A warm, dark paint shade transforms this spacious room from a cool setting into a welcoming home.
The power of blue resonates in a home office that is all business.

Dear Debbie;

Our home is a mix of traditional and contemporary styling with long, open spaces and lots of light. I am drawn to some of the rich, dark paint shades and wonder if they would work in the living/dining area. The walls call out for some kind of warmth. Also are there any tips for painting with dark colours. Thank you for your ideas.
— Lorenzo

Dear Lorenzo;

Choosing from a dark palette can be intimidating. It’s natural to think that the room will feel heavy or somber. But this is not the case. There are so many glorious dark paint colours. They are expressive and intriguing and spell drama in both large and small rooms. When colour shopping think about dark coffee and deep browns. Perfect for traditional and country rooms, both wood and metal furnishings complement the mood. For a luxurious backdrop silver grey walls shimmer with purpose. Deep blues and blue/greens are reminiscent of the myriad colours found in the sea or lake and bring that essence into your space. It sounds to me like you have a few favourites. In a large room such as the one seen here the long stretch of windows ensures that the room is filled with light. Warm blue grey walls add warmth and contrast in this monochrome scheme with hints of colour pulled from the artwork and textiles showing up on cushions. The grain of the wood floor contributes nature’s abundant texture that livens up any style. When evening comes, spots along the ceiling and grey shaded pendants over the dining table take over. The space will always feel welcome.

There are a few tips to keep in mind when painting with dark colours. It’s tempting to apply the paint in a thick coat to make sure you get full coverage in one go, but it is difficult to get the pigment distributed evenly and you’ll end up with a blotchy job. Dark colours show up more defects (small holes and bumps on the wall), so fill and sand. The primer step is key to a good result. Tint the primer with black paint — your paint store will do this for you. Apply the tinted primer and let dry. Now paint your walls. Expect at least two coats over a tinted primer for full coverage. Without the darkened primer it will take three or four.

Dear Debbie;

I want my home office to look and feel like a professional business space that doesn’t do double duty as a guest room or den. I was thinking about choosing a dark paint colour but don’t want glum. Ideas?
— Antonia

Dear Antonia;

A dark-toned monotone palette will set the right mood, especially if you go all out. Walls, filing cabinets, desk, chairs will blend seamlessly together with no big contrasts to interrupt the flow. Look for a colour that resonates. How about a medium blue? The varying textures of paint, metal, upholstery and fabric all in the same shade will read differently due to the reaction of light on their surfaces. This brings the room alive. Add some plants at the window and perhaps one on your desk to strike a balance and keep you in touch with the gentler, natural side of life and business.