Hindustan Times

Dark Shades in Home Decor

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While most people shy away from incorporating dark shades in their home interiors, it can actually add a touch of class, if you do it right. Colours play an important role in home design and set the tone of its decor. Dark colours can in fact be used intelligently to lend depth and character to a place. Typical home interiors veer towards pastel shades. However, if you are looking to add a zing factor, explore stringer shades like charcoal, deep blue and brown and we tell you how to do it right.

The Specifics

To start, identify the purpose of using dark shades and which room would work well with. Dark shades tend to make a space seem more compact, so choose a larger room than an already small one. “For example, think of the TV show Mad Men and the homes in it. From using dark shades on one wall to offsetting a dark room with light upholstery, the 60s style décor combined light and dark remarkably,” explains Bobby Mukherji Prinicpal Architect, Bobby Mukherji & Associates. When executed properly dark shades are cozy, dramatic and full of life. “An accent wall is the solution in most occasions. However, furniture, architectural details like stairs and pillars with dark hues can also do the trick. That said, you can also use dark colours as paint and contrast it with white architectural work like trims, doors, window-frames,” avers Anuj Srivastava, Co-Founder & CEO, Livspace.

Babel chest of drawer

Right References

Ar. A Darker shades are more luxurious and remind one of royalty, ostentatious palaces and generally of a bygone regal era which is something most of us romanticize about. “This can be a great way to start a conversation. A touch of gold with maroon or green in your house can literally transport you to a palace in Rajasthan,” says India Design Head, Nolte. Ashish Patil, Founder of ArchiLab Designs avers, “dark shades for walls in different finishes create a great background for the furniture or accessories. Deep colours blur edges of the walls creating an illusion of an expansive room. Coordinated with appropriate lighting they are reminiscent of designer shop displays.” In fact dark tones are mostly used by showrooms displaying furniture, artwork or accessories. “This is because dark colours attract more attention and look dramatic under light. If you look at the picture with the dark brown satin bedcover, it looks extremely sophisticated against a white paneled wall with a glass wardrobe in the background, because it is the only object in the room with a dark colour,” explains Shami Goregoaker, GA design.

Babel chest of drawer

Room Story

It would probably be too much of a good thing to paint every room a dark shade, so needs to be chosen wisely. These dark colors work well to create intimate small spaces. “Start with small spaces like personal study space, powder room, and even dining rooms are great. A dining room done in deep blue grey can act as warm and comfortable space for dinners. By selecting the right textures and lighting to compliment it, a stunning space can be created,” says Rimpy Pillania, Senior Architect, Tribeca Developers & Founding Principal, Avant Garde Studio. If your room is limited with natural night, display quirky accessories and artwork, using decorative lamps to highlight key pieces and guide the space. Trendy colours like black flame form a perfect base for textured and aged leathers.  Importantly, this hue can be used as an accent to define a piece door frame or a kitchen island by giving them a much-needed character. It can be paired with tans to create a rich look that works in a variety of environments,” explains Parul Mittal, Director, Greenlam Industries Ltd. Dark colours usually work better in places with adequate natural lighting. “These days the trend is creating a monotone throughout the residence and some specific areas would include kitchen flooring – as spills and stains won’t be easily visible. 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.

Material Matters

Remember, using dark shades is not necessarily about just the choice of colour. The paint finish too makes a big difference in defining the character of the room. Nomita Kohli, Interior Designer and owner of Wisma Atria Interiors adds, “infusing art such as paintings of sunset or sunrise or other themes in darker shades is also one the great idea as it brings positive energy in your homes. You can add double shades curtains one in brighter and other in darker shades.” The materials that are extremely popular these days for coffee tables and side tables are a combination of brass frames and stands, with copper in pink hues or wrought iron with the table tops in either marble or granite or any beautiful coloured stone. “Rich colours like Deep Rust, Royal Blue, Deep Purple, Burgundy and Marsala Maroon are vintage colours of drapery and upholstery that have come back in vogue. Velvet curtains and soft crushed chenille make beautiful curtains especially in parts of the country that has cooler climates and homes that are opulent and grand,” says Charu Tewari, CEO of Ficus Fine Living.

International Flavours

Adoption of global trend of dark colours can be incorporated in a clever way to suit local architecture and interior styles. “Detailing and intricate graphic pattern in dark colors can also be used. Warm lighting can be combined along with darker shaded walls and floor to have a contemporary feel, along with highlighter graphics in tones of blue, green and crimson. Saffron can also be added as a contrast with grey as base coat,” says Saurabh Lanjewar, Architect/Interior Designer, Dfine Art Pvt. Ltd. Charcoal, black and darker colors are used internationally either on walls or floors to add sparkle or allure. “They are perfect for bi spaces especially when they are teamed up with big chandeliers or mirrors. It is the ideal way to add a little drama to your space when paired with metal as it adds a touch of glamour,” says a spokesperson from Orient Bell Limited. So go ahead and explore the dark.

Handy Tips

  • Depending on the kind of room, use a contrasting rug or throw pillows in shades of the room’s colour.
  • You can add different bright and dark colors in your homes to create a monochromatic look.
  • Paint high ceilings one shade darker than the walls and paint average ceilings slightly lighter than the walls.
  • Use lighter coloured artwork on the walls or accessories, to create a balance.
  • With a dark palette, try introducing a pop color or pattern it’s complementary and perfectly creates a more lively space.

This story appeared in HT Estates dated 15th April 2018 here: Dark Shades

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