To the dark side
Deep blue, maroon, grey; dark colours are an atypical choice for most interiors. But, done intelligently, they add a touch of luxury, royalty and drama to your home
Colours play an important role in home design. While most decorators will tell you (and rightly so) that dark colours make a room look heavy and shadowy, it’s possible to use them intelligently lend depth and character to a place.
Typical home interiors veer towards pastel shades. But colours like charcoal, deep blue and brown can lend the kind of sophistication to your home that paler colours wouldn’t.
To begin with, identify the purpose of using dark shades and which room they would work well with. Dark shades tend to make space seem compact, so choose a larger room rather than an already small one. “Think of the TV show Mad Men and the homes in it,” explains Bobby Mukherji, principal architect of Bobby Mukherji & Associates. “From using dark shades on one wall to offsetting a dark room with light upholstery, the 60s style décor combines light and dark remarkably.” Anuj Srivastava, co-founder & CEO, Livspace, says you can restrict a dark colour to just one side, making an accent wall.
“Furniture, architectural details like stairs and pillars with dark hues can also do the trick,” he adds. “You can also use dark colours as paint and contrast it with white architectural work like trims, doors, windowframes.”
Darker shades are more luxurious and remind one of royalty, ostentation and a bygone regal era. “A touch of gold with maroon or green in your house is reminiscent of the furnishings in Rajasthan,” says India Design Head, Nolte. Think of Asian damasks, dark brocades, purple in courtly paintings and deep reds that make the room seem grown up.
“Dark shades for walls in dif- ferent finishes create a great background for the furniture or accessories,” says Ashish Patil, Founder of ArchiLab Designs. Even showrooms displaying furniture, artwork or accessories typically use darker walls to set off their objects for sale. “This is because dark colours attract more attention and look dramatic under light,” explains Shami Goregoaker, GA design.
FOR EVERY ROOM?
It would probably be too much a good thing to paint every roo dark shade.
“Start with a small area – p haps the personal study spa powder room, or even din area,” says Rimpy Pillania, s ior architect of Tribeca Devel ers and founding principal Avant Garde Studio.
“A dining room in deep blu grey can act as warm and com fortable space for dinners.” your room gets limited natur night, use decorative lamps highlight key decor objects an guide the space.
A trendy colour is Black Flam – a muted dark blue-grey tha worked well with textured an aged leather.
“Use it to define a piece, a doo frame or a kitchen island, explains Parul Mittal, director o Greenlam. “Pair it with tans to create a rich look.”
But if your home is filled with sunlight, create a monotone throughout the space. “In areas like the kitchen, the dark shade is particularly useful to hide spills and stains. “Dark colours are also widely used in living rooms and bedrooms as they give a warm look to the house,” says Amit Shah, managing director, Classic Marble Company.
Remember, using dark shades is not necessarily about just the choice of colour. The paint finishes too make a big difference in defining the character of the room. Nomita Kohli, interior designer and owner of Wisma Atria Interiors says, “infusing art such as paintings of sunset or sunrise or other themes in darker shades is a great idea”.
Charu Tewari, CEO of Ficus Fine Living recommends back in-demand palettes that includ rich colours like deep rust, roya blue, deep purple, burgundy an marsala maroon.
“Velvet curtains and so crushed chenille make beautifu curtains especially in parts of th country that has cooler climat and homes that are opulent and grand,” she says.
Dark shades for walls create a great background for the furniture or accessories Velvet upholstery in dark colours will suit opulent homes.
To use dark colours in a small space, use reflective materials as much as possible, so that they catch the light.
In areas like the kitchen, a dark shade is particularly useful to hide spills and stains.