How to Style Dark Walls in your Home

You’ve made the bold decision to use dark-coloured paint in your home, but now you’re wondering how to style dark walls.

I wrote a post quite recently about 2017 A/W trends, and I included dark walls as a feature that would continue to impress. But it got me thinking about how to style dark walls best. Dark paint is a bold look, and only certain rooms can hold it. This post will advise you on how to style dark walls to make them a standout feature, and not a dark, dingy space that you’ll regret.

Think through your decision

Are you the sort of person who gets bored with a paint colour after a year? Then a dark colour is not the right choice for you. You’ll need to really love it, from the day you put it on, to five years later. Take your time buying testers, and remember to buy testers from different brands, not all the same one. There can be a big difference in colour depending on which paint brand you go with.

Make sure it will match your current furniture

There’s no point painting a whole room, and then having to change all your furniture because it doesn’t match. If you’re worried, you can go with a dark grey as most things will go with this.

Take a look at this grey room from Mad About the House. The white floor and ceiling, combined with the warm red tones of the sofa and carpet and oak furniture means the room doesn’t look too cold or bare.



A surprising amount of colours go with navy blue as well, including green and pink. Just thoroughly consider your options. Use a colour chart if you’re unsure about which colours will go with what.

Make sure you have enough natural light

how to style dark walls in your bedroom

Photo credit:


Unlike pale colours, light cannot bounce off dark walls. You need a large window in order to pull off the look, but note, that doesn’t mean your room has to be large to pull of a bold colour. This is a big misconception. It isn’t about the size of the room, but how you arrange the furniture, and the amount of light you’ve got.

In the picture from Mad About the House (further up the page) , they’ve painted their ceiling white, but also about a fifth of the way down the walls too. This gives the impression of a much higher ceiling and creates so much more light in the room.

You don’t just want tonnes of natural light, but also enough artificial light for the evenings, unless you want to feel like you’re sat in a cave. You’ll need lighting in all the corners of the room, and try to avoid just one ceiling light. Consider some wall lights and floor lights together so the lighting isn’t so much concentrated to one place, but spreads in an even glow around the room.


Photo credit:

You’ll need some light-coloured accessories

With dark walls, you’ll need plenty of accessories that lift the room. This could mean getting some artwork with a light background to put on the walls.

Look at this image from Martina Gemmola:



The white in the floor and the white accessories such as the plant pot and the cushion lift the whole room. They become the focal point, so much so, that the shelving unit and sofa almost blend into the walls. This is an amazing demonstration of how well blue and green can work together. If that was my room, I’d be inclined to add a picture gallery above the sofa to help water down the navy blue walls.

I love a dark bookshelf that holds lots of white or light coloured objects and books, and I found this one from DesignSixtyNine.



Not only is the bookshelf a dark grey, but the walls are too. If you’re worried about the size of a bookcase or unit, this is a wonderful tip. Painting it the same colour as the walls makes it blend in. It almost becomes a part of the wall, making it much less imposing. The bookcase has been broken up with white and green objects. Look to the middle of the bookshelf on the far right; the spines of the books are all white, which really makes a feature of the shelf.

So there are my top tips on how to style dark walls in your house. Is anyone considering them? Or have you already got dark walls and love them?



5 Designer Tips for Styling your Coffee Table

A coffee table can so easily become a place where you leave your empty mugs and remote controls, but I’m here to help you out with these 5 designer tips for styling your coffee table.

A coffee table needs to make a statement. When you think about the furniture that you might have in your living room, your sofa and coffee table are the focal point. They sit in the middle of the room and attract the most attention. So don’t let your coffee table become a sad place for empty mugs. When you’re styling your coffee table, you want to create a piece of artwork that will bring the whole structure of your living room together.

All of the below are elements you need on your coffee table to complete the piece. Take one out, and the look won’t work the same. So if you don’t want to have to call in the Santa Monica interior designers to help you, follow these tips for styling your coffee table.

Use a tray as a foundation

You need to create a solid foundation for the table. I know, you’re thinking, But the table is the foundation? It is, but everything needs to be layered correctly. A large bowl works just as well as a tray, like this one from Shea at Studio McGee:


styling your coffee table with ornaments and books


See how the dark wood of the bowl stands out against the light coffee table and the light coloured books she’s used to decorate.

A tray is also very useful when you want to clear the coffee table quickly. Just had a big parcel arrive and need somewhere to put it quickly? Any items in the tray can be lifted off quickly and with minimal damage.

Add height and layers through ornaments

Getting an ideal coffee table style is all about height and layers. A flat coffee table won’t do any compliments, and will look worse than if you left it empty. Kimberly from Swoonworthy has achieved this height perfectly.


white, gold and pink themed coffee table styling


Note that she has a tray with ornaments on that are at varying heights. She’s also raised the gold birds by putting them on a pile of books. The table looks well balanced and definitely not overcrowded. She’s even got a mug on a coaster in the picture. It’s stylish and you can see the gold, white and pink theme runs through the rest of her living room. This is also key. You need to match the style of the coffee table with the rest of the room, otherwise it’ll look disjointed.

Make use of plants and foliage

Plants add some fresh greenery to the coffee table, and to the rest of the room. They lighten and brighten, and can also be used to achieve varying heights. You can do this by opting for some small succulents or cacti, or go bold with a tall plant such as an orchid.

I love trailing ivy so this is how I’ve styled mine at home.

home coffee table


I love the way it drapes nicely over the books. The books I’ve used are interior design/home books that have nice brightly coloured spines. I’ve got a bowl on the table, and of course the look wouldn’t be complete without some candles.

Plants are also good for your home, and help to purify the air. In a space such as a living room, which we spend a lot of time in, this is an added bonus.

Stack some books to add height

When you’re styling your coffee table, reading material is a must. It adds height to the table, something we’ve discussed is very important. It also shows your guests what your interests are, and could be a talking point. It’s best to add some sort of ornament on top of the books, so they taper off into a pyramid point. Put the biggest books at the bottom and the smallest on top. Then add an ornament for that final bit of height and the tip of the pyramid.

See this example from Lark and Linen.


white styled coffee table with plant and books


The books are in size order with the largest at the bottom, and then she’s placed a tall and more narrow ornament on top.

Don’t forget that books can also be stacked on the floor at the base of the coffee table, like this example from The Every Girl

books underneath living room coffee table

Again, the books are all varying height, and stacked in size order to add to the aesthetic.

Pile of coasters

A coffee table still needs to be practical. A pile of coasters either placed in the tray, or set in one corner makes it easy to put a cup of tea (read: glass of wine) down in the evenings.

The most important tip is that you need to leave some space. Don’t over clutter the table. You still need a place to put your mugs and TV remotes so the coffee table is still practical for your everyday needs.



Combine those tips for styling your coffee table to make a statement of your living room. I’d love to see photos of your coffee tables, so send them over!

All pictures have been sourced and credited.



Mummy in a Tutu

Before and After: The Living Room Reveal

I’ve been waiting to do these before and after reveals for so long, and now I can announce the living room reveal!

I wanted to get all the rooms straight and tidy before I posted any pictures. The living room was the second biggest job in the house.


This was the photo taken for the estate agent’s website. As you can see, the carpet was dated, and was worn thin in a lot of place. They had so much furniture crammed into the room that it made it feel very small. That sofa, which doesn’t look too big, was huge. And they had that armchair in the corner blocking the majority of the doorway into the dining room.

As you can see, the estate agent’s made the room look a lot bigger. Sorry for the awful picture quality too. At the time of buying the house, I hadn’t thought I’d be starting up a blog and might need good pictures!

I still can’t get over those French doors. They are meant for an external wall, but had been put inside and were frosted glass.

Yep. frosted glass French doors inside a house.

There were wall lights literally everywhere you looked, and furniture crammed into every corner. Notice the huge hi-fi in the corner. To the left of the armchair closest to the camera was a huge grandfather clock, and behind that, a huge sideboard/cabinet.

The Living Room Reveal: After

living room reveal

We removed (pretty quickly) those ugly French doors and decided to leave downstairs open plan. We did consider glass bi-folding doors, to shut the living room off at night, but decided against.

As you can see, we haven’t bought a proper ceiling light yet.

There’s still so much to do to this room. I want a large oak beam to sit as a mantle piece, and then some artwork on the chimney breast.

I would like shelves above the armchair for books and photo frames.

The room is flooded with light all day, and is so lovely to sit in.

You can read all about our completely free fireplace. I absolutely love this little section of the room. Eventually my mantlepiece clock will have an actual mantle to sit on.

This is the view from the kitchen diner into the living room. Our curtains are temporary! They’re stuck up with masking tape for the time being. Until we can afford some made-to-measure curtains. I have my eye on some from Laura Ashley.

I think my little reading chair is my favourite corner of the room.

So there’s my big living room reveal. Seeing the changes laid out like that make me realise how hard we’ve worked to reach this stage.

House Update: Getting ready for the carpet installation

This week has been a race against time in order to get everything ready before the carpet installation on Tuesday.

The carpet installation is happening next Tuesday (27th June). Since last Monday, I needed to:

  • Sand the entire staircase, including all the spindles, handrail and baserail.
  • Sand all the new skirting board in the lounge, up the stairs, and on the landing.
  • Prime the staircase (twice),
  • Prime all the skirting boards (twice)
  • Sand any remaining plaster around sockets
  • Use satin wood paint on the upstairs door frames
  • Satin the staircase
  • Satin all the skirting boards,
  • Carefully satin around the fireplace (that was a nerve-wracking experience)
  • Use satin on the the loft ceiling hatch (which was looking a very odd shade of yellow)
  • Touch up all the painting under the windowsills, around plug sockets, and on any walls where it looked patchy.

Between me and my mum, we managed to achieve all that in 5 days. I went after work every day, and stayed until 8pm. Then yesterday (Saturday) I was there from 10am until 5.30pm.

Our phone line and broadband decided to stop working. My dad managed to fix the problem, and then we made a decision to move the socket up quite a lot. The socket was right where we needed the skirting board to go, so my dad managed to move the whole socket up about an inch. Jay then re-plastered the wall, which is why I needed to repaint.

But the most exciting part is coming up: deciding where furniture is going, getting mirrors and other accessories up, and deciding where my candles can go! This really is the fun part, where I can let my creativity go and experiment with the positioning of things.

I’ve had my eye on this console table from Next so I can’t wait to buy that next month. I’ve got the perfect spot for it.

Photo Gallery

Our stairs are now completed ready for the carpet installation:

Jay was reaching bits of wall I was too afraid to reach– and maybe you can see why…

…whilst putting his foot on my newly-primed windowsill.

Our fireplace (and all the walls/skirting around it) is complete:

fireplace fitted for carpet installation

Ignore those wires sticking out the wall because I’m waiting on them being connected to some sort of usable socket by Jay.

The walls are now fully completed, and tomorrow will be spent cleaning up ready for our brand new carpet. Can’t wait to show you the pictures!


Interior Design: My Living Room

We’re so close to moving in now, so I wanted to share my living room design ideas.

I’ve booked my days off at the end of the month for moving in. Enough time to pack, clean and unpack. I’m so excited for deciding where things are going to go, and messing about with layout, especially in the living room.

The look’s a bit different to the last living room moodboard I made in this post. 

Our sofa is currently sat in our kitchen waiting to be unwrapped (it’s like Christmas!). We went with a neutral colour, which we might end up regretting. No one’s allowed red wine on the sofa.

Everything’s a bit neutral, but we’ve decided that’s the best way, and then we can add colour in the curtains, cushions and artwork on the wall.

Again, our carpet and paint is neutral, so if we do ever want to change the furniture, anything will match.

Our carpet and sofa are from SCS  and the paint is from Johnstone’s. 

Our main furniture is classic oak. So far we’ve only got a coffee table, but I’ve had my eye on this Next console table for a while.

We still need a TV stand and some form of shelving for my hundreds of books. I’m also looking for an overhanging floor lamp, something a bit like this:


I’ve created a moodboard with the carpet and paint we’ve chosen, and our armchair, which I’m in love with.


I can’t wait to get everything in it’s place, and focus on the finishing touches, like shelving, lighting and artwork. My love for Homesense will get me through.