"Dark-coloured rooms are ideal for lovers of electric décor because they can bring together elements from different worlds."
HOMES & CONSTRUCTION
Many home owners prefer light, airy colours to the darker side of the colour palette. But once blended smartly, dark or dull colours can fill a space with electric vibrancy.
Mariah Kiwagama, an interior designer, says dark colours make some people feel claustrophobic in their own homes.
Yet, on the contrary, this very scheme of colours can be relied on to pull off lasting design impressions.
"Dark-coloured rooms are ideal for lovers of electric décor because they can bring together elements from different worlds,” says Kiwagama.
"A dark bedroom, for example, can be as soothing as one with light and airy accents. Just add a little texture for a luxurious feel with elements such as wood, metal or fabric.
“Dark interiors can look and feel interesting and sophisticated. There is an increase in demand for dark colours such as dark grey.”
“A dark wall will actually make a room appear larger contrary to what many people think. Maximize earthly tones, neutrals, greens and browns while mixing them with creams, among other hues,” suggests Kiwagama.
But be careful not to use many patterns as they will make the room look noisy.
If you saunter into Speke Apartments in Kitante, for example, your attention will be drawn by the electric décor thanks to the richly used dark shades.
The living rooms are embellished with light brown walls and are complemented by army green feature walls holding wall hangings. The kitchens, dark with brown furnishings and metallic appliances to harmonize the beauty, also stand out.
The bedrooms have black feature walls around the TV area, which blend in well with the brown, black and cream décor theme - a subject that ripplies across to the bathrooms.
Eva Mynsberghe, who is also an interior designer, prides in dark natural colours to achieve amazing designs. Being the artistic type, she recycles and uses natural local materials - mainly bark cloth - in her design projects, one being Speke Apartments.
“In Kitante, our concept was Ugandan natural upcountry landscape scenery. Emphasis was on browns, charcoal and forestry," she says.
Adding art to your decor
Mynsberghe says dull colors are not necessarily dull. They are actually rich and can therefore give your space an immediate vibe of class.
“It is a matter of how you complement them with textures and the right way of lighting. Always find a balance and harmony between colours within the concept," she says, adding that wall hangings or art pieces can be used to accentuate dark colours.
If you are going for art, ensure the art element has a link to your concept, and should also enrich your space.
“Examples of art pieces could be what we did in Kitante. Special picture frames which we make in bark cloth and recycled materials and a concept picture in it,” says Mynsberghe.
To pull off their project, Mynsberghe says they worked consulted Ugandan photographer John Davis, who came up with a series of typical Ugandan nature element pictures with such details as green bananas (matooke) and trees.
When hanging or placing the art, follow proportions and visibility in each chosen space.
Meanwhile, interior designer Kiwagama says dark interiors, when complemented with the right furniture or accessories, create incredible hues.
For example, you may decide to apply a dark-blue and brown hues on walls then add luxurious golden furniture plus light fixtures and flower vases to complement the look.
Reflective surfaces such as glossy dark tiles and furniture add a rich effect to the interior.