Looking to create a cozy space in your home? Then these dark living room ideas were made for you. From forest green and earthy brown to midnight black and moody gray, there's a color idea to suit every home and every style. Plus, you can go as big or small as you like.
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What are the design benefits of a dark living room design, you ask? Well, there are actually tons. From creating an intimate feel to enhancing brighter hues, you can't go wrong with a darker palette. You may find that using a more saturated shade can be useful for zoning your space or drawing attention to a specific design feature.
Dark hues evoke feelings of warmth and luxury, but can also feel classic, nostalgic, and elegant. Some bold colors even feel mysterious; it just depends on how you choose to pair them. Need a little more convincing? Here are 15 dark living room design ideas that will persuade you to give your space a moody makeover.
15 Dark Living Room Decorating Ideas
Navy blue is a popular color among homeowners and interior designers alike — and with one look at this living room design captured by photographer Jacqueline Marque, it's not hard to see why. This versatile color can be used not only with other deep blue shades, but also as a base for brighter neon tones or as a complement to olive green and neutral shades. You can do no wrong!
2. Use accent colors to add contrast.
A dark base in your living room will act as the ideal backdrop for primary colors like yellow and red. Use them as accents to make features out of your furniture and decor. This dark green living room designed by Zoe Anderson demonstrates the effect a bright pop can have on a bold wall color — it's cheery vibes all around if you ask us.
3. Reflect light with mirrors.
If you're worried about your space feeling small and closed in with dark walls, add lots of mirrors and reflective surfaces to bounce light around the room. The large circular mirrors in this moody black setup, designed by Abigail Ahern, really help make the most of the light and keep this room from feeling like a cave.
4. Hang patterned wallpaper.
By simply hanging patterned wallpaper in a dark living room, you can shift the vibe from moody to playful, especially if you throw in bright colors à la Katie of Come Down to the Woods. The palm leaf wallpaper, patterned tile in the firebox, and bold neon-colored furniture add a maximalist note that demands your attention.
5. Integrate natural texture.
Natural textures such as rattan and cane work so well with dark colors like gray, blue, and green, especially when brought in through larger pieces of furniture. We love this corner of Oak Apple Decor's blue living room, where the warm tones of the natural materials infuse a sense of calm throughout.
6. Paint the ceiling.
Painting the ceiling is an effective way of bringing everything a little lower, creating a welcoming atmosphere that feels oh-so-cozy. Sara Tramp's monochromatic living room nails the idea with a moody green shade (Rockwood Shutter Green by Sherwin-Williams, FYI) showcased on the ceiling, walls, and millwork.
7. Make your floor pop.
If there was ever a time to get creative with a checkerboard floor, it's in a black living room, and this design by Jean Stoffer is proof. The statement black and white marble tiles immediately draw the eye and act as a beautiful base for the sumptuous textiles used throughout the space.
8. Use dark wood finishes.
You don't necessarily need to get your paintbrush out to achieve a dark living room. Why not use dark wood finishes instead? This minimalist scene oozes luxury thanks to the streamlined built-in cabinets and dark modern furniture.
9. Play with earth tones.
As with natural materials, earthy tones, such as terra cotta, beige, and brown work especially well with a dark base color. Create your palette beforehand using paint swatches, trying to match your furniture as much as possible. Tie it all together with a large area rug that makes use of the entire color scheme, just like the one seen here in the home of Haneen.
10. Buy dark furniture.
The key to styling your dark living room with other dark accessories is to select items showcasing different materials to add depth and texture. Take this setup belonging to Amanda of House Lust — the art deco-inspired scene embraces velvet, linen, silk, and wool, making for a very inviting space.
11. Demonstrate the power of good lighting.
The main requirement for a dark living room design is a good lighting plan. Nobody wants to feel as if they're sitting in a tunnel. Cocooned and cozy is absolutely the ambiance that you should aim for, and that requires multiple light sources. In addition to ambient lighting overhead (think recessed cans, chandeliers, or pendants), you should also consider accent and task lighting — in the form of wall sconces, floor lamps, and table lamps — to set the mood.
12. Incorporate a lighter accent wall.
If you still want to keep things light and bright, an accent wall in a contrasting color will help you on your quest. Jess from Gold is a Neutral used a white and gold Jonathan Adler wallpaper behind her velvet sofa, instantly opening up the living space. And bonus: The metallic print complements the brass chandelier beautifully.
13. Hang an oversize piece of art.
Lighten things up and add a focal point in your space by incorporating an oversize piece of abstract artwork. Paired with dark gray walls, this canvas really amps up the drama and acts as a visual respite from the charcoal walls.
14. Add pops of greenery.
Bring some life and energy into your living room with lots of greenery. Verdant plants really pop against darker colors, such as black walls. Not to mention, they will effortlessly add to the cozy vibe of your space, while keeping things modern and fresh.
15. Limit yourself to one wall.
Not feeling brave enough to completely embrace a dark living room scheme? Start small with an accent wall. This midcentury-style living room features a gallery wall showcasing brightly colored contemporary artwork on a black backdrop, while the rest of the walls remain white.
Important Things to Remember
Before you embark on your living room remodel, there are just a few things to remember. Keep in mind that this look is extremely versatile, so whether you're a lover of Scandinavian design, or prefer something a little more traditional, a darker palette is sure to work for you. Be sure to take advantage of paint color swatches. Nowadays, they even have peel-and-stick samples that you can stick to your walls and live with for a day or two to experience how the color will really look and feel in your space.
Also, consider your lighting situation. Does your setup get tons of natural light or hardly any? Do you have ample overhead lighting or will you need to invest in a few fixtures? Additional factors to take into account are the existing finishes (such as the flooring) and furniture pieces. How will these elements play into your new color palette? Now, in the words of The Rolling Stones, it's time to "Paint it Black." Go grab your painting overalls and get started on the dark living room of dreams.