Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (Colors)

When creating an interior color scheme, many people play it "safe" by sticking with off-whites, tans, and taupes ("can’t go too far wrong," they may think). And while there are plenty of good reasons to favor these neutrals, a fear of dark colors shouldn’t be one of them.

Neutral color schemes can be a thing of beauty – typically light, airy, and welcoming of almost any decor. But dark colors impart drama, excitement, and coziness to a space, characteristics that are difficult to achieve with a paler palette.

If you’re on the fence or in the dark about deeper colors, don’t think that you have to immediately paint your walls in the strongest shade on the color display. There’s a way to adopt deeper hues gradually.

Start by zeroing in on a strong color that can easily be integrated into your current décor. Then work it into your color scheme a step at a time. If your aim is to create a more dramatic dining room, for example, incorporate a dark color by way of a new tablecloth. Like what you see? Then add some matching accents. Still happy? Now, you can think about painting your walls.

Even small shifts in your color palette can make a big difference in the way a room looks. If you’re tired of a light, monochromatic color scheme, break things up by bringing in some contrast: Switch to darker, more colorful lamp shades, add some darker-colored curtains, drapes or blinds, or hang a piece of artwork done in a deep color palette. The result will surprise you.

If you want to go to the extreme, go to black. Although technically a neutral, it’s as dark as you can get. Yet strangely, black fits comfortably into almost any color scheme, creating extreme contrast and striking visual interest.

How to incorporate black? A piece of black furniture will do the trick, as will anything made of wrought iron – fireplace equipment, lamps, candlesticks, wall art, and myriad other objects. Black ceramics are another option. Just one or two black items can add immediate drama to an otherwise pallid room setting.

Of course, not everyone has a fear of dark colors; some people love them. If you’re in that camp, then by all means saturate your home interior with saturated colors. Deep greens, rich reds, glamorous golds, and a host of other strong shades can make your home feel more luxurious and psychologically comforting.

When it comes to those potentially "frightening" dark colors, fear not, fair homeowner. The bold can indeed be beautiful!