Charcoal Walls: Going to the dark side.

Over the last couple of years, a bold trend for covering walls in deep, dark hues has been filtering over to Australia from overseas cities such as London, Paris and New York.  Famed UK designer Abigail Ahern leads the charge with her immensely popular blog ( and books, building a convincing case for banishing fresh white and neutral colour palettes.  But before launching head first in to the dark side of decorating, there are some important differences to consider.  The natural lighting and lifestyle, for example, between London and Sydney is an obvious contrast.


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Painting a room in charcoal will create a dramatic backdrop to your furnishings and impart a moody, mysterious or smart atmosphere, dependant on the hue and contrasts that you choose.  Dark hues are typically suited to urban, inner city dwellings but can work well in any interior with a few simple tricks.

Dark walls teamed with soft metal accents, such as brass and copper, create a truly glamourous interior.  Other light modern features such as a perspex table, allow the space to breath and light to flow through unobstructed.


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Keeping other surfaces such as the flooring and ceiling light can help to lift the scheme and allow more natural light to bounce around.  Accent lighting such as floor lamps will provide the additional ambient lighting needed, come nightfall.


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Leather furnishings in tan and brown are complimentary to charcoal walls and create quite a masculine effect.  Perfect for a bachelor pad!


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Adding a bright pop of colour is another way of lifting the space, allowing somewhere for the eye to focus on.  Coloured accessories can be changed seasonally to make the space comfortable and versatile throughout the year.

Lighter artworks will break up the vastness of a dark wall and push the wall in to the background, helping the room to look bigger.  As with any interior, fresh floral arrangements or indoor plants will liven up any space and are absolutely essential in layering a dark scheme.

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