Levels of Darkness You Can Add to Your Home
By the Vevano Home Team
October 13, 2020
Did you know that adding dark tones adds dimension and intrigue to a space? From adding small touches to refreshing entire rooms, you can implement black, gray, brown, and other dark hues to play up different features and add sparks of interest to a room.
Incorporating black and gray fixtures and features is a fun way to switch up traditional styles. While white is a great way to brighten up the room and make it feel bigger, dark colors don’t have to feel ominous or claustrophobic. Instead, adding darkness to your room gives it a unique look and design by allowing the light spaces to pop even more. It’s all about finding a balance of light and dark that fits your style.
Some people might be hesitant to use dark colors while redesigning, but there are two helpful tips to keep in mind as you plan for dark accents and features in your home.
#1 A Well-Lit Room Is a Welcoming Room
Having a well-lit room is crucial to providing a welcoming atmosphere. No matter how dark you decide you want to take the room, the lighting is what will make the difference between exciting and intriguing dimensions or the room looking and feeling like a small cave.
Ample natural lighting is best in a room you wish to add darker tones to. If there’s not much natural light, you can fix this by adding more layered lighting in the room with a combination of ceiling lights, wall lights, and other lighting fixtures throughout the space. Make sure you have enough general lighting in the room. You can light up the shadows with task or accent lighting, like under cabinet lighting in your kitchen, to make sure you’re not sacrificing needed lightness for visibility. For a neat contrast, you can have light fixtures with a dark finish or color.
#2 Warm It Up
Since dark spaces have a tendency to feel cold, we suggest adding warmth with natural touches or soft features. Wood textures or stone help soften up a room, such as a luxury vinyl tile that mimics wood tones or stone floor paired with dark cabinets. Other ways to soften up the room include pillows, throws, and wooden features or fixtures. Adding in brown, bronze, or copper handles or fixtures can also warm up your space.
How to Add Darkness
On the Bottom
Flooring - One way to add darkness to a room is to darken up the floor. For a DIY option, a dark laminate or luxury vinyl tile are great options. Otherwise, wood flooring in general adds a dose of warmth to a room, depending on the shade. Dark wood floors or dark hardwood floors can add elegance to a room. Not only that, but dark wood floors bring out the grain of the wood more fully. They also don’t need to be refinished as often as they aren’t as prone to fading as light wood. With dark colored flooring, you may also be able to hide any imperfections in the floor as well, but probably not scratches (be sure to look for scratch resistant flooring options). To pull off a dark floor, has enough lighting or else it may feel cramped or unwelcoming.
In the Middle
Cabinets - When it comes to pairing cabinets with flooring, more often than not opposites work really well together due to their contrast. For example, light colored kitchen flooring can compliment dark kitchen cabinets, and vice versa. It’s also ideal to have darker base cabinets paired with lighter wall cabinets to add depth to your kitchen since the darker colors will add a visual weight to the bottom of the room. The lighter cabinets on top — for example a light gray to correspond with black or dark gray cabinets —will help the room feel more spacious on top by drawing the eye upward. Black and gray cabinets have become a popular modern look and are an easy way to add darkness and dimension to your kitchen. While dark cabinets can make the room smaller, colors like dark brown or gray add a sense of sophistication to the kitchen. Ample lighting will help the space feel much more spacious as well.
Walls - Dark walls can shrink a space, however, using light colored walls with a dark floor or dark cabinets provides a fun contrast. One option is to leave the walls light and make other features dark to help balance the room. You also can add dimension and visual space to a room by painting an accent wall a complimentary color. This helps highlight prominent features if they are in a darker color.
Countertops - The counter is an easy place to add depth and a sense of separation with a darker color. Dark countertops can help hide some messes, which can have it’s pros and cons . Whether the cabinets below are light or dark, a black countertop is hard to go wrong with, especially if you pair it with a lighter backsplash. Dark natural stone countertops, like granite, also add flair and sophistication to a kitchen.
On the Top
Lighting - Different kinds of lighting fixtures come in varying degrees of darkness depending on the material and the finish. Perhaps you want to play with a pendant light with a dark outer rim or sconce lighting with a matte black finish. The contrast between the light and the dark design can add a nice transitional style to your space.
The Little Touches
Faucets - Faucets come in many shades and styles to ensure that they correspond and work with the sink you have. For example, if you have a deep bronze or brown sink, you’ll want to pair it with a faucet that compliments the sink. If you want the faucet to be a dark statement piece on it’s own, that’s also an option. While some prefer to match all the finishes in a room, another option to mix it up with mixed metal finishes such as matte black and polished brass.
Sinks - While many sinks come in a porcelain white or cream, some sinks come in darker tones like bronze, copper, brown, and black, depending on the make of the sink. For example, a vessel sink in dark bronze would add intrigue to your bathroom. A dark sink can be a statement piece if other features don’t draw your eye away from it or overwhelm the senses with too much darkness.
Hardware - Cabinet hardware in darker shades is a small and simple way to add doses of darkness to a kitchen or bathroom. Black handles, knobs or pulls can keep white cabinets from looking too uniform. Another option is to add a complimentary layer of darkness to gray cabinets with darker hardware.
The main goal for all the colors in the room to work together to create a style and feeling that appeals to you. Having different levels and layers where you can add darkness to play off the lighter areas helps the room feel more cohesive and inviting. Whether you like a black/gray scheme or brown, there are endless opportunities to transform your space with intentional dark features.