If you pay attention to interior decorating trends, you know that dark colours and décor are growing in popularity for just about every room in the home – even the baby’s nursery. Many paint manufacturers are offering distinctly darker colours this year, including Benjamin Moore’s Colour of the Year, ‘Shadow’.

If you’re steeped in the idea that dark wall colours do nothing for a room, except make it feel smaller, ‘close’ and even gloomy, you should let the latest trends at least get you to consider some of the advantages that dark shades can offer.

First, dark wall colours can make your furniture, cabinets and fixtures the real stars of the room. The walls tend to give up their own definition, or even clues to where they begin and end, to become the backdrop for whatever is in the room. If you decorate a dark room properly, instead of feeling ‘small’, it can have more of an ‘endless’ feeling. As Benjamin Moore says of ‘Shadow’, it “is allusive and enigmatic – a master of ambience”.

Secondly, if you’re still unconvinced about darkening the entire décor of a room, you can use the trend as just one element of the room’s décor. In the kitchen for example, if you’ve been meaning to update its look, you can do so quickly, and quite effectively, by simply painting your cabinets a dark shade and adding new cabinet hardware.

The cabinet hardware is a great example of darker colours giving other elements centre stage in the room’s decor. In fact, in the image below, you can see how the dark cabinets (which could be your old ones repainted!) actually make the drawer and door handles the highlight of the room.

As with any design trend, you need to make it work for you and your home. Just like a room that’s nothing but solid pastel colours can be a little unnerving, so too can a too dark room. But with the right accents, furniture and hardware, the new trend to darker colours can be a dramatically refreshing change.