Deep Greens and Blues are the Colours I Choose
Our dining room is dark. It has no windows to the outside and the only natural light comes via the kitchen. The gloominess is compounded by the back of our house being east-facing and receiving little direct sunlight. I’ve wondered how best to tackle this shadowy room ever since moving in.
Being the interior design rookie that I am, I thought an obvious way to brighten the place was to paint it a light neutral colour. So I wacked on two coats of Dulux Timeless emulsion. I even lauded this decision in a blog post. Oh dear. It turns out painting a dark room light in the hope of brightening it up is one of the fundamental mistakes of decorating.
Designer Emily Henderson says that if a room has very little natural light then a light neutral colour can make it look even more dead, grubby and boring. Painting a dark room in a light neutral simply accentuates the shadows. Well I can testify to this, the Dulux Timeless wasn’t working.
A bit of online research offered an alternative solution: A dark room will always be dark. Get over it. Embrace it. Veer to the other end of the spectrum and pick a rich dark colour. This might sound counter-intuitive, but a plethora of interior design blogs told me it would result in a cosy feel and help hide the shadows, so why not give it a try.
I splashed the cash on a pot of Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball, a deep rich navy blue. This is comfortably the poshest paint I have ever bought and is a hot favourite among interior design bloggers:
“Its hands down the best navy blue on the planet” (Emily Henderson)
“One of my favorite paint colors EVER. I dare you to dislike it” (Pearl and Pierce)
“My favorite paint color ever” (Elements of Style)
I’ve whipped up a little Hague Blue Pinterest Board which you can view here.
I started with just the chimney breast. The paint looks quite a greeny peacock blue when you first put it on, but it dries into a fantastically rich deep navy. Instant gratification! It looked awesome. Over the next week I asked everyone that visited whether the rest of the room should go the same way. Generally the answer was “it looks good but you should probably stop there”. I did not stop there.
I am now halfway round the room and toying with going the whole shebang. I love this colour and am very happy to preach the benefits of investing in high quality paint. The Hague Blue looks class throughout the day in every light. It is also a pleasure to use and goes on a treat. It cost a lot of pennies but was worth every one.
Perhaps the best thing about a dark wall is that anything you put on it looks awesome. We’ve got a gallery of children’s scribbles that look ten times better than they did against a light background. The limitations of my camera lens don’t do it justice – but you can get the idea from the picture below.
The dark colour also serves to highlight the paintwork and built-in furniture like the alcove cupboard I built. All those visitors that suggested I stopped at the chimney breast have revised their opinions. The only question now is do I continue? I don’t think I’ll be able to resist, but before I go 100% blue I am planning to address another bugbear in this room – the terrible lighting! Watch this space.