Going to the dark side

One of my favourite interior designers at the moment is Abigail Ahern. Interestingly, I agree with almost everything she says, but actually don’t like some of the finished products.

Anyway, her big point of difference in terms of design is her enthusiasm for the dark side – or at least dark paints. She’s been enthusiastically pointing out how dark paint doesn’t actually make a space feel smaller (if it’s small, it’s small!) and that it does make it warmer and all the items in front of it look infinitely more glamorous. As a credo, it makes sense to me. Not least because I’ve never been in love with the white ‘spacious’ look. I think it too often looks clinical. Not to mention that my way of life would never work with that look. I’m messy and white would scuff too easily…

So, all in all, I’ve been pretty keen to try it out in one of our rooms. So far though, the closest was the loft room. And while that orange/red has a lot of the same qualities, it’s not really a dark colour. But with the blue tiles in the kitchen, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to see if we could match that colour and paint the space that dark blue.

It’s a little bit cheating (or safe perhaps might be a better way of saying it), seeing as the room is open plan with the living room so you wouldn’t get the full effect of the dark paint, and also seeing as the cabinets cover a lot of the walls. But, if playing it safe at first meant I got agreement, no worries there.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we had some real struggles finding the right blue. Endless navy blues. Endless lighter blues. Nothing that worked with the glorious tiles. In the end Little Greene Thai Sapphire was the closest. We were slightly worried as it was a perfect match with one coat, but a bit dark with two – and we’d need two coats to get it even a little bit even. But I went for it.

Two coats later, and I’m in love. The finish is a touch messy – I should have used the masking tape my lady thoughtfully provided me with – but the colour is wonderful. The dark blue really shows up the cabinets so they look like a more glowing wood, and makes the whole space look that bit more glamorous and finished. Even the enclosed corner doesn’t look too dark, but just rich and luxurious. Like walking into a temple of lapis lazuli. Shame that’s the washing corner and we currently store the ironing board there. (Anyone know where to get glamorous ironing board covers?)

Our blue corner

Also, just look at this sweet little snowflake print we hang in the kitchen. On a white wall….and on the blue wall. On the white wall, it looks nice enough. On the blue wall, the frame gleams. The flowers stand out and overall I think it looks about ten times better.

Snowdrops on white wall Snowdrops against blue wall

The same can be said of these flowers we have on the windowsill. Against white – a nice, maybe a bit stark, colour pop. Against blue – a glowing warm feature.

Flowers against blue Flowers against white

With the lights on, the blue walls look expensive and warm and the kitchen looks amazing. In daylight, the effect isn’t quite as dramatic, but it still looks finished beyond anything you could have imagined when we moved in.

Amazing what a lick of paint can do!


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