Big trends tend to run in a 10 year-ish cycle. Shabby-chic, farmhouse, white and light grey, they all have their day. As we move out of the light wall color cycle, deep and saturated colors are coming in with some amazing dark greys,greens and earthy tones. At the Galway house, we recently added some dark gray painted walls, and painted the dining room and the front entry in a wall paint called Racoon Fur by Benjamin Moore (BM 2126-20). The before and afters speak for themselves at what a change paint can make.
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We wanted to add drama and sophistication to her dining room area. It had been previously painted 10 years ago in a warm, medium gray color. It is still a pretty color, but we wanted to really change it up. We had already changed out the light fixture to something brighter in tone and the drapery. Raccoon Fur ended up being the choice because it was a deep, cooler gray without any green undertone, especial under artificial light.
We had initially tried light paint samples in the foyer, but when the Galway House owner sent me a picture of which one to pick and I saw the dark gray paint in the dining room next to it, I decided we needed to wrap that paint right around the wall into the entry. It seemed like it was calling for it.
Pulling the dark gray color into the foyer seemed like a natural extension. The key to painting a room with dark gray or green wall paint is to make sure the room has plenty of light. It will keep the space feeling like a cave, and naturally lighten the dark wall a little. The mistake comes not in painting a smaller room with a dark color, but painting a smaller room without great natural lighting. This room has a ton of windows, and we picked lighter drapery, and the white trim also provided contrast.
I am so glad we did that because it changed the entire feel of when you walk in. It feels so rich and luxurious. We had changed out the rug, foyer cabinet and lamp from the previous mirrored piece that was there (the cabinet we bought for the foyer is no longer available, so I linked to one that would be my next choice for the space.).
When painting a room with a dark color no matter what room it is, when decorating the key is contrast. Light against dark. Make sure your accessories provide that contrast against dark gray painted walls otherwise they will just get swallowed up.
She already had these fun metal animal skulls, and they were the perfect accent of contrast against the paint, and add a fun touch of unexpectedness. They fit perfectly, especially for such a skinny wall.
Paint is such a great transformer. It’s one of my favorite tools when recreating a space for myself or a client, and one of the least expensive to make an old room look brand new. It lends to such a dramatic before and after, and I love this contrast of the dark gray painted walls in this dining room space.
We set the table for fall and kept it simple and pretty to look at with accents of copper, and natural elements such as wheat and wood napkin rings that give a touch of texture.
I love the direction paint has been going lately. I love change, and I’ve always loved a good, dark, saturated wall paint color. I think I am going to follow suit and give it a go in my own home.
If you liked this post, see how dark green looks in our bathroom.