Tips for Designing Around Dark Walls

furniture blogRecently CORT Furniture put out the call on Twitter to HuffPost Home (@huffposthome) and Behr Paint (@BehrPaint) for tips on decorating rooms with dark walls.  This week in our furniture blog we bring you tips from these and other decorating gurus, plus our own take on ways to make dark walls work in your home.

Why choose a darker shade when painting your walls?  Dark colors have the ability to create a feeling of Gothic glamour and drama.  However, with the wrong décor, darker hues can feel oppressive, especially in a small space like an apartment.  Decorating appropriately can quickly turn this from a bane to a boon.  Read on for some advice from the best in our furniture blog.

HuffPost Home
If you are looking for that dash of debonair decadence, HuffPost Home has the simple solution: “If you want to add to the drama try lots of texture.  Or you can go with slip covers and treatments to brighten the space.”

Behr Paint
Erika Woelfel, Behr Paint’s Director of Color, shared with the CORT furniture blog some of the tricks for decorating dark interiors: “The key to using dark wall colors is to balance them with contrasting, lighter hues within the room. A sofa with light neutral upholstery will visually stand away from the wall instead of blending into it. Light painted trim or light colored flooring material will also help the room feel tonally balanced…. Bright pops of an accent color in throw pillows, lamp shades or artwork also bring variety and visual interest into the setting.”

Erika recommended to our furniture blog the Behr paint colors Victorian Iris 650F-6, Deep Royal 580D-7, and Chocolate Swirl UL140-3 as starters for your dark and daring room.

CORT Furniture Rental
From mirrors to sheer curtains to brightly-colored accent pieces, the colors you use in the rest of the room can complement dark walls and make them seem less overbearing.  On the floor, try a contemporary, lightly-colored Ultra Plush Rug to balance out the dark walls.  A bright accent chair like the soft, red Grenadine Chair by CORT can act as a pop of color against a somber interior.  Or the vibrant pattern of CORT’s Alisa Chair can draw in the deep shades of the walls while toning down the hues slightly and creating a focal point.

Interior Designers
Suzanne Lovell, Principal of the Chicago-based architectural interior design firm Suzanne Lovell, Inc., says: “A dark color actually expands the space because it erases the boundaries. Then the room becomes all about [its décor].”

Designer Jim Howard also has some useful advice on do-it-yourself projects to experiment with dark color.  “When painting your walls,” he suggests, “go bolder and stronger than you’re comfortable with.  After it’s finished, if it’s too intense, gray the color with its complement… and wash it on—you get an expensive decorator look in hours and it is so easy! Pour the paint in a paint tray then with a wet rag slosh and rub the new color over the old savagely.”

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