Dark interiors are something of a trend in 2019. People are slowly moving away from the classic all white design, and introducing a bit more color to their homes. Not quite a pop 70s revival of neon and orange, instead, people are trending towards greys, dark blues, and even darker shades of green as accent walls or in a single room. With a whole host of trends, there are several that lean heavily into the dark, more complex interior. Dark kitchens, the reintroduction of wallpaper, and muted tones with dark natural accents. We can see a movement towards more rich, complex designs as people experiment with new ways to work within and without minimalism.
For many, there’s a concern that dark interiors will ‘shrink’ a room or space. And in some ways, that’s true. Much of the dark spectrum will take in light, giving a room a dim or cozy feeling in much the same way that floors and exposed structure made from dark natural wood can make a room feel small. However, there are several ways to work within that ‘smaller space’ that can help offset the concern. The best two paths are inviting more natural light through huge windows and glass panels, or embracing the coziness and building a more intimate and distinct look.
Glass panels and large windows, when placed well, can expand even a miniscule space by opening up the room to the outside. While the lack of bright paint or fixtures can still dull the effect of light, a large window that allows plenty of natural light can create a stunning juxtaposition in the room. It’s not uncommon in some modern Japanese architecture to see stark concrete houses built vertically in crowded neighborhoods, where they also make use of large bay windows or ceiling glass panels to ‘expand’ the visual interior of the home.
By Igor Sirotov
The other option, of course, is to simply work within the dark interior through furniture and fixtures that take advantage of the contrast to stand out. Not unlike any other form of art, design should take advantage of contrast and negative space.
Combining the dark interior theme with well contrasted furniture brings life to the room and creates an open, inviting space. If you notice, the designer decided to keep the furniture on the minimalistic side, making the sofa the center of attention. With dark interiors, minimalist interior design goes hand in hand.
Contrasting fittings tend to act like small and functional accent pieces which end up structuring a living space. Since dark interiors have a tendency to absorb light, fixtures which are metallic or which contrast the dark background tend to show up much better. One can also pair dark interiors with dark fittings to make a powerful impact. Glance over these two images below which have dark interiors but completely contrasting fittings:
By Rafal Hanski
By Igor Sirotov
In the images above, you can note a stark difference when it comes to fixtures. The first image focuses on having a more vibrant outlook in the space. The copper open shelf above the stove lights up the kitchen, not only because it’s copper, but also because of the plants it carries. A little greenery in the kitchen is never a bad idea.
On the other hand, in the contrasting image below, you can see how darker fittings tend to add an air of mystery, yet it makes the kitchen feel like a cosy, soft space. The dark chairs by the window make the kitchen a perfect area to sit down and share a glass of tea or wine while looking out to the sun. The white crockery and stainless steel utensils visually appeal to the eye without looking too loud or out of place.
Dark interiors don’t have to range between greys and blacks. As we mentioned earlier, greys, blues, and greens are emerging in some design forward homes, and it’s likely that with the right combination of elements other colors in darker shades could offer striking visual appeal to a room:
In the picture above, the designer decided to create an abstract wall very similar to the color and texture of the earth. It’s a great way to add a pop of color to the house while keeping it classy. The cabinet blends in well with both the wall and the floor which creates a visually appealing and balanced space.
With a dark interior, you have the opportunity to try new looks, create drama, and add character to your house. While the trend of lights and whites isn’t completely gone, it’s good to see a movement towards a more diverse and experimental design. Here are some suggestions for those considering a new, darker look:
1. Accent pieces: An accent piece is a piece of furniture that stands out. It helps in tying the room together by complementing a room’s decor. With interiors which are dark, even the brightest of accent pieces do not look as loud as they would with lighter pieces. If you prefer having a more monotonous look, you might want to opt for accent pieces made out of gold, silver or copper. You can also incorporate nature by including pieces made out of wood or placing a funky looking plant in your space.
2. Fittings: Fittings can be fun to play with when it comes to dark interiors. Depending on your preferences, you can either go for matte fixtures or more metallic, brighter fixtures. Metallic fixtures look stunning against darker walls or cabinets. Dark fixtures create mystery, dimension, and drama.
3. Window Placement: With dark interiors, steel windows, huge french windows, and glass panels look remarkable. Direct sunlight can also be great if you decide to have house plants which require sunlight. If you are thinking about including steel windows or doors in your dream home, Portella can help you.
4. Modern Furniture: Furniture and lighting are two essential parts of creating a visually appealing living space. Dark interiors are best paired with modern furniture and lights because they do not compete for attention unlike they would against lighter backdrops. That’s another benefit of having dark interiors, modern furniture looks more futuristic yet it feels fits in the space like a glove.
Ultimately, it comes down to preference. Some spaces may work better or worse with a dark interior versus a light interior, but you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with colors, design, and light options to change up your spaces. It’s hard for dark interiors to go out of style, as they draw on some key aesthetics that can completely reshape an interior, and they give you a whole new range of furniture and fixture options. Whether you’re working on your own, or employing an experienced interior designer, pursue the looks that excite you the most. For many, dark paints and low brightness interior design aren’t a frequent thought, so give it a try!