Posted by on Jan 13, 2013 in Color palette, Round-ups | 1 comment

How do the winter months influence your design aesthetic? I find that, in the weeks before the holidays, I’m coveting dark, cozy spaces with layer upon layer of texture. As soon as the New Year arrives, I start looking ahead to spring, with fresh greens, plenty of light and splashes of color. Some rooms seem to bridge the two moods just perfectly – which is just as well because January 1 is no time to redecorate on a whim!

The Grand Hotel in Stockholm manages to be cozy with its tone-on-tone velvet tufted sofa and taupe wainscoting. But the shades are light enough to brighten those dark Nordic winter days.

Deep charcol walls balanced with white furnishings and teal accents encapsulate this winter-to-spring look perfectly.

The office of lighting designer Michelle James, as featured in Est Magazine, features a mid-gray wall and fluffy chairs, but the metallic accents and tall windows are would make it bright on sunnier days.

More wainscoting, this time in dark-as-night black. This image is a lesson in comfort: layers of texture, natural fibers and wood, and a a splash of sunny yellow.

A wall of gold frames seems to glow when juxtaposed with a black wall.

Mixed frames also work well, preventing a dark wall from looking too sombre.

A room with lots of windows is the ideal space for dark walls. The walls recede, allowing you to enjoy the view all the more. This image also shows the impact vintage pieces can have against a dark backdrop: the integrity of this vintage-looking wood desk prevents the space from becoming too stark.

That said, there’s always a place for dramatic metallic pieces such as this stunning mirror, which is brought into splendid relief against the black walls.

This room seems bright and airy, despite the black accent wall. It’s graphic and visually exciting, helped along by furniture items from multiple periods and cultures.

Of course, dark walls don’t have to be black. I am dying to try these deep blue color in our office. The framed blueprint is a fantastic addition.

At first when I saw this photo, I didn’t really notice the dark walls. I just liked the balance of coziness with elegance and polish: a combination that is rarer than you might think. But the deep taupe, combined with custom wood panelling and cabinetry, makes a warm backdrop for zingy yellow.

Break up dark walls with pattern. This traditional room would be a delight to sit in in winter, but the mix of patterns, from paisley to stripes, would add vibrancy for spring.

Photo sources:

1: Via Nordic Design; 2: Elle Decor Modern Concept Life House; 3: Est Magazine; 4: Via Red Glasses Blog; 5: Via Apartment Therapy; 6 and 7: Via Simplified; 8: Via Luxury Interior Design Journal; 9: Lonny Magazine; 10: Houzz; 11: Matthew Millman Photography; 12: Living Etc.