My Favorite DARK Paint Colors

September 25, 2017

DARK paint colors scare a lot of people. Typical concerns you get from clients sound something like:

  • “Will dark paint colors make the room look smaller?”
  • “Will dark paint will feel depressing?”
  • “Aren’t dark paint colors are harder to live with?”
  • Overall the answer is NO, here are some examples as to why, photos to prove it, and my list of my favorite dark / neutral paint colors to use in your own projects!

To be clear, I am not suggesting painting your entire home black : ) but a dark accent wall, or certain room in the house can look amazing in a dark and moody color. Also, it’s a huge misconception that dark colors make spaces look smaller. Dark paint colors actually recede into the walls, which can cause a space to feel larger. Here’s a good article debunking color perception if you want to get scientific!


Paint colors look very different depending on the light. The lightest color on this list is Benjamin Moore Metropolitan, which is the wall color in our dining room. This is a north facing room without a ton of light, so the gray typically feels darker. The photos were captured on a very sunny day, so I’d say this is pretty true to the color if you’ve got a sunny room with lots of light, otherwise it may feel a bit darker. It’s a lovely mid-tone gray that plays nicely with lots of other colors.

Benjamin Moore French Beret was used as an accent wall in this west facing room. It is a dark blue-black and I love it paired with these lighter wood tones. It would be pretty intense as an all over color, but great as an accent or for painted cabinetry.

Brown gets a bad rap these days, but sometimes you need it! I used Farrow & Ball Mahogany as a contrasting color on these stairs and it looks lovely and rich. It’s a deep classic brown that I think can play well with a lot of colors. I love it with white, but also brown pairs nicely with pinks, plums and blues.

I have used all the suggested colors above, but don’t have all the finished project photos yet! I’ll have to come back and update the post so you can see Worsted, Off-Black and Overcoat and Down Pipe in action.

Are you ready to go to the DARK SIDE?!



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Meet Claire

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer and a passionate yoga teacher. Her affinity for kitchen design, timeless style and eclectic decorating are shared here, along with lots of interior design education and tips. Thanks for being here, please enjoy!

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