Sick of Scandi neutrals? Embracing a more dramatic palette in your home needn’t be terrifying.

The trend towards dark interiors has been gaining momentum over the past few years, with more and more people seeking a change from the tasteful but unadventurous pale neutrals we have become accustomed to. Here in the UAE, where bright sunlight pours in through our windows day in, day out, you needn’t fear that your home will become gloomy if you decide to dabble on the dark side. If you do have a room that is lacking in natural light, no amount of white paint is going to change that – so instead, try creating an atmospheric space that makes the most of what you’ve got.

The same principle applies to small rooms. Instead of focusing on the hopeless task of making them ‘feel bigger’, embrace the petite proportions and create a cosy cocoon by wrapping the walls, floor and even the ceiling in a daring, dusky hue. Wallpaper is having a resurgence in popularity at the moment and dark, dramatic papers such Anthology’s Obsidian, pictured, are afabulous way of adding drama to your walls. Just think of it as floor to ceiling art.

Paint remains one of the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective ways of updating your home, and when that paint is dark, the results really are game-changing. Taking the plunge with dramatic walls can be intimidating, but it can also be done in stages. Try starting with a feature wall in your favourite shadowy colour. Black, charcoal grey, navy or on-trend chocolate brown are ‘dark neutrals’ that will work with most decor. If you’re feeling brave enough to play with colour, then there are host of rich, intriguing shades which are guaranteed to make a style statement – think forest green, mulberry or inky petrol blue.

Another ‘safer’ way to experiment with dark decor is to start with an area that you don’t spend a huge amount of time in. If you have a separate dining room, guest bedroom or bathroom, you can afford to paint the entire room in a darker shade as you don’t have to live with it all the time. Dark interiors automatically feel glamorous and sophisticated, and will help give ‘wow’ factor to rooms that you entertain in or that are used by visitors to your home. A dark wall (or two!) can also work well in children’s rooms especially, if you use chalkboard paint to create a giant canvas on which they can unleash their creativity. Just make sure they know which walls are for drawing on…

Tonal decorating works well with dark schemes, so pick your favourite colour and layer different shades of it around the space, as seen in this beautiful image from IKEA. Forest greens and teals appear on the walls, curtains, rug, furniture and the plants, giving a striking but surprisingly restful effect. Contrasting textures such as the shaggy rug against the velvet chairs, are key to successful dark decor, and allow each item to stand out despite being similar in tone. The colours used are muted so complement, rather than compete, with each other, while the dark backdrop allows the paler accessories to really pop.

IKEA also demonstrates here how beautifully glassware and metallics gleam against a dramatic, dark background, making them a great way to add extra glamour to the space. Wall mirrors or mirrored furniture will also help bounce light around, giving a luxe look and preventing your dark decor from appearing flat or drab. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your paintbrush and come on over to the dark side. We promise that you’ll never regret taking your home beyond the pale.