DESIGN TIP: ADD A DASH OF DARK
Hey guys! Stacey here. Today we're talking about the importance of having a dark element in your space. Have you ever looked at your room and wondered why, even though you love everything that's happening in there, it just doesn't feel quite right? Often times, in our effort to achieve "light and bright" we forget about incorporating dark colors! From paint to pillows, even a tiny splash of a dark color helps make a space feel more well-rounded, finished, and dynamic. Think of darks like a great belt or a cool earring - just enough of a touch to make the outfit without it having to be the star. Most often, a little bit of contrast is just what's needed to make a room sing.
Imagine what this earthy space would be without those hits of black? Since the other tones are all similar in value, the room would feel a little too sweet and one-note. The black helps break up the eye and neutralize the soft colors, rounding out the palette. If you eat something too sweet, don't you crave a little salt or acid to counteract it? And sweet and salty together?! That's only the best combo ever, in my book! This living room is the Kettle Corn of living rooms.
This is another great example of a light and bright space that incorporates a not-light and not-bright color. Why does it work? The black breaks up a sea of same-ness and creates focal points that allow your eye to travel around the room. The subtle texture and color differences would likely be lost without little exclamation points of black throughout. High contrast makes a room feel more elevated and sophisticated, but it doesn't always have to be black. This room would still work well if all the black elements were a dark brown or navy. Or heck, even a dark olive green!
Darks are also great for amping up the edge in a space. Here, a few simple black accents make this boho bedroom feel a bit more edgy. It's like those people who just quickly throw on whatever they grabbed first in the closet and still look effortlessly cool. That lumbar pillow does exactly that for this bedroom. Make the bed, toss on the cool black pillow, and boom. You're the James Dean of bedrooms.
Dark wood tones and leathers are also great ways to balance out neutral palettes. Here, the bench and the coffee table aren't as dark as a black per se, but their value is still significantly darker than the palette in the rest of the room, so it works. They help ground the space and add an extra dose of sophistication.
Feeling adventurous?! Why not just freaking go for it and paint an entire wall a sexy dark color? This space is primarily dark, with the neutrals acting as the accents this time. The dark wall adds a big 'ol dollop of drama, and is of course a stunning backdrop for the neutral art collection. The high level of contrast feels sophisticated yet cozy. The look does skews a bit more masculine, but is softened by lux materials like velvet. Also worth noting - a black (or dark) wall is a great way to camouflage a wall-mounted TV!
Are you feeling more confident and comfortable now about adding some darkness to your light and bright room? I promise that it won't compromise your look, but rather enhance just how light all the other colors are. So come on over to the dark side!
Have you already jumped on the black bandwagon? Be sure to post your pic on Instagram and tag @TheFreshmakerDesign and @klhhomestaging so we can see your sweet skills!
- Stacey Martin (AKA The Freshmaker) is the Interior Design Lead
at KLH Home Staging. Visit her @TheFreshmakerDesign