Nursery styling ideas: dark walls

February 12, 2016 Hazel Morris

Dark wall colours are smokin' hot in the world of interiors this year. Whilst not being the obvious choice for baby's room, they can make a delightful and fashion forward choice. How do you use them successfully in a nursery without creating a dark and dingy space?
A word of warning to begin with; you must have the right type of room to pull off these darker colours. They work best in airy rooms with a lot of natural light. Sadly for us, living in a character property with small upstairs windows, dark paint would simply swallow up the light and create a cell-like effect (not the look I am after), but there are plenty of houses out there where using darker wall colours would work incredibly well. The key is natural light and high ceilings, with both of these boxes ticked, dark navy and grey walls will give you a real wow factor.
Here's my edit of paint and products you can use to create a surprisingly fun and contemporary space. 
Here are some of my absolute favourite blue paint colours at the moment, Juniper ash (top) and Hicks' blue, both by Little Greene. I am desperate to use Juniper ash in my house, I adore this soft warm blue with hints of lilac. For me, it is the perfect shade. A definite blue without being too cold or harsh. It creates a real contemporary feel, and paired with brighter accessories it is the perfect backdrop for a baby boy's nursery.
If you are nervous about using colour in your house and feel more comfortable with white and neutral tones, you could try a half and half effect. Using a picture rail (or masking tape) recreating this could be the way to go, the braver you are feeling, the larger the area of dark paint you can use. When you see how amazing it looks you'll probably decide to paint the whole wall anyway!
Choosing the right accessories and furniture is important against darker and more 'grown up' colours such as these. Unlike traditional baby pink and blue, darker shades don't scream 'nursery room', so to create a fun and playful style for your little ones, brighter accents are the way to lift the space. I would go for bright teal and citrine with white furniture, but you will find that most shades will sit back against a dark backdrop nicely. Framed metallic prints look stunning too. Don't be afraid to play around. Sometimes you need to see something 'in situ' before you know if it works or not (and you can always get a refund!)  I have been known to do this once or twice, ahem....
Being a big fan of anything bohemian, this monochrome chair from Graham and Green is right up my street. Plus it looks super comfy too (a MUST in any nursery, the hours you spend sat there feeding and trying to get baby to sleep....)
I also like the clean lines of this white rocking chair, which has a distinctly Scandinavian feel to it. Cosied up with a sheepskin, it would make a lovely place to sit and rock baby to sleep, as well as a super stylish addition to a nursery room. Of course, no chair should be without a cushion, I love this one from Anthropologie.
Farrow and Ball also have a great selection of dark and navy paints to choose from. My favourites are Stiffkey blue and Hague blue. Stiffkey is more a true navy, whereas Hague blue has more of a teal tone to it. Both equally lovely in my opinion!
My Brother and Sister-in-law have used stiffkey blue in the living room of their recently renovated house. Proving their many doubters very wrong indeed and successfully creating a fabulously modern space.
Apparently it is named after the colour of the mud on a North Norfolk beach. I'm not sure how much creative license F&B use with their paint names but I'd certainly like to go there and see for myself!
Graphic prints in monochrome and brights are an ideal way to bring interest and life into a room painted navy or grey. As a self confessed cushion-a-holic, I can be relied upon to scour the market regularly, and in my opinion H&M are unbeatable on the cushion front for value and on trend design. Below are a few of my recent favourites, aren't they fun? Monkeys and bananas, yes please!
This cloud garland in teal, citrine, grey and white is the ideal piece to hang from a shelf or picture rail in a bedroom and the colours are customisable to match your colour scheme.
As well as the gorgeously rich blue and grey paints available to buy at the moment, there is an equally tempting range of dark-hued wall paper. One of my favourites is Cole and Son's wood and stars in navy and gold. A fun take on their popular woods print, It is quite magical and is the perfect backdrop for a really special and enchanting pocket of your home. Impactful wallpaper such as this is best limited to one or two walls to avoid looking overdone.
Let's not forget about storage! The key to a really functional nursery is creating ideal storage solutions, as toys and clothes do multiply, as all parents of small children know!
Whilst you may want to have some bits out on display, it is great to have somewhere to cram toys and books at the end of the day and slam the door shut in the hope they'll stay in. I think this navy locker unit from Cox & Cox is ideal, as well as being really practical it looks great too and has a retro feel to it. 
For books and special items I think these little metal houses are very cute indeed and as a focal point above a cot or chair they would be fab. The metal accents are a great way to bring a nursery bang up to date and provide that all important storage. 
Bright accent colours, graphic prints and texture are they real key here in designing a bedroom around a darker wall colour. I am a fan of clashing prints and mixing things up to create a real feast for the eyes, baby's room or not! Be bold! 
Fun prints and pattern will ensure the space still has the fun and playful atmosphere that each and every nursery needs. Check out these cute blankets I found in Mamas and Papas. Perfectly unisex in style, I don't think you can ever have enough blankets with a little one. 
Have I convinced you to give dark colours a try in your home yet? I hope so :-) 
I'd love to see any of your newly decorated nurseries, tag me on Instagram @hazelsecretcrafthouse so I can take a peek.
Love Hazel x


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