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Dark & Moody: Paint Colors to Transform Your Space

What if I told you light isn't always right? If you read last week's blog post (or if you know me in real life) then you know this is a hard turn BUT very necessary nonetheless. White, bright and airy has been on high demand for over a while now and even when we first noticed the trend towards dark moody colors more than a year ago, most of the spaces that we first spotted this this look was on accent walls.

Recently, in some of our own projects and in others we admire, monochromatic dark and moody rooms have taken over. And I'm here to tell you; I hope it never leaves. When used correctly, a dark moody paint color can evoke all the elegant but cozy vibes you're hoping for your home. Let me teach you how.

When to Use It

Small Bathrooms

Small bathrooms are powder rooms are the perfect spot for a dark moody paint color. You would think that the smaller the space, the more a dark color would overwhelm but it actually has the opposite effect.

Interior Doors

If you’re loving these darker colors but want to keep it safe, painting your interior doors a dark rich color is an easy way to make big impact.


Of course, cabinetry is another fantastic spot for these rich dark moody paint colors. I personally feel that this works best when walls and surroundings are light or white to help balance and to keep the dark color from overwhelming. Most times if everything in a bigger space is dark, it becomes to feel cave-y.

Whole Room

As daring (and a little scary as it sounds), there are ways to paint a whole room in a dark moody color and it work. I especially love it in smaller spaces like an office, coffee bar and butler's pantry. These area are all what I like to call "transitional" areas that you're in for a specific task and then you're out. It's not like a kitchen or living room that you might hangout in for longer periods of time.

How To Choose It

Think About Mood and Purpose

Before you begin thinking of colors, you should ask yourself how you use the space as well as who uses the space. These are both important factors in color choice. Are you designing a movie lounge or a bedroom that should have a calm vibe? a dark, moody color to create a nest-like effect would be ideal here.

Pay Attention to Lighting

Lighting is one of the most essential factors to consider when selecting a paint color regardless of shade. Natural daylight shows the truest color, so if you have big, bright windows, your paint should turn out true to the swatch. But be mindful of what time of day you tend to use each room—if you’re only using a room at night, that great natural light of yours won’t have any effect so that deep green might end up looking black.

Order a Ton of Samples

The cardinal rule of painting is to test, test, test. If you don’t test your paint sample, you’ll very likely wind up wasting an afternoon or weekend spent painting—or the cost of a painter. Grab a sample pot of paint and test your favorite swatches near all the sources of light in a room.

Test them on a piece of wood or drywall, and hold them up to your flooring, your tile, and other permanent fixtures to see how they’ll compare. Testing only a white wall won’t give you a sense of how the color complements other elements of the room.

Don't Know Where To Start?

below are some of our favorites:

The Darkest & Moodiest

Sherwin-William's Greenblack

Benjamin Moore's French Beret

Farrow & Ball's Railings

Dark & Moody Greens

Benjamin Moore's Black Forest Green

Benjamin Moore's Intrigue

Clare's Current Mood

Farrow & Ball's Pigeon

Benjamin Moore's Caldwell Green

Benjamin Moore's Saybrook Sage

Benjamin Moore's Dark Olive

Benjamin Moore's Vintage Vogue

Dark & Moody Blues

Benjamin Moore's Puritan Grey

Farrow & Ball's Light Blue

Sherwin-William's Mount Etna

Benjamin Moore's Sterling

Dark & Moody Neutrals

Benjamin Moore's Silver Satin

Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter

Farrow & Ball's Lamp Room Grey

Benjamin Moore's Natural Linen

Go ahead; cross over to the dark side of design.

- Raph