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Light VS Dark Decor: Which Should You Choose For Your Home?

May 15, 2018

Whether it’s the living room or kitchen, your chosen colour scheme will most assuredly influence how your rooms will look and feel, but which should you go for? A brilliant, white-washed interior, or a dark and cosy one?

While each comes with its own advantages, the final decision mostly boils down to your home’s structure, and of course, your decor preferences.

In any case, start your renovation off on the right foot with our breakdown of what makes these themes work.

The Bright Side of Life

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to mess up decorating an all-white, light-filled interior.

The lack of colour provides an empty canvas that you can fill up with eye-catching objects and decorative details to create an environment that fully conveys your preferred design style.

light or dark decor

Interior Designer: The Local INN.terior

For starters, if you prefer a classy-looking, all-white interiors, try installing cornices on the walls and/or ceiling as a luxe accent.

Painted in a matching white, these rectangular mouldings are perfect for today’s classic-style homes with their minimalist forms that fully convey the elegance of traditional European-inspired interiors, but minus all that flowery tackiness.

light or dark decor

Interior Designer: Schemacraft

Not enough space on the kitchen walls? You can also incorporate these sleek cornices as part of your cabinetry’s design for a sophisticated cooking space.

light or dark decor

Interior Designer: Free Space Intent

Another easy way that you can work the white and bright look without fear of messing up is by welcoming Mother Nature into your home.

If you decide to take this route, incorporating plenty of rustic wood textures and potted greens into your home’s decor is your best bet, simply because of the invigorating vitality that they bring to otherwise lifeless surroundings.

light or dark decor

Interior Designer: Intrigue-d Design Consultancy

Likewise, a strong, but complementary accent colour can do wonders when it comes to giving minimalist homes a vibrant finishing touch.

Either go with a complementary neutral, like light grey or cream, for a subtle, elegant vibe; or opt for brights – such as jewel-toned blues or purple – to create a more impactful and vibrant look for your (no longer just) white home.

Mastering The Dark Arts

light or dark decor

Interior Designer: Honeywerkz Interior

In contrast to their opposite number, homes with a darker theme are much more challenging to pull off. Do it wrong, and you may just end up with rooms that look more gloomy than sophisticated.

Having said that, this is a risk that is very much worth taking because of the payoff: an on-trend interior that is just as stylish as it is dramatic.

light or dark decor

Interior designer: Fatema Design Studio

The first step to creating such a space? Be willing to embrace dark colours.

Doing so may make you feel uncomfortable, especially if you are used to tranquil, light-filled Scandinavian-style homes rather than sumptuous dwellings featuring the likes of charcoal grey and dark brown.

light or dark decor

Interior designer: Mr Shopper Studio

But like them or not, there’s no two ways about it; moody hues are must-haves if you are joining the dark side.

And of course, there’s also the challenge of creating a space that feels more comfortable and less claustrophobic. In a small room, where it is all too easy to feel ‘suffocated’, filling the surroundings with dark colours will only make it seem more oppressive.

Fortunately, there are a couple of decor tricks that will help take the edge off these dusky, narrow-looking interiors.

light or dark decor

Interior Designer: Habit

light or dark decor

Interior Designer: Dan’s Workshop

Mirrors and bold patterns both offer a (stylish) solution to the problems posed by darker colour schemes.

More than just decorative ornaments, mirrors create the illusion of space by reflecting the surroundings and ‘extending’ their depth.

Likewise, running patterns play a similar role in making dark rooms appear larger than they seem. A busy, repeating motif does more than maximise visual interest in boring, cramped spaces by diverting attention towards it.

light or dark decor

Interior Designer: akiHAUS

If you are thinking about swapping over to a darker set of hues, get a new paintjob for the ceiling while you are at it.

The perfect contrast for walls painted in black and/or dark neutrals, a whitewashed ceiling is your best bet for dealing with rooms that are lacking in height. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have plenty of (artificial) illumination, simply because of how it makes your space liveable when night falls.

To Sum Things Up…

While a dark, modern home is undeniably appealing, tackling the design aspect will certainly be a challenge. Moreso, if you are dealing with compact spaces that are already short on natural light.

So unless you are a risk-taker or an experienced homeowner, it may be more prudent to go with a lighter colour scheme because of its greater flexibility and simpler execution.

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