Journey To The Dark Side

For my very first post I thought it might be a good idea to take you on my journey to the dark side.

When we viewed our home 6 years ago it was definitely a case of having to look beyond the decor and see the bigger picture - think pale laminate floors, beige carpets and a funny yellow wall colour all sitting alongside terracotta and electric pink rooms. Oh, and lots and lots of orange pine - even the landing ceiling - it was like living in a sauna without the heat! This is Yorkshire in the U.K. after all!

I'd like to tell you that the minute we viewed the house I had a vision of turning it into the dark, moody home it is today and that as soon as we go the keys I was popping champagne corks and cracking open tins of paint from the darker end of the Farrow & Ball paint colour spectrum to compliment the fabulous mood board I had created. 

However, like most of my decorating and accessorising back then things weren't really planned. I had actually got it into my head that because our house was a barn conversion in a pretty little village that I should paint it in pale country cottage colours - So thats what we did. Farrow & Ball Pale Blue and Wimborne White were my colours of choice. DARK WALLS were not on my radar.

Photo Credit: Abigail Ahern

Photo Credit: Abigail Ahern

It was around this time that I stumbled across magazine articles about Abigail Ahern, she seemed to be in every magazine I picked up and it was love at first sight. I was captivated by her BOLD use of - well everything! BOLD use of colour, BOLD use of scale, BOLD use of Plants, BOLD use of ART but I never really thought of doing the same in my home. I actually, seriously thought it was just something "Real Designers" did!

Fast forward a few years and as my Interest/Obsession with Instagram grew so did my decorating confidence.

I knew I really wanted to paint the kitchen dark but I also knew that it was a bold idea and not something I could just spring on my husband. So I did that thing of slowly convincing him it was his idea. (These days he just comes home to find whole rooms painted without so much as a discussion. How times have changed.)

So I suggested we paint one wall in Farrow & Ball Railings as a feature wall. Instantly I fell in love with the depth of colour and I loved the way everything stood out against it. But it all felt a bit half hearted to be honest and only drew attention to the blandness of the rest of the room. 

The feature wall just made the rest of the room look very bland

The feature wall just made the rest of the room look very bland


Still having been unable to convince my husband that painting the whole room in Railings was the best idea ever I was in compromise mode. Compromising in a decorative sense is not something I am very good at. We had just had a tiled splash back fitted and decided to paint the rest of the kitchen in one of the colours in the tiles. So I set off rather halfheartedly (some may say sulkily) to choose a paint - I didn't even get a sample I just chose one I thought would be ok. 

Oh it was horrendous. It was a sort of shiny lilac colour, not the grey I had been expecting. My husband and I both looked at each other, didn't say anything and just carried on painting very, very quietly whilst avoiding eye contact. It was as if we thought some miracle might happen and it would change colour in front of our eyes.

The kitchen had been cleared out and this was the only day we had available to get it all painted. Oh what should we do? So, never one to waste anything, my husband headed out to the garage and retrieved the tin of Railings and that was it, we painted the whole room DARK. He now says it was all his idea (See what I did there!)

The room felt transformed. It felt as though all the textures suddenly came to life.

The room felt transformed. It felt as though all the textures suddenly came to life.

IMG_9159 2.jpg

The Kitchen units were suddenly a lovely contrast with the wall and floor colour whereas before they just blended in with the pale wall. 

At this point the ceiling was still white, as were the skirting boards and door frames. I am an all or nothing type of girl and I just knew I wouldn't be happy until it was all dark and this is where my persuasive skills had to come in as my husband IS (or should I say WAS) from the school of thought that all woodwork can only ever be white gloss FULL STOP - see what I was working with here?

*Disclaimer my husband has now pretty much single handedly painted every bit of woodwork in Railings. He is officially a Super Star.

Painting the first ceiling was actually terrifying

Painting the first ceiling was actually terrifying

I have to be completely honest and say that painting that first ceiling dark was really, really scary. But it was totally the right thing to do and we have since painted every ceiling in the house dark. 

Having everything painted in the same dark colour creates a really cocooning feeling and, contrary to popular belief, it doesn't make a space feel smaller, quite the opposite in fact as the lines and edges of the room blur making the space feel continuous.

IMG_8997 2.JPG
IMG_8402 4.JPG
IMG_9481 8.jpg

So now we are top to toe Railings and we all love it !