You’ve probably heard on many occasions that dark furniture, especially dark wood, gives a heavy visual aesthetic to a room. It looks more imposing and takes up more visual space, even if the furniture itself doesn’t take up more space than another piece would in its spot.
Dark furniture is also often accused of making a room look darker and gloomier, more cave-like. So you may be surprised that it doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to shy away from dark wood and other fine furniture if you love the way it looks, regardless of how big the space you’re working with is.
We hope that this article will encourage you to suggest dark furniture to more clients with various needs, including residential interior design clients, hospitality and restaurant clients, and clients with office design needs. And if you fall into one of those categories and are planning to design your own interiors, then this piece is for you as well.
Read on for advice on keeping the dark colour of fine furniture from taking over a space.
The accusation of dark wood
Nearly any small space design guide you read will tell you to avoid dark wood furniture and go with something lighter. Why? They say that dark wood is visually heavy and absorbs light. Although it’s true that dark wood has a heavier visual look, that mostly just means it’s bolder and more imposing, not that it actually makes the space look smaller.
The key is you have to do it right. If you have too much dark going on in a space, yes, it will make the room look smaller. That’s because dark floors, furniture, and walls, when paired together create a lot of shadows that make the space look filled in. It takes away the appearance of open space in a room. And every room needs open space between the pieces.
So what do you do to prevent your favorite dark luxury furniture from making a room into a gloomy cave?
Have plenty of lighting
One of the easiest ways to keep a room from looking small and shadowy is to provide plenty of light. Put darker fine furniture in rooms with lots of natural lighting. Big, open windows make any room feel larger.
Of course, not all homes have big windows where you might want them. But there are other ways to add lighting. Using minimalist light fixtures helps to let more of the light exit the fixture and shine into the room, and they have the added benefit of creating less bulk than more elaborate fixtures.
You’ve probably heard the trick to add mirrors to a room to enhance lighting, and that is of course an option as well. It really does work to bounce more light around the space and make it feel brighter and bigger.
Pair with contrasting light colours
The thing that some design advice seems to forget when they talk about dark furniture is that the furniture is only one element in the room’s overall look. When you pair luxury furniture with dark wood or dark coloured fabric with light walls and floors, you get a beautiful contrast that doesn’t feel heavy or cave-like at all.
Keep the rest of the room minimalist
In the same vein, you’ll want to think about what other elements you add to a room with dark furniture. The more things you add to the space, the heavier and smaller the room is going to feel. That’s just a fact regardless of the colours you use. But because darker pieces do reflect less light overall, the effect is even more noticeable when clutter is paired with dark tones.
What you want is for your dark pieces to stand out as an impression in the space around them. It’s like the white space on a good website. You want to give the important elements the space they need in order to be seen. Also, consider dark pieces with slim lines. They can create a sharp look without the bulk.
Whether you’re looking for dark stained wood or just the right dark and sophisticated fabric, our luxury furniture from Toronto is made to your specifications. Chat with us about your project today.