Henry Ford once said that a customer can have a car painted in any colour he wants, so long as it is black. While the philosophy worked well for his cars, the same did not find much favour in the interior designing world because black is considered inauspicious.
That’s until now. A fetish for dark themes has slowly set in and the growing appetite for concept homes and offices among the youngsters is driving the demand.
This week, DHonSaturday will tell you how dark themes can lend a classy and contemporary look to spaces.
Make black the focal point
Homemakers tend to associate dark themes with black-coloured walls and ceilings. Remember that you are not designing a cave. In dark-themed interiors, start with a central object in black hues and work around the concept.
This central object could be a wall, a mural, a piece of furniture or a décor item. Make sure the central object is large enough to attract attention. A highlight wall in black texture, accent lighting on a dark wall, study table with a black tabletop, a black-themed artwork, a rug with some dark elements are some examples.
Don’t overdo the black elsewhere. A small dark highlight here and there would do. Go for contrasting or complementary colours for the rest of the interiors.
One room or the whole place?
Should the dark theme run across the entire house or be limited to a room or two, homeowners often ask? It is best to limit the dark theme to either the living space or one bedroom. Doing up different themes for different rooms is, in fact, another hot trend.
But for commercial spaces and brand outlets, the dark theme must run across the whole space. Everything from the artefacts to the stationery and logo must be in sync with a brand’s look and presentation.
Use warm lighting
As a thumb rule, use warm white or pale-yellow lighting for dark-themed interiors. Avoid white lighting. Ensure the central object is highlighted well with both the task and accent lighting.
A good finish is essential in interiors with glossy or matte dark finishes. Even more, if they have light shining bright on them. Scratches and creases are easy to make out on dark surfaces, that’s why.
If you are making use of dark wallpaper or texture paint, ensure the matte finish is up to the mark. Even dark curtains will show creases or dust easily, so maintain them well.
Are dark interiors suitable only for young owners? This is a common concern and the answer is ‘no’. When planned, executed and maintained well, dark themes can lend a classy look to any house. These are high maintenance though.
Things to remember
Working with natural lighting is challenging.
Dark themes need high maintenance.
While dark theme interiors can be done in any budget, a minimum of
Rs 3 lakh for bedrooms and Rs 5 lakh for kitchen is recommended.
(The author is a Bengaluru-based interior designer and founder of The Studio by Nandita Manwani)