Historically when deciding on paint colors I’ve always aired on the “light and airy” side. When I last painted my living room in 2010, I had just fallen in love with dove grey. It was bright and far more compelling than paperwhite walls. A few months ago during a Downton Abbey binge I became engrossed by the service bell wall. Soon thereafter I began seeing slate blues and charcoal greys everywhere. Before long, an obsession was born.
In design editorials, I’ve often seen “light and airy” juxtaposed with “dark and moody.” For whatever reason, my attitudes toward dark paint colors has completed changed in recent months. While I certainly feel there is a sense of mystique and drama when entering a darker room, “moody” doesn’t quite accurately describe my feeling of intrigue. If anything I feel dark paint colors are inviting and, contrary to popular belief, can actually make a room feel larger. I came to discover that this feeling was because of a sort of infinity effect, as discussed here on Rue. When deciding on paint colors for a smaller room, most folks with opt for a lighter color, when in fact, a darker color tricks the eye into perceiving the walls to be further away. This works especially well in rooms with little natural light, as seen in this bathroom.
You’ll notice that brighter items are brought to the foreground which, when paired with the black paint, creates a depth to an otherwise small bathroom. Not convinced you should come to the dark side yet? No worries! The infinity effect, can also be achieved by bumping furniture out a few inches from the walls. Doing this will make the room appear less flat and encourage the eye to travel throughout the space.