7 Dark Color Palette Ideas That Won’t Overwhelm Your Space

If you are at all timid about color, ombre is a great solution, says designer Holly A. Kopman, the founder of an eponymous design firm in Mill Valley, California. “The gradient effect strikes the perfect balance between dark and light,” she says. In a recent project, for example, Kopman tasked decorative artist Caroline Lizarraga to paint ombre walls, which created an attractive effect. “I had the team painstakingly mix the colors, so the walls faded like fog does in the Bay Area,” she says.

Take advantage of natural light

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy (HC-154) paint color elevates a work space, as seen in this Bria Hammel Interiors project.

Photo: Spacecrafting Photography

When a room is already bright, dark colors have more leeway. Hammel used a deep, navy paint to adorn the built-in bookshelves in a client’s home office, which has an abundance of light from the bay window, the sconces, and a large chandelier. “Opting for a darker paint wasn’t that big of a risk,” Hammel says. “The room still has a great, open feeling.” She further balanced out the space by opting for lighter wood tones on the desk, a lighter blue rug, and a cream seat cushion for their window bench.

The dark wood floors, Thomas points out, are chic and compliment any design. “For ultra-drama, do a bright, high-gloss paint on the ceiling. The shine will reflect light and keep the dark floors from overpowering the living room,” he says. 

Incorporate dark accessories

Designer Jill Croka makes a slate couch the star of the room, without having it take over.

Photo: Adam Murphy