When it comes to paint choices I’m an all or nothing kinda girl. It will either be a bold colour choice…or it will be a clean crisp white furnished heavily with bold colours. The point being that, to me – colour is king. I work with colours 100% of the time and with so many options and combinations I find myself completely uninterested in colours that lack depth, contrast and mood.

It’s a common concern that dark colours can make a place look “cold”, “small” or “depressing”. On the contrary I find dark interiors can be decadent, interesting and cosy. Since dark colours recede, they draw the eye to the contents of the room and can actually make a smaller room feel bigger. Pale walls however need natural light to bounce off and without it can look very flat and dull.

Of course, dark colours aren’t for everyone but for me it was a natural choice that our bedroom would be a rich dark colour – a cosy and luxurious space.

I started by painting sheets of lining paper with some tester pots – this is the best way to see how the colour works with the natural light in the room. Painting small sections of your wall won’t give an accurate representation of how the finished colour will look as depending on how the light falls, the top of your wall will show the colour differently to the bottom and the edges.

The colour we settled on was F&B Hague Blue for it’s inky tones, rich density and flat matte texture. 

Yes F&B is expensive, and yes you can get the colour copied for a cheaper price at your local B&Q but in my opinion the finished look and feel is never quite the same. This is because paint colour is made up of dye and pigments. Pigments are more expensive than dye, they are from naturally occurring raw materials and give a stronger depth of colour and texture…so a cheaper paint typically contains less pigment and more dye. Whilst it will give you a colour that is close to the original it’s unlikely to achieve the same depth and texture.

For some this is fine – and in actual fact I wouldn’t spend the money on a white F&B hallway paint for example but it’s definitely worth investing if you’re going to take the plunge and step over towards the dark side. The devil is afterall in the detail…

Other things to consider: should you paint the ceiling and skirting boards white? Well, for the ceiling it really depends on how much height you have to play with. We have reasonably low ceilings (compared to some older properties as the flat was built in 1959) and as I wanted to divert attenton away from this I opted to paint the ceiling the same colour as the walls. If you have high ceilings and want to add some light then go for a white ceiling – or to add elevation paint from the picture rail upwards including the ceiling.

For the skirting boards, in my opinion, the only time they should be painted white nowadays is if your walls are white, otherwise go for the same colour as your walls. Remember that the eye is drawn to contrast so if you paint your skirting boards and ceilings white you’re creating a band of colour.

Finally – be brave and continue to picture the final room in your mind. Dark walls really showcase the colours of your furniture, art and accessories to their best potential so once your room is furnished it will look entirely different. We had so many well intended comments from visitors who hadn’t seen the room completely finished…”it will feel cold/blue is cold”….”I don’t think you should have painted the ceiling this colour”….”it’ll be too dark…”… and so on, but most opinions changed once the furniture was in. 

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