(This article was last updated on 15 June 2021.)
You’d expect charcoal, muted greys and mossy greens to work badly in Singapore’s small homes, but that’s not the case!
“You have a small home? Don’t use dark hues!” Chances are, if you’re looking to renovate your space, you would have heard all about colour palettes – how a cleaner, lighter one works best in a small space, to stay away from others unless you want your home to look cramped or narrow et cetera.
But, that could not be less true – in fact, when used correctly, these dark colours can amp up the mood, while making spaces look less clinical. These 10 homes will have you saying bye to sterile white and cosying up to striking shades in no time.
1. A 5-room flat with a bar and dance studio
Rather than opting for popular choices of a Scandinavian or mid-century modern aesthetic, owners of this BTO chose to have an energetic “siam diu” (Thai-themed disco) inspired design instead. The flow of natural light in this dark home makes for a cosy modern nest in the day, while the use of smart home-enabled neon lights transforms the home into a bar and dance studio by night.
2. A dynamic monochrome home paired with raw elements
If you fear overwhelming the senses by going full-on monochrome, try jazzing up your space with a combination of different materials. These homeowners paired their black and grey home with raw elements like concrete, terrazzo and marble, all in different finishes for a more dynamic appeal – and we can’t take our eyes off it!
3. A cosy dark home with standout features
Mixing and matching aside, you too can change up the features in the home for a more sophisticated take and break up the monotony as well. Take this home for instance – here they used gold panels that really pop against the moodier tones and replaced the standard, streamlined doorway for curved archways that complements the cosier ambience.
4. A condominium with elegant use of marble for contrast
To go with the marble counter top and walls, the family living in this condominium chose a more elegant and versatile aesthetic. Think black verticals that juxtapose various shades and veining of grey marble. The play with shadows, textures and contrast really creates depth and makes the space pop.
5. A 'Forbidden Forest' in a HDB flat
Blacks, blues, and greys make for absolutely witchy backdrops. Work that transcendental appeal by including a variety of plants, like the home below, to create a unique home that mystifies and enraptures all that step foot in it. Think the Forbidden Forest, only more compact and urbanised to fit into an HDB flat.
6. A dark home lit with downlights and reflective surfaces
“These homes are all too dark for me!” Wait, before you exit, check out how this home makes clever use of reflective surfaces to counter the distinct hues. Together with the downlights, it creates a dark home that’s not crazy or too over-the-top.
7. A dark home that looks spacious even with large pieces of furniture
When it comes to small homes, having a dark scheme and large pieces of furniture is generally a no-no. That said, rules are, after all, meant to be broken. And, this 3-room HDB home in Toa Payoh shows exactly how to do so, with stylish results to show. In the living area, negative space is created by juxtaposing a two-seater sofa against a stony grey backdrop to ‘open up’ the surroundings.
8. A functional dark home with blackout blinds
If you would like a home that’s dark in the day, get blackout blinds as they will ensure that the surroundings remain pitch black even when the sun’s shining outside. But don’t forget to include ways to brighten up your home such as task lighting in work spaces (like the kitchen) and reflective surfaces (like floor-to-ceiling mirrors), which will aid in bouncing off light around a room.
9. A restful home with matching ceilings and walls
With the right paint, just about anyone can fashion a ‘dark home’. But, there’s a trick to placement: when used strategically, you can create a more intimate setting! This green might not have been the most appealing if it’s only painted on just the walls, but because it’s used liberally on the ceiling too, the home’s restful vibes are amplified.
10. An avant-garde home with black mosaic
Much like the abovementioned, the principle is about the same here, only this time, the paint was switched out for black mosaic – a bold choice that gives this home an avant-garde edge and lounge-like appeal (when the sun sets).
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