5 Reasons to Love Dark Walls

Dreary, drab, somber, dull, gloomy. With meanings like these, it’s no wonder we shy away from dark colors for the walls in our homes. However, with the right accents, dark walls can make a space feel cozy, sophisticated, and authentic. And they’re not just for modern spaces! They can be a right at home in a rustic or traditional setting.

Dark painted walls

When we began discussing decor and paint colors for our home, I declared that everything should be light and bright. I considered just about every light color out there for our living room, but none of them felt right for the space. Then I saw this photo @ashlynathome posted on Instagram of the dark walls in her living room and fell in love with the cozy look of dark walls paired with vintage accents and the architectural elements that come with old houses (like thick trim!).

farmhouse dark walls

Country Living

Here are 5 reasons to love dark walls and why I think they might be the best choice for our living room:

1. Dark walls give a room a warm and cozy feel.

Our living room is actually the furthest room from the center of the house, and most of our living is done in other parts of our home. So I envision this room as a cozy place to curl up and watch a movie or chat with friends. Dark walls will help give the room a warm and cozy feel.

dark farmhouse walls


2. Dark walls are the perfect backdrop for frames, photographs, and paintings.

I love the look of a dark painted gallery wall. Our collection of antique gold frames is one of the reasons I want to take the plunge and try dark walls. I think they’ll really stand out on a dark background!


Left: New England Home; Right: House Beautiful

3. Dark paint makes the walls recede and makes the room feel larger.

Conventional wisdom says that dark rooms appear smaller, but actually dark colors will make walls recede and feel further away and thus making the room appear larger. Another good tip is to pick a cooler color because it will recede more than a warm color.


Left: Country Living (Trinity’s 1934 Farmhouse); Right: Country Living

4. Dark walls add the perfect amount of modern touch to traditional and farmhouse styled rooms.

I love old things, so most of our decor consists of vintage and antique pieces. Dark walls in a room full of vintage decor and old house architectural elements like beefy trim won’t make the room look too modern. Rather, it adds the perfect amount of modern to the room.

dark farmhouse walls

Country Living

5. Dark walls make it easier to decorate around a TV.

The living room is the one room I’ve been struggling with the most, and how to make a giant black TV look like it’s not hugely out of place in the living room of a historic home has been the biggest dilemma of all. Dark walls help make a TV look less out of place because it blends into the wall instead of standing out like a sore thumb.


Left: Apartment Therapy; Right: Apartment Therapy

Have you ever painted a room dark, or are you wanting to take the plunge?


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  1. Sarah | She Holds Dearly says:

    Our living room is dark and I really agree with your five points. It is very rich and people always stop and just stare when they first see that room. I can’t wait to see what you do, go with your gut. You have great style, Meg!

  2. Jamie@Papered House says:

    We painted our entry hall a deep red because we wanted to have that feeling of richness when we first step in the house. I was a little afraid that it would be too bold or dark, but we really love how it turned out (and gold-framed art looks great against the red!) We’ll probably chose dark colors for a few others rooms as well. Like you said, if used correctly, dark walls can be very cozy.

    • Meg says:

      Richness is a word I’ve heard from other dark paint users to describe their rooms, but one that I hadn’t thought of until we found our perfect navy. It’s so beautiful, deep, and rich just from the sample and I can’t wait to get it on the walls! I’m also already scheming of more places we can put dark paint in our home!

  3. Judy Gaaskjolen says:

    My living room walls are cranberry color. They were that color when I bought the house 10 years ago..The only time its a challenge to decorate is Halloween. The trim is off white. I love it ! Most of the blogs I follow have too much white. That is too boring.

    • Meg says:

      Cranberry and off white sounds beautiful! I agree that there’s an awful lot of white out there right now. I don’t mind white (my husband is a different story!), but I’m not the kind of person that wants every single room to be the same color scheme. I like to mix it up, and I’m excited to add dark colors to our decor!

  4. Kathi says:

    I just saw a blog called Most Lovely Things. She has some black walls in her home. Her home is lovely. Thought you might want to take a peek at her blog :)

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