The Intimacy of Deep Colors

Taking a chance with dark colors can really pay off, as this room shows. The rich browns and maroons capture an atmosphere of welcoming intimacy in this small room.

The standard decorating advice recommends that we avoid dark colors in smaller rooms, but breaking that pattern often works. In this room, there is only room for a table and its seating. Let’s see why this room creates intimacy rather than a crowded feeling.

First, this room has three large windows with white trim and a white ceiling and baseboards. Taking a look at the walls, there is no place visible with more than a foot or so band of dark red paint. The white ceiling has brown beams that link it to the dark brown wood floors. The window’s white frames are offset by the dark brown shades. The chandelier has a dark bronze frame, but the lights provide the needed contrast. There is plenty of light in this dark room, even at night.

The other design detail that makes this space work comes from the consistent line of the flooring and furniture. They all have a strong vertical leading into the room. By using benches instead of chairs on the sides, the table, benches and floor all flow in the same uninterrupted direction. This draws the eye into the room. With the benches showing the only pattern in the room, there is very little to distract you. The space may not be big, but it’s big enough – big enough to hold six to eight diners comfortably and to create an inviting and intimate setting for a meal.

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