As published in Gather.
Interior design styles, specifically within the signature Pacific Northwest aesthetic, have long found comfort standing in the light. All-white rooms, bright & airy draperies and furnishings, mixed with a healthy dose of white stone and lighter woods in the details have been a mainstay and tried-and-true go-to within the industry. However, with the last few years bringing much more time spent within the home and a focus on inward connection and longer moments of reflection, we have seen a shift towards a darker palette within the realm of interiors.
2020 offered the trend of black kitchens a rise to glory (a look that still stands strong within current decor inspiration), but it has been more recently that the overall vibe of a home has taken a turn towards the dark side. We are seeing Interior Designers, both locally as well an internationally, push past the boundaries of the all-white comfort zone and create moodier, more seductive spaces with black walls, accents and materials. Tone on tone rooms with a primary focus on dark elements have become the new standard of elegance; once considered too far on the other side of edgy, we are now seeing even the most traditional of homes get an elevated upgrade with black exteriors, rooms and nooks.
While some of us may leap invitingly into the realm of darker interiors, others are finding a safe haven in testing the waters with bold accents of black, without committing to a full dark room. Kitchens and bathrooms remain a favourite space to dip one’s toes into the darker waters, as black millwork and cabinetry can support a vast array of design styles, from industrial to modern to Parisian or farmhouse… a little drama without being too daring; amongst the brave in search of a more dramatic and sultry impact, black walls and furnishings are mingled within the living and bedroom spaces and have gained a loyal following. The diversity of the colour is showcased by the accents and finishing materials it is paired with – streamlined, darker hardware or accessories within a heavier palette room create a sharper, perhaps more masculine feel, while natural woods soften the effect of a black colourway; in contrast, a black space mixed with white marble and gold finishes takes on an ultra feminine ambiance.
The dark side, however, does not limit itself to a love affair with just one colour; for the spaces and creatives that crave a different side of darkness, we have also seen a grand rise of moody hues outside of black. One of the most popular choices for current spaces longing for a darker drama without losing a sense of colour within the room is a saturated green; notably, tones of green have been a front-runner choice at all angles of decor lately, from the pale misty greens that have been named the 2022 Colour of the Year from both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, all the way down the line to the shadowy versions of emerald and forest greens that align with the shift toward moodier spaces. We have also seen charcoals as well as heavy browns, blues and maroons take their place within the darker interiors.
I’ve gathered some of my top picks for inspiration, showcasing our favourite interpretations of a sultry inspired home… share your favourite space in the comments!