1 of 20
Dark Colors As a Neutral
In the chill of fall, there's something inherently cozy and comforting about dark colors, which is why they're perfect shades for your home, regardless of the season. Afraid of the dark? Although deep shades may seem daunting, they are actually easy to incorporate into almost any decor.
As a Neutral
Like the jeans that go with everything, blue can be a great decorating neutral, pairing well with accessories in a range of colors. Dark-blue furniture is easy to care for too. (Go ahead, put your feet up and sip red wine.) Painting the floor deep navy unifies a blue room and makes the ceiling appear higher.
Yarn Dye fabric #2009- 24A (on sofa), and #2009- 23 (on footstools); graylinelinen.com. Solsta Pallbo footstools (shown in a cluster of 4), ikea.com. Costello iron side table and Laura Kirar Collection Corsage Vintage brass floor lamp, arteriorshome.com. Small blue Tang horse and Persimmon branch arrangement, aerostudios.com. Blue Series paintings, hausinterior.com. Natural Grainy throw pillow (on sofa, middle), Pom-Pom scarf in Navy, large Dogon basket, and Apollo tumblers in Smokey Blue (by special order); ochrestore.com. Chunky throw in Midnight, twinkleliving.com. Upholstering, updec.com.
2 of 20
Dark Blue Palette
For a more formal feel, choose a blue toward the gray end of the spectrum, such as Wrought Iron; closer to denim blue, Indigo Batik telegraphs a laid-back vibe.
If you like Whipple Blue (Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com), than you'll love the darker versions Wrought Iron (Martha Stewart Living Paint, homedepot.com) and Sherwin-Williams Indigo Batik (sherwin-williams.com).
3 of 20
Dark Colors For Contrast
Nothing shows off the sculptural forms of white china better than a deeply colored background. Although a traditional mahogany cabinet would offer the same contrast, a color such as this Carriage Green delivers a more custom look. We've painted the cupboard in a high-gloss finish, to highlight the contours of the wood, and the walls in the same color, but in a flat finish. Almost any dark paint could create a similarly bold backdrop. Try an appetite-enhancing red (a classic choice in dining rooms), or go more modern with chocolate brown or peacock blue.
Get the look with Martha Stewart Living Paint Color in Chard at the Home Depot.
From top: Martha Stewart Collection Whiteware large pitchers, gravy boat, eggcups, Breyton Dinnerware plates, teapot, sugar and creamer, milk jug, oval platters, cake stands, and deep-footed compotes; macys.com
4 of 20
Dark Green Palette
With green, take it a step beyond hunter for a more elegant look. Carriage Green contrasts nicely with a bright white, while Lafayette Green pairs best with softer colors.
5 of 20
Dark Colors for Coziness
To keep white bedding from looking or feeling chilly, layer on blacks and grays. We've mixed plaid and floral prints -- and shaggy pillows and plush throws -- on this black four-poster. Dark artwork and lamps carry the color scheme throughout the room, while a single shot of color -- the yellow-trimmed pillow -- keeps it lively.
Sources: Draper Stripe Chinois sheet set in Ash, Etching Ink duvet set, and Pin Dot sheet set; dwellstudio.com. Round linen pillow; Ecru carpet, 4 feet by 6 feet; hausinterior.com. Windowpane blanket, amorosocollections.com. Mongolian lamb pillow cover, 6 inches square, and Patch NYC turtle wall art; westelm.com. Richard Nixon throw, jonathanadler.com. Basic square pillow in Black Stripe linen, 20 inches; ballarddesigns.com. Quail table lamps, shopcandelabra.com. Medium vintage black-and-white acrylic, small black-and-white painting, and herringbone pillow with yellow fringe; flair homecollection.com.
6 of 20
Dark Gray Palette
On the walls, a dark gray, such as Zinc, lends warmth to a room; save the black, like Gargoyle Shadow, for pieces with strong lines that you want to draw attention to.
7 of 20
Dark Colors for Drama
Although dark-purple walls might be difficult to live with (and hard to paint over), a deep-violet door creates intrigue without overpowering this entryway. The marriage of purple paint and dark wood floors also looks surprisingly classic. The delphiniums echo the door color and add textural contrast. You could use roses with a burgundy door, or lush houseplants with a forest-green door, to make a similarly striking impression.
Large stone vessel, olystudio.com. Natural rope-knot doorstop (similar to shown), hausinterior.com.
8 of 20
Dark Purple Palette
The deeper the shade of grape, the more sophisticated the effect; choose a red-tinged color, such as Fine Wine, if your room has light wood tones.
9 of 20
Dark Colors As an Accent: Pillows
"If the thought of doing a whole room in a deep shade feels overwhelming, try using darker tones as accents," Living Decorating Editor Rebecca Robertson says. Even a single piece in a dark color can bring warmth, elegance, or drama.
For a note of mystery, introduce throw pillows in purple or indigo, or hang a dark piece of art. To make a stronger statement, choose a side table or even a sofa in a deliciously deep hue. Here, ikat pillows in silk moire from Uzbekistan (fabricadabra.us) and cotton isan from Thailand (fabricadabra.us fabricadabra.us) add an exotic touch of color.
10 of 20
Dark Colors As an Accent: Tray
A striped fabric sandwiched between sheets of acrylic, this tray (lestoilesdusoleilnyc.com) makes a distinguished, easy-care accent on a vanity.
11 of 20
Dark Colors As an Accent: Throw Pillows
To instantly invigorate a room full of neutrals, add throw pillows covered in Zahra Leaf and Mustique fabrics (calicocorners.com).
12 of 20
Dark Colors As an Accent: Coffee Table
With its brass finish and vintage-inspired shape, this versatile metal Accordion coffee table (urbanoutfitters.com) looks far pricier than it is.
13 of 20
Dark Colors As an Accent: Lamp
In black, the strong shape of the Iron Cross lamp (hausinterior.com) stands out, making it a focal point on a desk or an entryway console.
14 of 20
Dark Colors As an Accent: Fabric
Blue works everywhere, from beach houses to town houses. Go casual with Istanbul Sunset or dressy with Zahra Leaf (calicocorners.com
15 of 20
Dark Colors As an Accent: Accent Table
Handcrafted in South Africa, this Gregor Jenkin table (shopterrain.com) evokes the traditional forms of fine wood furniture but is actually made of steel.
16 of 20
Dark Colors As an Accent: Artwork
Mike Miller's Framed Silhouette-Group (westelm.com) updates a traditional art form. With its dark background, the piece pops against white walls.
17 of 20
Dark Colors As an Accent: Pendant Lamps
In plum-colored glass, these handblown Modern pendant lights (nichemodern.com) seem to glow even when they're turned off.
18 of 20
Dark Colors As an Accent: Sofa
Upholstered in pewter velvet and just 46 inches long, this Nate Berkus Studio sofa (hsn.com) makes a small room feel cozy but not crowded.
19 of 20
Dark Colors As an Accent: Napkins
Give your table a touch of distinction by pairing these cotton Stendhal napkins (lestoilesdusoleilnyc.com) with your everyday dishes.
20 of 20
Dark Colors As an Accent: Fabric
Charcoal gray and black are hardly somber in, from left, Satin Coutances Negatif, Gotham, and Cassis fabrics (pierrefrey.com
You Just Viewed
Decorating with Dark ColorsReplay
- Healthy and Delicious: Cooking with Whole Grains
- Board Games: Kevin Sharkey's Cheeseboard Picks
- Decorate with Brass
- Our Food Editors' Food Resolutions
- A Blueprint for Color
- All Scooped Up: The 10 Best Ways to Eat Ice Cream in Winter
- A Woodworking Couple's Labor of Love
- Home Decor Inspired by Color
- New Year's Heave: Our 2014 Organizing Resolutions
- From the Shar-chives: Kevin Sharkey’s Most Beloved Valentine’s Day Ideas
- Layer Your Office Lunch: Five Days, Five Ways
- Real Page-Turners: Our Favorite Bookshelf Organizing Ideas
- Studio Visit: Purl Soho
- The Barest Simmer
- Brass Jewelry Projects: All That Glitters Is Not Gold