the dark SIDE

Don’t be afraid to go for evoca­tive

Havelock North Village Press - - Home Living -

Dark colours can be a lit­tle in­tim­i­dat­ing for home dec­o­ra­tors. No­body wants to be left with a gloomy, de­press­ing or un­wel­com­ing room. But to avoid dark colours com­pletely is to miss the op­por­tu­nity to re­ally in­ject per­son­al­ity and drama into a room. The range of dark colours now avail­able from Re­sene of­fers much more than merely black or char­coal. Colours like Re­sene Jaguar or Re­sene Woodsmoke are darks that come with a new twist, whether it’s an un­der­tone of blue, green or brown, that can make your room evoca­tive, in­ter­est­ing and invit­ing.

Dec­o­rat­ing with these dark, twisted colours can be make en­ter­ing a room as en­tic­ing as that smell of warm bread com­ing out of the kitchen. The trick lies in lay­er­ing with tones and tex­tures and try­ing bold contrasting colours with your fur­nish­ings so the whole room re­ally pops.

No room is too small

The num­ber one ‘rule’ that can be bro­ken is that you shouldn’t use dark colours in small rooms. Not true. It may de­pend on what you use the room for, and how it is lit but dark colours won’t au­to­mat­i­cally make a small room feel claus­tro­pho­bic.

Colours such as Re­sene El­e­ment ac­tu­ally have a cool base which makes the walls re­ces­sive; more of a dra­matic back­ground to show­case your fur­nish­ings, rather than dom­i­nat­ing the space.

If you’re par­tic­u­larly ner­vous about go­ing for a twisted dark shade on the walls, think about try­ing the small­est room — the bath­room — first. It’s a space that’s prime for ex­per­i­ment­ing as it’s not a cen­tre­piece room, if you change your mind it’s a small room to re­paint and a white toi­let and hand basin will con­trast per­fectly with moody colours. An in­ter­est­ingly dec­o­rated bath­room will al­ways be a talk­ing point for guests.

All for one

One way to use dark and dra­matic shades to give a sense of space to a liv­ing area or bed­room is to re­ally com­mit to one shade. If you can, match your couch and arm­chairs to the shade of your walls and use vari­a­tions of the tone in your other dec­o­ra­tions and furnishing, with a pop of lighter con­trast in a shade.

Try a dark colour on the walls with a closely match­ing couch, and then add lay­ers of sim­i­lar shades on a painted ta­ble top or shelves. Add cur­tains in sim­i­lar shades and cush­ions in a mix of match­ing and contrasting colours. By keep­ing a room largely to shades of one colour it gives it a co­he­sive­ness that im­plies size and space and al­lows you to show­case some of the fea­tures of the room, such as dec­o­ra­tive ceil­ings or pol­ished wood floors, or a piece of art.

Ad­just the con­trast

Adding contrasting colours around an evoca­tive dark wall shade can be the thing that takes a room from in­ter­est­ing to wow.

Try smoky brown Re­sene Iron­sand with dusky pinks or olive greens. Use these colours as highlights to em­pha­sise the wall colour, think mirror frames, shelves, or even skirt­ings and ceil­ings. Then take these colours into your soft fur­nish­ings such as cush­ions, rugs and cur­tains.

An­other great colour com­bi­na­tion to try is sub­tly green toned shades with contrasting gold room dec­o­ra­tion.

Lighter twist

If go­ing com­pletely dark and twisted still seems too daunt­ing you could opt for a lighter shade of dark, which will still re­flect your per­son­al­ity. A deep grey will still add a bold feel to a room while work­ing more eas­ily with softer shades.

Other tips and tricks

■ As a rule keep bold or fussy pat­terns to a min­i­mum so the colours are the talk­ing point of the room, rather than com­pet­ing with an­other bold idea.

■ Most of these dark shades work well with bold jewel tones that go with their un­der­tones like but­tery golds, emer­ald greens and deep pinks. Colours and fab­rics, par­tic­u­larly on-trend vel­vet, will add an invit­ing sense of warmth com­fort and lux­ury.

■ If you’re wor­ried about a room be­ing too dark, try large mir­rors to re­flect more light.

■ Dark, leafy plants and flow­ers are an­other ex­cel­lent way to add and change colours and tex­tures to dra­matic rooms.

Dark tones are the per­fect way to turn any room into an ex­otic, warm and invit­ing oa­sis — and who doesn’t want a cosy haven to come

Photo / Bryce Car­leton

In this project by Kate Alexan­der, deep-blue Re­sene In­dian Ink I teamed with R. Mid­win­ter Mist and R. Teal Blue.

Photo / Bryce Car­leton

Left, pair deep grey with lighter hues for spring pal­ette, with Re­sene Noc­tur­nal, R. Poet and R. Moon­beam. Project by Kate Alexan­der.

Re­sene Gun Pow­der is a smoky back­drop with R. Quar­ter At­mos­phere and a floor in R.

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