Five ideas for designing a dark and moody room without needing to up your meds

I’ll admit it, I adore a moody room. I’m not afraid of dark interiors with rich colors and statement-making vignettes. Bring it on, I say! Could I live on the set of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell? Yes, yes I could. I would eat those rooms if they were a food. In fact, I’d get fat on them. These rooms are the dark chocolate of interior designs.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: do you feel the darkness?

I’ve had a thing for dark interiors for some time now. I’ve got Pinterest boards devoted to Dark Rooms, Stormy Seas and Creepy Paintings.

Since dark and moody has now been declared a trend for 2015 by Apartment Therapy, I wanted to pull together my all-time favorite dark interiors and point out ways to follow the trend without needing therapy afterwards.

The key is to avoid creating rooms so dark and moody that there is no comfort, brightness or hope within them.

To avoid dark-room depression, here are five tips for designing a dark room that will keep you feeling warm and fuzzy, not sad and dismal.

1. Freshen a dark space with bright greens

Exclusive First Look at Haymes 2015 Colour Forecast....bureauofjewels/etsy and facebook...XXX.....

The palms, the pillows and the green velvet sofa paired with the dark walls create a freshness not typically found in dark rooms (image credit to Martina Gemmola / styling by Ruth Welsby). Dark and moody yes, but fresh and cozy as well.

2. Pair dark florals with organic textures

New dark floral wallpaper by Ellie Cashman. Visit

This room features dark floral wallpaper by Ellie Cashman. Paired with a rustic wooden bench, loose knitted throw and organic linens, the room isn’t overpoweringly dark.

3. Warm up dark walls with glowing wood

Today’s the day – are you ready to see everyone’s gallery wall reveals? Led by the talented Mary Ann of Classic • Casual • Home and Cindy of Rough Luxe, it’s the third and final week of the Project Design series on creating gallery walls. If you’re a little late to the party, you can catch up here: Week One: Gallery Wall Inspiration Week Two: The Gallery Wall Plans for My Home Office Now on to the reveal! The blank black wall above my home office console is blank no more: And since it’s ...

See how the warm wood tones in the furniture and frames above make the space feel cozy rather than cold? This would work with a warm rustic farmhouse table in a dark dining room as well. You can find this image and the designer’s blog on Driven by Decor.

4. Don’t go black, go blue!

Beautiful navy entryway: paint is Sherwin Williams Naval, part of the Pottery Barn Collection

If you’re afraid that black or even charcoal walls can be a little over powering, try a dark blue wall instead (this color is called Naval from Sherwin Williams). The blue wall featured above has a healthy mixture of both black and green in its tones which helps it feel more nautical than naughty. Check out the post about this space on Earnest.

5. Create some shine with warm metallics

A Lovely Library. One Room Challenge: The Reveal Sappington Villa Bedroom. Black walls. Interior Designer: Jessie Miller.

In case you haven’t noticed the theme here, the secret to successfully creating a dark space is to use contrasting elements such as the warm metal objects in this bookcase display. Brass, gold, and even tarnished silver can all add warmth to a dark space. The designer of this space (at the Design Daredevil blog) uses bright gold metals throughout the room, you can see the full room reveal here.

Hopefully by using these five ideas, you can adopt some darkness in your own spaces without having to see your psychiatrist as a result.



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