Grey is the new neutral, and while it’s a trend that’s still going strong, many homes are going bolder, opting for darker, inky walls to add drama to the home. Check out Houzz’s top tips on how to get the look… 

Article first published on Houzz
Lily Young, Houzz Contributor

What interiors trends are on the hot list right now? While the passion for grey walls is still going strong, it seems many Houzzers are upping the luxury and mystery by plumping an even darker look, giving inky-coloured walls – from very dark grey and blue to pure black – their moment in the spotlight.

Just a speedy search on the Newly Featured images will reveal an abundance of inspiration for getting the look. Go on, be bold!

Photo by LAURA LAKIN DESIGNClick for more midcentury home office and library ideas

Showcase furniture and accessories
Just like a plain white backdrop, inky walls can form an ideal blank canvas. A dark, block colour will frame brighter, more colourful pieces beautifully.

The deep blue-grey on the walls and bookcase in this home office highlights all the colourful pieces, from the art, lamp and books to the golden tones of the wooden desk, which really shines against the rich, dark hue. The juxtaposition simultaneously brightens the colours and deepens the blue-grey.

On the hunt for a desk or writing bureau? Find more here

Penthouse -Notting Hill
Photo by Nathalie Priem PhotographyClick for contemporary living room design inspiration

Go the whole hog
These deep, inky colours, and the restful ambience they create, can be addictive, so it should come as no surprise if you find yourself tempted to turn a whole room a deep navy or charcoal grey.

To create the ultimate snug living room, opt for a deep-coloured sofa to tone with your walls, as here. This is a great way to create a relaxing area where the theme is uninterrupted.

Scandinavian Kitchen
Photo by Snell David LTDClick for more contemporary kitchen photos

Put your stamp on it
In this calm space, paler colours have been introduced through accessories and the carpet, but the owners have chosen quiet, light neutrals rather than bold colours to freshen the scheme without disturbing the peace.

Pale, minimalist kitchens can run the risk of lacking individuality, but this space shows that one wall in a striking dark shade can add warmth and personality while retaining a clean-lined feel. The deep, greeny-grey tone set against crisp white units and timber accents makes the space feel welcoming and anything but clinical.

The high ceiling here helps, but if you don’t have the luxury of a lofty space, never fear, you can still possess the beauty of a dark wall. By removing upper cupboards and opting for shelving instead, your room will be opened up and ready for a splash of sumptuous dark paint.

Like the sound of open shelving? Check out these ways of keeping your storage looking stylish

Little Venice Apartment
Photo by Nathalie Priem PhotographyBrowse contemporary kitchen photos

Colour your cabinetry
If painting your walls in an inky shade is a step too far, consider introducing a deep colour through a large piece of furniture, like this single-wall kitchen. Blue kitchens are on trend right now, so why not follow suit with dark cabinetry?

By having your dark wall in the form of cupboards (or another sizeable piece, such as a bookcase) and keeping the rest of the space white, as here, you’re not allowing the room to be dominated by such a strong colour, but at the same time you’re giving a statement shade a chance to stand out, adding depth to the scheme.

Little Venice Apartment
Photo by Nathalie Priem PhotographyLook for eclectic bedroom design inspiration

Flirt with grandeur
Dark blue can create a feeling of glamour, perfect for the bedroom. In this scheme, navy walls are teamed with rich, tactile textures, such as silk and faux fur, for a luxurious retreat.

The navy of the walls is a calming colour for emptying the mind and drifting off, and is complemented here by peacock shades of cobalt and turquoise. The dark blue also highlights the brighter pieces in the room, such as the wicker chair and gold-toned bedding.

Contemporary Kitchen
Photo by Domus Nova – Discover contemporary kitchen design ideas

Make it multi-functional
The owners of this kitchen have made the most of the recent trend for black walls with a chalkboard in their kitchen. The velvety matt surface looks fabulous against the slick white units, while the chalked messages add personality and draw the eye to the end of the space, helping to make it look bigger – an illusion helped by the mirrored splashback.

Not only does blackboard paint create a dark, inky wall that’s very now, it saves clogging up wall space with notice boards and calendars, helping to retain an open feel.

Kensington House
Photo by Harriet Forde Design LtdMore contemporary patio ideas

Reboot your garden
Your creativity doesn’t have to be restricted to your interior. If you want to keep your rooms light and bright, why not take your deep coloured wall outside – especially if you can see and enjoy it from indoors.

By adding a swathe of inky grey or black to your garden wall or fence, you can help the colours of your foliage and flowers to stand out beautifully. At first glance, the grey wall in this patio area seems to be part of the boundary, but if you look closely, you’ll see it’s actually a water feature, which adds a touch of sparkle to the inky shade.

Thinking of installing a water feature? Take a look at these inspiring ideas

Photo by Set Visions LtdBrowse traditional living room ideas

Layer your darks
When there are so many choices, it’s hard to pick just one deep colour – so don’t! There’s no reason why you can’t layer two or more shades and really indulge in your dark fantasy.

This formal living room is a great example of mixing deep tones to create the perfect luxurious space, with the rich teal wall working in harmony with the matt charcoal fireplace.

The cosy feel is enhanced with plenty of warm metallics and mid-tone wood furniture, while the botanical touches in the form of cushions and houseplants bring the scheme to life.

Sophisticated Mid-Century Home : Barnes
Photo by Cassidy Hughes Interior Design & StylingLook for traditional dining room design inspiration


Boost the drama
Deep colours can be an instant shortcut to luxury. This dining room oozes glamour, thanks to the inky paintwork and dark wood furniture. On close inspection, the room is actually quite minimal; it’s the intensity of the rich blue walls – including everything from the panelling to the fireplace and radiator – that creates a feeling of drama, rather than a clutter of accessories.

Penthouse -Notting Hill
Photo by Nathalie Priem PhotographyMore contemporary hallway and landing ideas

Break it up
If you’re not ready to commit to a whole wall, you can always break it up with a statement piece. The dark blue paint in this room emphasises the light reflected by the huge mirror, making the room feel light and bright – not what you’d expect from a navy wall.

The dark hue also brings to attention the glamorous gold legs of the console table. So if you have bright pieces and want to highlight them, an inky feature wall could work beautifully for you.

Want a snapshot of the UK’s favourite interiors trends? Check out Houzz’s newly featured search tab, where you’ll find all you need to know. Click the Photos tab on the homepage, filter by ‘newly featured’ and you’ll see all the latest projects.

Lead image: LAURA LAKIN DESIGN via Houzz