVE the dark walls, they are not happy enough for me. I think the photos you posted are
    beautiful and the dark color walls are warm and inviting. The amount of natural light in these
    photos helps balance the darker color. Thank you for all of your ideas and inspiration.

  5. though i like black & whites, dark colors feel depressing to me even though it looks good. but to live w/it 24/7? not so much! :)

  6. I just did my home office in Benjamin Moore’s “Kona” and golden yellow fabric. I love love love it! Kona will reappear in every house I own.

  7. I have mostly medium-toned colors throughout my home and I’m happy because it’s the best of both worlds (not too light – not too dark), however I have deep red in my dining room (Sundried Tomato by BM) and I absolutely love it. I think it works extremely well because my dining room is built off the end of the house so it has a window in each of the three outer walls, which brings in lots of light when you need it, but at night, the deep red feels really cozy and warm.

  8. someone gave me left over ‘earth’ paint and i used it to paint my bedroom ceiling and wall (like your pic Burnham Design). it feels kinda gloomy and i can’t decide to go with it and add pops of colour, or re-paint everything in which case i can already hear my HUSBAND’s darkest thoughts…sigh.

  9. I LOVE the dark colors!! My husband and I are redesigning our living space, and just bought a mocha colored couch. . .I’m seriously considering pairing that with a deep, rich blue! So fabulous!! :)

  10. I love the dark color, but only for an accent wall. I don’t think I could live with it on all the walls of a room, day in, day out. Those pics make me want more accent walls, though!

  11. I LOVE that first room! I really like the dark walls, especially with white accessories. I’m on the verge of redoing my guest bedroom and want to paint the furniture white and do really dark gray walls! This is definitely inspiring me!

  12. I love the second room! While it has a very deep blue I still find that room light and bright. I think it’s the white drapes that does it. They are all dramatic but I think the key is when you see the room does your eye go right to the wall color first or the room as a whole?

  13. I looooove dark walls! My kitchen is brick red, dining room is a little lighter in a sage/olive green, my office is eggplant, and my bedroom is a dark blue/gray. The living room leading to the stairs & upstairs hall are all tan, keeping it from getting too intense. All the trim, doors, and moldings are the same bright white, and the ceilings are all white. I love the contrast, and if you have an older home like mine with wide trim, it’s a great way to show that off.

  14. Dark tones add character and drama. I’m painting a house right now with dark and light contrasting colors that add diminution especially if it is a large room. Thanks for sharing the awesome pictures!

  15. I’m not super crazy about it, to be honest. I’ve only seen a few rooms that I like with dark walls. Maybe because I live in a tiny little house. I think you’d have to have high ceilings and a LOT of white to pull it off. But I do like the pic that just shows the shelves with the white pictures. Maybe I’d like it on a smaller scale.

  16. I painted my hallway a deep red and put up pictures in black frames, worst mistake I ever made, it is like a dungeon. The light switch is at the end of the hall so when you come out of the bedroom you can’t see! As soon as I have time it’s going back to a light color. It does look nice but it makes it seem so closed in!

  17. I really like a dining room wiyh navy blue walls and white trim. I also like chocolate walls. As long as the trim is contrasting I am all for it. I am not in the all white camp. ~olive~

  18. I say as long as there’s enough light in the room and light colored things to balance it out it won’t feel like a cave. I suprised my husband with a freshly painted Chocolate Brown dining room for his birthday a couple years ago. I’ll email you pictures!

  19. I tend to stick with lighter colors overall…but I ALWAYS try to have one dark room and I always love it!

  20. I have always loved dark rooms, especially the dark brick reds and dark choco browns! BUT, I just went this weekend and picked out new paint. And much to my surprise I picked out all light colors! I went in to the store with no preconceived idea of what colors I wanted. Went in “blank”.

    I picked out for my living room and dining room a color called Glass Slipper by Ben Moore and for my kitchen Camouflage and Simply White by Ben. Moore.

    Im excited!

  21. I love dark walls when they’re done well. I’m moving in a few months, so I’m not up for re-doing any rooms right now, but I’m definitely going to consider charcoal gray in my next bedroom. Everywhere else will probably be white, as I’ve spent the last two years living in Holland and have really come to appreciate bright white rooms.

  22. I am loving the deep blue on the walls of the Lonny Magazine dining room with the crisp white accents! I painted my old bedroom at my parent’s house a chocolate brown with white accents and I still love those colors together :)

  23. I had a dark brown bedroom, and it was a small bedroom too, but (I think) it looked great and I loved it. I wanted a really cozy “sleep friendly” ambience! And I love to sleep when its pitch black around me, so that was close. My current bedroom is also dark actually, grey-blue. I guess I love dark bedrooms! I love the feeling of room #4!

  24. I’m definitely an advocate for the dark walls. We have ‘Belgian Sweet’ by Behr in our master bedroom along with light cream carpet, white curtains and white/cream/sea glass blue bedding. We have 2 large windows that let in a ton of light throughout the whole day (if our blinds are open) so it counteracts the cave feeling.

  25. gorgeous rooms! i dared to go dark in my bedroom … charcoal. i was terrified i would end up with a cave, but it actually turned out beautiful and is one of my favorite rooms in the house! you should try it :)

  26. Yes, yes, yes, YES!!! Oh, be still my heart! Those pictures are heavenly for me! They are me – even if I wouldn’t pick those exact colors, just seeing all those dark, rich hues makes my heart flutter! Let’s see – dining/living room is red, bedroom is red, office is dark purple, girl’s room is fuschia and turquoise, boy’s room is blue as is the kids bathroom and the family room downstairs is red and black. Love color! And that room you show that is black & white with turquoise accents (4th from bottom) – STUNNING! I will have to bookmark this entry!

  27. I love love love the staircase photo from House Beautiful (photo #4). The floor is painted to look like marble, which I’m tempted to do for my countertops. My landlord built EVERYTHING out of plywood, and will let me faux finish as I please. I already did the floors to look like wide plank cherry wood, and it came out awesome. I’m excited to start the counters.

  28. I love love love the staircase photo from House Beautiful (photo #4). The floor is painted to look like marble, which I’m tempted to do for my countertops. My landlord built EVERYTHING out of plywood, and will let me faux finish as I please. I already did the floors to look like wide plank cherry wood, and it came out awesome. I’m excited to start the counters.

  29. For many years the walls in my living room were a deep chocolate brown with crisp white trim. We had a floor to ceiling bookcase on one wall and to me that room felt like a cozy English library. It was our favorite room because it was charming and comfortable and I received many complements

  30. I love the darker colors on the walls as it pops my white woodwork. I know what you’re saying as we had all light shades of color on the walls when we first moved in. I started in a small room, like the bathroom and then got much braver from there. The thing I love about it, is you don’t like it and it’s too much, repaint it :) The pictures you posted are gorgeous!

  31. Since we rent, I can’t paint our walls… which actually turns into a blessing. Like the school paper that has more clarity because the assignment has a “topic”, I am given more direction by understanding what I cannot do—verses the “you can write about anything” freedom that ends up pushing you into a corner whimpering, “I just don’t know what to do. Too many options!”

    My most bold choice of color happened just a few weeks ago. I scored some custom Amy Butler, lined curtains in coral. I didn’t know where they were going, but for two panels for seven dollars, I knew they were coming home with me. At my next rummage sale, I scored an almost brand new queen sized, orange and white duvet cover for ten. The two matched perfectly (currently plan to paint my lamp a fantastic kelly green to complement). Now my bedroom has a splendid punch of color that inspires me to begin moving out the mellow colors of our living room for more lively contrast.

    I highly recommend more drama in color. What I’ve seen that seems to work the best… is to start out with lots of white. White furniture. White this and that. And then pull in a punch of two or three items that are superbly splendid. Bright red. Or turquoise. Or whatever your fancy is. And if it sits well with you, continue bringing one more thing in. Again and again.

    I think you should totally go dark/bright/contrast. I quite fancy the idea of seeing where you choose to let it reside in your home.

  32. I love the blue, but then again I’m always drawn to any shade of blue! My powder room is a very dark gray. I’ve considered painting it a lighter shade but its a small little powder room and I want it to be dramatic. But I’m trying to make it work :) So Kate are you going to paint a room in your lovely house dark too?

  33. Love the dark, bold rooms. Paired with white flowers and other white objects really makes a nice contrast. I like you, love those combos, but always paint lighter colors. I love the Chandeliers in all the rooms too!

  34. I just finished painting our MB Grey Granite from Glidden and I love it! I kept the curtains ivory and our furniture is black/brown and I think it looks great.

    On the alternate hand, our dining room is a yellowy cream and our living room is pale pink, so I’ve got the best of both worlds…

  35. Oh, I dare to do dark alright – I usually end up with a painted room turning out MUCH darker than it did on the itty bitty sample. (: i guess I am drawn to the drama of the darker colors – and they don’t look all that dark until I get the whole room done. i just go with it – life’s too short to re-paint the entire room and over a couple of days I find I really like it!

  36. What a fantastic collection of images!

    I have always had at least one room or wall dark – in every single home I have ever lived in.

    I just had the wall in our long stairway painted a dark gray with lots of dark brown it. Looks fantastic again white trim and works well with old style (I have 18thc. etchings hanging on the wall) as well as contemporary (in the landing stands a light gay concrete table against the wall).

    Could not do a whole house though! But one room or wall for added drama – absolutely! A

    Lovely being here.

    ox, Mon

  37. I love it. But I have proven to myself that I can only visit it and not live with it. I had a dark muddy green in my living room, and a chocolate dining room at one point…. I have never regretted going light after living in the “cave” for a spell. Perhaps it can work in rooms you don’t spend the majority of your time in. For example a guest room. LOL

  38. I just can’t make myself love the super saturated, dark walls. They seem so ominous and imposing. I do love that kitchen pic from Country Living though, with all the white trim, cabinets and the Carrera marble countertops.

  39. I don’t have very dark in my own home, except for a couple of bedrooms {one is blue and one is on the verge of brown/tan}. What I do love in these pictures you’ve shared is the white ~ the molding, trim, furniture, accessories and how it makes a lot of these spaces not feel as dark as they might be otherwise. I also find that even though many people like to go light and bright in the Summer, I feel like it is probably cooler in the darker rooms {a nice psychological cool for the hot and humid days}. I wind up closing our shades and drapes on these really hot and humid days to make it feel cooler in the house {plus keep the beating sun out}, so it’s dark anyway!

  40. Oh, wow! Once again, you have made me think outside the box. I love light and bright colors. I’ve always wanted a room painted daffodil yellow. But that room by Amanda Nesbit did me in! It looks lie summer. Maybe it’s the mustard folded Roman Shade. I don’t know if I would ever have the courage to paint dark like that though.
    P.S. Where do you find all these fabulous pictures? Do you just surf all those websites?

  41. I am a renter also however our landlord gave us approval to PAINT THE WALLS. He is awesome!
    I love these photos…they are so gorgeous.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  42. Wow, what a gorgeous collection of photos. I like a mix of dark and light rooms…depending on the room. My living/dining room is full of windows and painted light with a beachy decor. My den is painted dark terracotta to have a cozy, cocoon feel. I also have a small bathroom right off the pool that I painted a dark navy…it’s a nice transition for your eyes when you come in from the bright sun. So I use color to invoke the feeling I want from each room.

    Thanks for the post!

  43. I love dark walls. My master bedroom is very dark. Kind of a goldish brown with green undertones. The room is quite large so it works well. If I could get consistant with my blog I would post a pic for you. However we are moving. Probably into a much smaller place so I may not go so dark. My alter ego loves all whites with pops of bright color so maybe I will go that way. hhmm. Too many options and only so many rooms to decorate.

  44. I love that first blue dining area – feels like the ocean.
    I think to pull off a dark walled room you’ve got to have enough light to balance it out. A large picture window, or a light or white ceiling coupled with matching trims throughout. Our house has no South or West facing windows (Zero Lot Line), so anything darker than a Taupe just looks like a cave. If we could take advantage of the Western Evening sky, I would definately consider a dramatically dark paint scheme.

  45. In my last house I did several dark rooms (deep red living room, super dark blue bathroom), and a really dramatic deep silvery purple in venetian plaster as the focal wall in the master bedroom. I really liked all of these, but it seems that dark paint has really fallen out of favor, lately. I wonder if it is because it just doesn’t photograph as those white or almost white rooms with light streaming in the windows. They look so refreshing on the computer screen. I like that breezy costal cottage look, but I don’t live by the beach. I have a large tract built home in AZ, and I have to figure out what works here. I’m not an all-white girl, but I am trying to make the colors flow better through my house, so I am going a bit more neutral than I did before.

  46. I don’t have a white wall in my house! (Or ecru, or tan, or anything blah) Last summer I was revamping our bedroom, and ended up painting it a darker gray with paint I found for $5 at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. I put up white “crown molding” (actually trim I also got at the Restore), and I have it decorated with some of my bright modern art paintings and quilts, and some black and white photos. I absolutely love it!

  47. Im loving that dark blue, so moody! I have really been color crushing on anything yellow and grey. I painted my entertainment/family room a really dark grey/green (its called Coconut Husk) on the TV wall and its pretty but also sets the mood for movie watching :)

  48. DAGNABBIT (I’m from the South and am, therefore, not only allowed, but REQUIRED to utilize such verbiage as DAGNABBIT!!!).


    I SO wish I could find all my photos from where we renovated our historic property in VA (before we moved to Huntsville, AL) as we painted the downstairs salon a rich chocolate brown from Ralph Lauren.


    But, alas, I can not locate them on any of our computers…may have to find the originals and scan them….but still hoping to find the digital versions already incorporated *somewhere*.

    All of this rambling to say, though, even if I can not show you the almost sexual (heck, yeah!) sensuality of my chocolate walls, that I’m diggin’, REALLY diggin’ these photos you included in this post and I want to put in my $2.97 opinion that the deep colors, especially in such stark contrast to sparkling white molding, are GAW-JUS!!!!!

    As always, Kate, you rock my world. What a blessing you are to everyone that reads you.

    Some day I’ll do an entire Ode To Kate.

    I have an Ode To Rhoda from Southern Hospitality in the works, too.

    Ya’ll are just the best!

    Hugs and go get down and dirty with some chocolate paint,

  49. I thought I loved light colours till you posted these fantastic pictures.I wouldn´t know which one to choose. Fantastic selection!

  50. As someone with a red room I totally understand the cozy warmth a room with dark walls can create—there in lies my dilemma. I begin to feel that our home is a “winter” house rather than a “summer” house due to the red family room. However, the insecurity passes and fall arrives and I’m very comfortable with my choice. :-)

  51. I love all of these rooms! I just had my bedroom painted a dark blue (much like the blue in the second picture). I was told that it might close in the room…but because I have an arched ceiling and two good sized windows it doesn’t close it in at all. So if you have a good bit of natural light, or a high ceiling I would go for it! I’m so glad I didn’t let anybody talk me out of the blue…I love it!

    PS…I love your blog!

  52. i’m loving all those colors. I think the room look like they would be nice and crisp inside and I would love that right now – it’s too hot!

  53. These photos are truly inspirational! In the opposite fashion of you, we painted almost every room in our home a dark or vibrant hue, and now we’re back tracking to the world of light and bright. We have, however, kept our office a deep colonial blue, and I’m so happy we stuck with that. It seems like the perfect color for an office, especially since we have a white sidboard, white curtains, desk, and shelves.

    The bathroom went from a slate to a barely-there gray, the bedroom just went from orange to not-quite green…which I’m still struggling with there. My heart wants deep and vibrant, but my tired brain wants soft and light. Oh the choices!

    Good thing paint can be such a cheap fix ;)

  54. my dear pottery barn magazine lured me to the dark side a few years ago. a beautiful, deep, chocolately brown. but i’m sorry to say, our love affair was over in a year. i returned back to the light and airy the following summer, craving a more serene and brighter space. the brown felt lovely in the winter and fall, but come summer it felt too heavy for me. good luck!

  55. I think, like a lot of people have mentioned, if it’s balanced with proper light and enough accents of white or whatever cheeriness rocks your boat, that it looks great. Otherwise it could look too grandma or Addams family. I think the accent colors and decor can make or break it, so I personally wouldn’t do it to my house unless I really had the time to devote to making sure it doesn’t feel like an estate sale. If I ever do have the time though, I’d love to.

  56. I definitely don’t gravitate to dark rooms, but my husband really likes them. So we’ve compromised in two rooms: the half-bath (recently painted BM’s Van Deusen Blue), and the guest room (Behr’s Chocolate Cupcake). I love how the half bath turned out. Despite being a tiny room, this particular color added a lot of depth and coordinates really well with the colors in the adjacent dining room/kitchen. I’ve grown to really dislike the dark brown guest room. I just don’t find it relaxing, and would love to repaint it if I can get the hubs to agree!

  57. I love dark walls. I think the key is having the right furnishings and light in the room to keep it from feeling too heavy. The rooms you showcased are great examples of dark done right.

  58. Brava for an original post which flies in the face of so many images we see at this time of year!
    If I lived on my own, I would probably try a dark color somewhere easy like a powder room, but frankly, Beloved Husband would move out and right now I value my marriage more ;)

  59. I gravitate towards dark rooms. I LOVE fall shades. My walls are beige, sage green, and gold throughout my home with sage, creams, browns and oranges in the decor. In the summer I always wish for those light beachy rooms I see all over magazines and the blog-world, but I know I love that hunkered down feel of fall when I’m relaxing in my home…especially when fall actually arrives. :) Every year I say I’m going to lighten the decor in the spring….but I never do, I just love my things too much.

  60. I love light and dark, but have always gravitated more towards the dark colors with light colors sprinkled in. Since we live in AZ we get lots of sunlight. I love the drama of the dark… thanks for posting!

  61. This is too funny!! I just painted my Master Bedroom a dark blue just like the pictures and I have plans to paint my living room Chocolate Brown very soon! I love dark!! To me it just makes the room feel cozy. I think you just have to add in fun pops of color and light! :)

  62. I love color on the walls – it comforts me and makes me feel that I am safe in my little nest. I find that lately a lot of our projects (my dh and I do architecture and interiors) are using less color on the walls. I like the look but not for living in personally. I think you need to go with what speaks to you and brings you serenity. Those pictures are fabulous (LOVE that Crosby St. Hotel – brilliant).

  63. Our dining room is the darkest color on the chip! Kelly-Moore Arch Gold. It is an older color, so could not get a link to reference the color. My friend next door painted their dining room black, and has a white hutch, and maybe 1 other white item? It looks great. :)

  64. I’ve always been drawn to the luxurious and dramatic nature of deep walls popped with white trim. Our 1920 cape cod home is on a tight city lot in the NE part of the country. We don’t always have the best light streaming thru our windows, so I’ve been hesitant to go with anything deeper than a true midtone. However, I’ve recently done a flip-flop with our dining & living rooms. Our new living room is in the middle of our home and gets diffuse indirect light thru most of the day. However, it now seems perfectly suited to take on deeper hues as a restful cocoon to escape to. I’ve been looking at a deep mocha brown for the walls. Planning on swatching some samples this weekend.

  65. I stick to light colors. Here is the Pacific NW, the skies are grey for at least 8 months out of the year, with the very occasional sun break. The dark can feel a little gloomy to me.

  66. I just painted my dining room (which was previously a sky blue) dark brown and I am lovin’ it! Even in the summer I find myself craving the darker colors – they just seem so sophisticated and comfortable. I am even considering painting the ceiling the dark brown as well……

  67. We don’t have any in our home now, but have in the past. I did love them when I had them, but I do also love my lighter more neutral walls…only because I love to change things up and have found it easier to do so with the neutral colors.

  68. I have to say that I really do not like the dark walls. At this moment I am re-painting my bedroom from a dark chocolate to Palladian Blue, a robin’s egg color. Our bedroom is fairly large, but I just didn’t like how dark and cave like it always felt. Perhaps it is because I am from a cold climate where it always feels dark…thus I only want light and bright and fresh colors. But it really just comes down to personality and personal preference.

  69. We have a very very long entry hallway….when we moved into our house it was painted with 8 ft marquee diamonds. They were the first thing to go! We painted that wall a dark chocolate brown (Benjamin Moore Traditional) and we love it! The rest of the house is painted a lighter color to lighten up the rest of the house. The dark color definitely adds drama to the house.

  70. 1. Let me say, I am new to your blog, and find it delightful, helpful, and inspiring!
    2. I like dark walls in the right places. We renovated our apartment last summer and I took a few chances with a dark navy blue. One area is our kitchen – a little 7’x9′ galley style kitchen. With no windows. But it’s well-lit and has light birch cabinets. I LOVE it! And I get many complements! It looks sharp. The other place was a dark navy feature wall in our bedroom (on the headboard wall), and I like that too. Especially since that’s where we sleep… I almost wish I’d done the whole room navy (the other walls are soft grey.) So I say, try it! Consider how you live in a space and if it’s appropriate (I wouldn’t do a dark hallway or bathroom…), find a deep colour you really love, and pair it with lots of contrasting light fabrics or furniture. Also, my husband really likes it too. I think there’s something masculine about dark colours.

    (P.S…. I’m from Canada where we don’t get a whole lotta’ sunlight in the winter, and even then I liked my darker rooms)

  71. *LOVE* all the bold colors in the photos and I’m just now venturing into bold color space myself. I feel my rooms are too tiny to handle that magnificent a statement, but I am going to go rich chocolate on my built-in fireplace mantel in my living rooms. I can thank my wonderful hubby for that, since he was the one that picked the same color for our couches and now I have an excuse to pull it all together! Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration and keep up the good work!

  72. How ironic that you would post this! I am, at this very moment, in the process of repainting my great room. It’s a big room and my hope is that a richer color will cozy it up. Goodbye peach, hello chocolate. Hmm, now I’m suddenly feeling hungry…

    I have been toying with painting over the light oak trim in the room with a crisp white. Hopefully the beautiful photos you’ve posted will help me convince hubby.

  73. I love dark colors. My living room is chocolate brown, and my master bedroom is going to be painted a charcoal. I think darker colors are wonderful and dramatic. I just believe that with those dark colors, you do need some bursts of bright color. In my living room, my accent colors are a burnt orange and a {not so flourescent} lime green, and my master bedroom will have the accent color plum. Good luck. I’m sure you’ll pick the colors you are most comfortable with. My best friend is amazing at interior decorating, and she is the one who convinced me to take the plunge and paint my walls darker colors. Now, I’m hooked!!! What room are you planning to paint??? Good luck.

  74. I have gone dark once. It was our kitchen which was a sea of honey oak wood tones (floors and cabinets) and it was 15×25. When we first moved it the room was so stark – just white on the walls and trim – it just looked wrong! I wanted to do a color that would make the rest of the room sing so I picked a deep dark federal blue. Everyone thought I was crazy but it WORKED! The room was fantastic and became an even warmer place because the oranges in the wood played off the blue so well. I do wish it had more natural light – but with enough good electric lighting that can even be overcome! DO IT!

  75. My entire living is Providence Olive by Ben Moore and my trim is Monterey White. We have really dark hardwoods and i love it! Lots of bright white in my brick painted fireplace and mantle, a distressed white armoire my parents made and my kitchen cabinets are Mon White with wood stained knobs. I still love it so much 4 years later! And I love all these pics!

  76. We’ve got lots of dark walls. I love the warmth and comfort they bring. I get many comments on friends loving the chocolate colors. I say go for it! I know you will do it well.

  77. I have pulled off a dark caramel color in my bedroom of all places. I am not sure if it was the right room , but there is light in there with windows and bedding all light in hue. I like it at night when the lamps are on and it feels very warm. I waffle back and forth about repainting it. Too many coats of primer perhaps.

  78. I just spent a (very long) weekend painting my master bedroom a dark, charcoal gray. It’s fantastic. I want to do turquoise accents so I’m IN LOVE with the photo above from Metropolitan Home. Very inspiring.

  79. The dark colors look so amazing in these photos…I would like to find away to have dark walls in my home. I just get nervous!

    Thanks for sharing!


  80. I love the look of these bold and dark rooms, especially when there’s lots of contrast with white to balance it out. I have a hard time living with them, though. I usually end up painting dark rooms lighter colors after living with them for a year or two. So I guess I love them in small doses–and in other peoples’ houses.

    Enjoy your weekend, Kate! :-)

  81. I have two dark rooms, the master bedroom and my sons. My sons room has two windows and is painted a dark cafe mocha color and totally works! The master is a dark grey with deep red and bright white for contrast. While I LOVE the color scheme, it’s too dark for the physical room. There’s only one window and it never seems to get enough light. It doesn’t work for the room, it really depends on the amount of natural light you get in the room. Ever since we moved into our room a couple of years ago, waking up has been difficult! I really need to repaint it. :)

  82. BEEEautiful! I want it! I would love to do some of these, but sadly none of these colours would work where I live. I think that it would require a lot of natural, bright light with lots of windows to make it work and not feel like a total cave. Since I live in a basement suite… it’s already a cave and dark paint would not help at all. I already feel like I’m deprived of scenery and sunlight :(

  83. Funny, I found your blog and was so drawn in by all of your light colors. We have lived in our house now for almost 3 years and I haven’t done much to the 1985 decor. The previous owners had just painted the master and the living room a dark greenish color that is so depressing. As I’m getting older, I realize I’m liking lighter rooms too or it might just be that we all need a change from what we have!

  84. I have HATED having dark walls in my house. When I moved in 3 years ago, I had my living room and master bedroom painted a beautiful portobello (mushroom) color. For 2 years, I’ve regretted it. It has made those rooms just sink. So 2 days ago at 8pm, I decided we’re done with that color and we primed and painted it a fresh, light color and we LOVE it. The room looks twice the size, I don’t need lights on all day. I can’t believe I waited so long. I’ll never go back to dark walls again.

  85. I really love dark walls because I think they automatically make a room feel “cozy,” no matter how big or how small. I posted a pic of my living room recently that reminds me a lot of the Decorpad pic posted above (with the pitchers) and the BHG image with the white couch. What attracts me to those rooms is the high contrast between the light & the dark. So I guess my feeling is that I really like dark walls but for me they have to be tempered with light accessories.

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