Discussions (76)

Natural Light and the "Dark Side"

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jessbodi says:

Hello all! I've been drooling over Abigail's interiors for ages and on the gorgeous photos posted on this forum. While the winter months easily had me convinced to go dark, when sunlight streams through the rooms I find myself wishing everything to be white and bright. I am having trouble imaging what the summer months will feel like with sunlight coming into a very dark room. Those of you who have gone dark, do you find this is to be a problem for you? How do your dark rooms feel on a sunny spring or summer day? Also, I am worried about flow throughout the flat. If the lounge and bedroom go dark, then it feels all the rooms should to be a dark scheme too. It would seem odd to go from a (currently) all white hallway immediately into dark lounge. Then my kitchen, which is currently white and bright, would need altering too. I feel paralysed and overwhelmed by the decisions! I feel like if I start painting then I am opening a can of worms and the entire flat would require redecorating. (which quite honestly it does as I am not satisfied with it but finding it difficult to proceed as paid to have it all painted only 2 years ago in light F&B colours. My indecisiveness is becoming a money pit!) I would appreciate any insight you can give. If I look to anyone else for opinions, they look at me like I am crazy for even considering it!
6:37AM, 12 February 2014 PDT (permalink)

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FloxP says:

well, it only take a few bold or dark feature walls to restablish the balance if you are worried about cohesive flow and too much white.
My guest loo is dark aubergine pelt from F&B (although I wouldn't recommend their so called "waterproof finish" for a wet bathroom) and has no natural light whatsover, is a tiny space with loo and toilet and it looks fab anytime of the day:) like a small stylish cocoon with bold accessories.

However, we are in the middle of making decision for a new fitted kitchen design.
We will be going for dark grey cabinets on lower parts/white quartz worktop, and white cabinets on upper, white subway tiles with light grey grout, and we will probably keep our dark aubergine (dulux) feature wall near table end as it is, to keep a touch of bold style. But I wanted more brightness in my kitchen when I cook and sit all day on laptop there as it get not much direct light. I put lights on from non till evening and hoped for a bit more brightness in there.
What am saying is depends on the purpose of the room, If you don't mind artificial lights being on longer, or aim for dark cocoon any day (like bedroom..)
53 months ago (permalink)

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Emily - GA says:

Hi Jess,
The whole redecorating process can be completely overwhelming and I definintely understand that paralysis feeling. I have been there! I would recommend, if you have a bit of time, is creating a colour palette for your whole flat. It helps you to find balance between different amounts of colour. Don't be worried that each room has a different feel, that can be interesting! The key is to choose something that ties it all together, like the same coloured floor throughout for instance.

I have painted the whole of my kitchen in F&B Railings (ceiling, walls, cabinets)- my first foray to the dark side. It was nerve wracking and I was having a wobble every 5 minutes. But stick with it if this is a look you'd like to try (look how quickly you've moved on from your last palette). As we approach spring I have introduced spring bulbs and am on the look out for a large fig plant to make it more summery. Also if you have blinds in your kitchen you could consider a bright fabric (I am looking at and loving Palmeral - House of Hackney). We also have a white reflective worksurfces and white topped dining table which reflects the light. I'm keen to see how I feel in the space in the summer, we're north facing so don't get summer sun in through the windows. If you do, you have NOTHING to fear. Our south facing living room is F&B Hague Blue now and is beautiful covered in light - it looks almost teal.

Alternatively, try one wall in a super dark colour in the kitchen it might be enough to tie your space together and give you a chance to see how you feel about going dark in the summer time?

Good luck. Remember you want to change it because you want to live in a space that reflects who you are and what you like! Be a fearless decorator, it's your home!
53 months ago (permalink)

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Hellebore Hawk says:

Hello,

I have painted my the walls of my kitchen in Taubmans Ash Brown which is a charcoal-ish dark brown and love it. I started off painting one wall in order to get my partner on board. This gets lots of light and I love it both when it is lit by the sun and at night-time. I love it so much that my biggest set of worries would be where will I stop. I already have a dark hallway (ceiling painted in the same colour- thanks Abigal!) and would also like a dark bedroom, dark living room... you get the picture. Instead of calling it indecisiveness, consider if there is anything else in your life that you would spend an equivalent amount of money on yet get nowhere near the same amount of joy from (car? clothing?)
53 months ago (permalink)

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jessbodi says:

Thank you all for your replies! I think I just need that extra little push and reassurance. I have been living with a few swatches on the walls for a couple of weeks so have gotten over some of the initial fear. I have decided to go for Railings in the bedroom and probably eventually Downpipe for the lounge. I think the solution for the kitchen may be to repaint the cabinets in Railings, which would go nicely with the open shelving and walls currently painted in Blackened. This would still keep it airy but tie in better with the rest of the flat I think. I will save the hallway until I see what Abigail has in store with her new colours :) This forum is brilliant for bouncing ideas, gaining a different perspective and seeing real homes in transition. Thank you for your time responding. It has given me a few more ideas to play with in my head :)
53 months ago (permalink)

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Rhiannon Connelly / Starrybluesky says:

Interesting to read these thoughts on light and dark shades. I have used strong and dark shades in the past, but that was in a much bigger house. Where I live now could more accurately be called bijoux and I've been concentrating on getting the space to feel as open and light as possible. But seeing all these deep blues and greys is making me cast around for a spot to give a darker treatment. Have only just stumbled on this forum - but what a lovely resource. Thanks for setting it up Abigail.
53 months ago (permalink)

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AbigailAhern is a group administrator AbigailAhern says:

I would say don't worry about the flow take each room as an individual project. You can't do the whole house in one hit (unless you're crazy like me and have a paint range coming out) so if your hallway is different to your living room do not worry. It takes time. If you love the effect of the darkside you will (just to warn) want the whole house to go dark but take your time over it. Also I love my house in summer even more than winter because the contrast with the outside green foliage is so beautiful. If you add blossoms, ferns, flowers and other some accessories it will look amazing as the constrast makes flowers and foliage pop. So no worries there, as cool if not cooler in the summer as it is in winter!
52 months ago (permalink)

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