Mood-board / Three ways to do dark coloured walls

There’s a new trend in town and it's all about creating spaces that provide a sanctuary from the intensity of modern life. We’re talking rooms that cocoon and entice. Interiors that softly whisper in your ear ‘come put your feet up and relax’.

A key component of welcoming spaces is dark walls – be it navy, black or grey. There can be hesitation when a designer suggests you ‘paint that wall dark’...the understandable assumption is that doing so will make a room feel smaller, when in actual fact it's the opposite. Dark colours recede and thus blur the edges, resulting in a room feeling expansive.

The other feature of dark walls is how they provide a sense of purpose. Strong colours make a statement and set the tone for something interesting to be created around it.

We put this theory to the test recently with the colour Resene Indian ink. It’s a deep navy, a blackened blue, “reminiscent of a night without moonlight”. Against this backdrop we created three uniquely different schemes, each inviting in their own way.



Here’s one dark wall, styled three ways.



Kate Alexander,blue,living,Resene Indian Ink+Midwinter Mist+Teal Blue+Silver Aluminium+Kalgoorie Sands,photo Bryce Carleton.jpg

This approach would feel right at home in a modern apartment.

We paired the dark wall with a contrasting floor colour which instantly brightens the room. The floor colour is then picked up in the silver sofa frame and accessories. We even got a little crazy and painted the artwork frame in metallic silver. What really brings this set-up back to the trend of sanctuary spaces is the teal blue, evocative of ocean tones. We painted the table base to reflect the green of the glass – because ‘reflection’ is what we do in our ‘switch-off’ spaces right ? The artwork invites us to dive right in, equally so, the velvet-like rug is calling us to hug the floor. A room can really only have one hero and in this scenario it’s the mid-century sofa – the cream leather is a statement of sophistication and luxury.


IMAGE CREDITS :  Wall, Resene Indian Ink / Floor, Resene Midwinter Mist / Glass table base, Resene Deep Teal / Artwork, Glacial by Petra Leary from endemicworld / Couch, Mr Bigglesworthy / Rug, Ivy House / Metallic Cushion, Me & My Trend / all other items, stylists own. 



Pair a dark blue wall with whitewashed floors and you’re instantly transported to a chilled-out beachy-bach.

Our sofa of choice in this scenario is in fact an oversized chair-for-one, with plenty of room to wrap your feet beside you. The colour-scheme and slightly rustic feel is championed by the artwork, a photograph an old Community Hall. Although not represented by a painted item, the colour of sand is acknowledged in the oak art frame, cane fan and jute rug. Painting the peg stools deepens the blue theme and keeps it casual. Accents of white keep it fresh. The finishing touch – which keeps the balance – is  greenery, a reminder of the sanctuary nature provides us.

IMAGE CREDITS : Wall, Resene Indian Ink / Floor, Resene Whitewash / Stools painted Resene Wedgewood and Resene Eskimo / Artwork, Spotswood Community Hall by Nic Staveley from endemicworld / Chairs, Adairs / Rug Freedom / All other items stylists own.



This luxurious approach could easily be recreated in a grand, high-stud-villa.

Our classic theme was directly inspired by the artwork of decaying elegance by Maegan McDowell. We took our colour cues from the buds, purposefully juxtaposed the fragility of the petals with the softness of velvet and fur, and the gold frame became our connector with other gold accents around the room. Luxe is one look where more is definitely more and where it's ok to go overboard. What grounds this space is the use of a dark floor – it disappears and enables what's above it to take center stage. 

IMAGE CREDITS: Wall, Resene Indian Ink / Floor, Resene Bastille / Tables painted Resene Persian Red and Resene Negroni / Artwork, No 9 Photographic Print by Maegan McDowell from endemicworld / Couch, Cushions and Throw, Me & My Trend / Rug, Basket and Sheepskin, Bo Concept / Lamp and Round Gold Tray, Freedom / All other items, stylists own.

thanks to Resene for enabling us to delve deep into the world of colour. You can find more ways with paint and inspiration over at thiEr blog, habitatbyresene >