13 Decorations to Pair With Beautiful Dark Walls

WRITTEN BY LAURA GASKILL

13 Decorations to Pair With Beautiful Dark WallsCM Natural Designs

Dark walls, from inky blue to charcoal and black, are refined and dramatic – but decorating around them without making your space feel too dark can be tricky. If you’ve been thinking of painting one or more walls a deep, dark hue, these ideas for color and decor pairings should help.

Natural wood. Natural wood, whether in a mirror frame, rustic tabletop or chair, helps lighten up dark walls while also emphasizing their richness. You can’t go wrong with a driftwood or barn wood mirror, a farmhouse table or bentwood chairs.

Sculptural shapes. Place anything colorful or white in front of a dark wall, and your eye will be immediately drawn to its contours. Try placing a group of pottery pieces on a console or mantel. Or highlight the shape of an unusual table or chair by positioning it in front of a deep, dark wall.

Green plants. Potted plants and indoor trees look even lusher when placed in front of a dark wall. The dark color recedes into the background, creating the feeling of having a mini forest in the room instead of a few plants. Bonus style points if your plants have a sculptural shape, like the topiaries shown here.

Large artwork. A single piece of oversize art hung on a dark wall has the most impact – even more than a salon-style grouping. The drama of a deep wall color draws the eye. This works especially well with artwork with a large white mat and a slim black frame.

White. If you feel at all unsure about which direction to go in with the other elements in your dark painted room, choose white — it always works. In this bedroom a charcoal wall is set off by a grouping of wall-mounted plants on white bases, white bedding and white window treatments.

Pale, watery hues. Soft and ethereal, pale aqua, mint, champagne and silvery gray bring lightness to a room with dark walls. Try these watercolor-inspired hues in bedding, a throw or pillows for an elegant feel.

Rich mustard and teal. These hues complement deep blue, gray or even dark chocolate walls by bringing in the colors of fall. Just a small touch of mustard, teal or both hues will do — try a throw, pillow covers or curtains.

Wild card pairing: brights. A flash of hot pink, neon yellow or vibrant turquoise is daring – and exciting! Brights work best with black or charcoal; adding these bold hues to a room painted another dark color (like navy or forest green) is riskier. Test out a fun color pairing with a low-cost addition like hand towels or a cluster of bright vases.

Mirrors. Dark walls in a room without much natural light run the risk of making it feel oppressive. Boost what light you have by adding mirrors – even small, decorative mirrors, like the ones shown here, can help lighten things up. If the room is very dark, add a larger mirror, either on the wall or leaning against it.

Acrylic and glass. Like mirrors, clear materials, like acrylic and glass, can help a dark space feel a bit lighter. Swap out a wood piece, like a console, for a glass or acrylic version. Or add a large glass vase filled with greenery for a quick boost.

In this living room, dark gray walls are lightened up with a glass coffee table, an acrylic TV stand, white trim and a light sofa and rug.

Rich texture. Dark walls call out for touchable textures, like velvet, silk, oiled wood and fluffy mohair. Consider a plush velvet sofa, velvet or silk accent pillows, or a mohair throw in a living room with dark walls.

Oriental rugs. Rolling out an Oriental rug is a good way to marry a daringly dark wall color with a traditional home. These carpets tend to include a range of rich, deep colors, lending them well to dark walls in just about any hue.

Antiques. As with using traditional rugs, bringing in an antique piece or two is a wonderful way to take the edge off a strong wall color. In the room shown here, dark walls look refined alongside an eclectic mix of antiques and modern Lucite chairs.