thanks for visiting! As this is my first EVER blog, I think some info on my background is important. My name is Nicole, I am a mother of 2, wife of 9 years and interior designer. My life as a designer has been interesting thus far. I have worked for a large builder (who shall remain nameless ;-) designing model homes as well as an interior designer for Drexel Heritage in Colorado Springs. I have always worked for someone else and am ready to try this thing out on my own. As I find myself currently unemployed (urg) I dont see a better time than now to start the ball rolling on my passion for design. You can expect me to provide tips, tricks, answer questions and share with you the many wonderful design finds I come across. So please please if there is something you are interested in knowing, let me know. and here we go......

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Design Myth # 3: Are You Afraid of the Dark???

While it is true that dark paint colors tend to make a space feel smaller, it is more of an optical illusion than  anything else. Using a bit of logic rather than following this silly rule (that seems to be a major deciding factor for many people when selecting paint colors) will help you create a space that is dynamic.
You should always consider the other elements in the space. Is the ceiling low? Do you have dark wood moulding? Is your furniture and fabric selection dark? Are the floors dark?  Are there windows? How much light do these windows allow in? What kind of lighting are you using in the room?

Now, how you answered these questions will help you decide how to paint your space whether the room is decidedly small or not; if you have some good natural lighting, lighter finishes, and cooler lighting a darker color will definately help to cozy the space up a bit. Here are some excellent uses of darker paint colors:

Here are a few other tips to keep you from feeling boxed in with your brave choice of paint color:

Keep the ceiling white or two shades lighter than the walls. yes, many designers think this is a no no, well my friends, they're wrong. If you paint a room a rich espresso color, and you paint the ceiling that color too, you will definately be feeling like the room is caving in around you. While it does help to bridge the gap with a crown moulding to help ease the transition, I recommend adding some crown to a space if your ceiling is low.

Take the bright to another surface. Use a white rug (another brave choice) to even out the dark quotient, this is handy especially if you have a dark wood floor.

why paint? who says it has to be painted? Use a dark wallpaper, tile, or stain

still scared to cover the entire wall in a daring color? Go halvseys, take it 1/3 - 1/2 up the wall and do the rest in a lighter color, or use wainscot on the bottom portion and paint the upper half darker.

Following these tips will make it tons easier for you to make bold choices in wall color.  Dont be scared, if it looks wrong, it is so easy to change the paint on a wall.  Be brave, and the pay off can be great.



  1. I'm not afraid of dark color on walls, it can look really beautiful. I have a 1920's house, so it works really well in mine, but I think it can look good in modern spaces too. Love the photos, very inspiring.


  2. I pretty much only paint dark colors in my home. I live in a small townhome and it looks great! I have a very small bathroom painted completely in Benjamin Moore's Branchport Brown, ceiling and all, does not feel closed. I'm not affraid of the dark...

  3. It does help also in small powder baths to choose something in a semi gloss, the reflective quality helps it feel bigger than a flat paint would; easier to clean as well.