Moody Hues: Decorating With Not-Quite-Black Paint Colors
We've talked about adding black in small doses to your home for a little extra drama, but what if you like lots of drama without caring for black as a wall color? The answer you're looking for are the deeper shades of the color wheel — dark blues, greens, grays and even browns that almost read as black but give just enough hint of color to take the edge off the look. See how some of our favorite designers are using these dark shades:
Caitlin McCarthy, the 2014 winner of our Fresh Faces of Design contest, continues to push the envelope with not only her color choices but the way she presents color. In this home, she uses a gradient around the window to transition from a bright, white kitchen to a deep teal living room for a sort of day-and-night effect.
Sometimes the key to dark colors is to use stone finishes or wallpapers that encorporate black into the design. FLO Design Studio went bold in this master bathroom with sandalus stone, which blends black and brown grains in a rich, almost wood-like grain.
Charcoal is a classic, moody color that's long been a popular option. What I love about this room by Brianne Bishop is how the black sofa offers just enough contrast to the charcoal walls to bring out their gray undertones.
I think dark, moody colors are often associated with more modern style spaces, but they work well with traditional styles, too. Blue is a common color in coastal style, and a dark shade of navy works as the perfect color in this coastal dining room by Corrine Maggio. Crisp white trim rounds out the nautical feel.
While all of the previous designs use whites, creams and other neutrals on the ceiling and trim to balance out the effects of the dark shades, Kelly Sutton uses a "more is more" look to a luxurious effect. Kelly opted for the same malachite-inspired shade on the walls and ceiling, enveloping the cozy bed.
Another thing I love about dark shades is that they usually work well with both black and brown accents. Gindesignsgroup paired a midnight blue wall color with leather seating for a total look that is rich and sophisticated.
Corrine Magio provides another excellent example of charcoal, but I love how this one is paired with warm wood tones, a red sofa and a plaid throw for a rustic preppy look.