It appears that my amazing readers are enjoying my “dark & moody” design posts (welcome to The Dark Side!) so I figured I’d keep that momentum going with today’s post about dark & moody living rooms.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been over the “light, bright, and airy” design aesthetic for quite awhile now. I’ve really been craving an opportunity to design a space that instantly makes you feel like it’s giving you a GIANT bear hug while telling you that “everything’s gonna be alright.”
Unfortunately here in Naples, that’s just not the “norm” so I’m definitely going to do this in our Orlando fixer-upper cottage and I’ve been diving deep in the rabbit hole for some inspiration to share with you.
The British have a term for small, comfortable rooms that are conducive to creating a feeling of peace and relaxation: “snuggery” or “snug” for short. Designer Heidi Caillier’s version of a snug below is sheer perfection. Tell me that magical little room doesn’t make you want to grab your blankie and a cup of hot cocoa and escape with a good book for endless hours!
Some of the spaces below are definitely not considered to be small rooms, but they still have the overall mood and feel of a snug and that’s the ultimate goal: creating a space that instantly makes you feel like something special is about to happen just by simply walking over its threshold.
When The Hubs and I built our farmhouse 5 years ago, I had almost every wall painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Chantilly Lace” which was definitely out of my comfort zone. You see, our farmhouse was the first place I ever lived (other than apartments) where all the walls were painted white. I was used to having all kinds of different paint colors on the walls (I was always experimenting with color to the detriment of my poor husband’s sanity – ha!).
However, to tone down the “sterile clinic” vibe all-white rooms tend to give off, I paired the white walls with a few inky blue-black focal walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Hale Navy” and “Polo Blue” to infuse the spaces with some depth and personality.
And last summer, I painted the wall behind our bed Magnolia Home’s “Garden Party” (a drop-dead GORGEOUS color) and Magnolia Home’s “Storm Chaser” (an equally stunning color) in our little shower room.
I also incorporated a lot of natural wood tones, reclaimed wood, brick and stone floors, and salvaged materials throughout our house to add some necessary warmth and coziness, as well as create a sense of place and history since I was going for a vintagey vibe to keep the house from feeling brand new.
Many homeowners are afraid to go beyond expected “design norms” in their locales which, unfortunately, stifles any creativity in designing interesting and unique spaces because resale is always in the backs of their minds (I’m looking at you, Naples 🙄). Although one of my favorite designers, Sean Anderson, recently bucked that trend and designed a stunning home in Naples that is like nothing I’d ever seen here before. I actually thanked him on Instagram for finally bringing something different to Naples!
The reality is, you really don’t know what a new owner plans on doing with your property after you sell it so why not design something special and beautiful that reflects YOUR family’s personality and lifestyle and just enjoy your charming home to the fullest?
And the real beauty about designing your own snug is most of the cozy, womb-like character and mood is created simply by using dark paint colors. So if you get tired of it or you’re planning on selling your house, you can easily re-paint it a neutral “sellable” color.
Come check out these 18 stunning dark & moody living rooms and drop a comment below and let me know which one (or two, or three …) inspired you to embrace switching over to The Dark Side!
If you enjoyed reading this article, make sure to sign up for the weekly newsletter below so you never miss a post.
Thank you so much for following my blog and allowing me to inspire you in creating your own lived-in, loved-in spaces!