Rich, dark paint colors can transform any room and create an elegant, sophisticated look. Here are 9 clever ways to use dark paints to upgrade your home’s style.

Choose a Dramatic Accent Wall

Paint one wall in a bold, dark hue to create a striking focal point. Use it in an entryway, dining room, or bedroom. Opt for moody shades like navy, charcoal gray, deep purple, or forest green. Make sure lighting illuminates the wall to show off the color.

Update Kitchen Cabinets

Dark painted cabinets are trending in kitchen design. Go for a deep espresso or charcoal tone on lower cabinets to ground the space. Pair with lighter upper cabinets or an accent wall in a complementary color. Dark cabinets add sophistication.

Create an Intimate Dining Nook

Use dark paint on one wall to define a cozy dining area. Choose an eggplant, black, or chocolate color. Add molding or wallpaper as an accent. Hang a modern chandelier over the table and use bold artwork for a glamorous, moody dining nook.

Define Built-In Bookcases and Shelving

Paint built-in bookshelves, cabinetry, or shelving a rich black or navy hue. This makes them pop against lighter walls and turns them into an elegant architectural feature. Display colorful books, accessories, or art objects against the dramatic backdrop.

Modernize Wood Paneling

Outdated wood paneled walls can quickly be revived with dark paint. Opt for a deep charcoal or navy to give the woodwork contemporary appeal. Go for a matte finish so the lines and detailing still stand out. Accent with brass fixtures.

Boost a Bedroom Retreat

Transform a lackluster bedroom into a glamorous retreat by painting the walls a dark, sultry hue. Try a moody indigo or spicy cinnamon shade. Add lighting, mirrored accents, and pops of gold to play up the drama. Use crisp white linens to keep the look relaxing.

Define a Home Office

Carve out a functional home office space by painting one wall an inky black or chocolate brown. Add gallery-style art displays, sconces, and shelving against the rich color. Keep the desk and storage white for contrast. The enveloping nature increases focus.

Ground an Open-Concept Home

In a home with an open floor plan, use a dark color like charcoal in living spaces to define the boundaries. Painting the shared wall between the kitchen and family room a bold, dark shade provides separation without totally closing the spaces off.

Complement Bold Tile

If you have dramatic tile in a space, ground it by painting the surrounding walls a rich shade like navy or eggplant. The bold tile will pop against the dark paint. In a bathroom, paint just below the chair rail molding for an elegant spa-like look.


Dark, saturated paint colors bring moodiness, elegance, and style to any interior space. From highlighting architectural details to defining open layouts, rich black, navy, charcoal, and chocolate hues can provide the perfect brooding backdrop. With so many creative ways to implement the trend, don’t be afraid to go dark with your home’s color palette.