5 dark + moody interior design tips + ideas

Get inspired by these ideas for a room filled with deep, dark drama.

posted on

June 8, 2023

Kira

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How can we bring our most enchanting moody interior design ideas from the screen of Pinterest to the walls of our homes? ✨

With a little bit of creative design strategy, that’s how! Whether it’s designing your workspace, living room, bedroom, or dining room, every place in your home ought to showcase what brings you absolute joy (though as creatives ourselves, we’re always about optimizing your creative space to reflect your own loves and passions best.)

If sparking joy for you means a dark and moody feel, then you’re in the right place. Let’s help you curate a space that sparks joy, soothes the soul, and envelops you in a world of enchantment at every dark turn.

dark and moody interior design ideas



7 design ideas for a dark and moody room

1. Pull a rich and dramatic color palette from your favorite movie.

Imagine stepping into your home office and instantly being transported into the captivating world of your favorite movie. By incorporating a rich and dramatic color palette inspired by cinematic masterpieces, you can bring that true story into your space!

Consider your favorite movies, scenes, and images– what do they all have in common? Is it monochromatic, dark hues, patterned wallpaper, and backgrounds, rich textures throughout the interiors of the set, and different light and color contrast through animation?

To introduce these rich and dramatic colors into your home office, start with the basic: walls, which will set the groundwork for transforming your space. From here, you’ll figure out how you want to complement the space– with similar colors, with complementary colors, or with varying degrees and shades of that color. Take some of these examples to jump off of, which will narrate the colors of your walls and how you’ll complement the room feel with different hues and tones.



2. Know the 3 types of lighting in a space and how to use them.

Lighting is the difference between walking around in Target and sitting in a romantic Italian restaurant candlelit dinner. It’s essential to be strategic about the way you lay out the lighting in your space, so your room can be the dark, moody space you love in all those Pinterest and Instagram pics that wow you.

To create a truly enchanting ambiance, it’s essential to incorporate three types of lighting:

  • Ambient
  • Accent
  • Task

These three layers of lighting are the foundations of any home. With ambient but no accent and task, you’re looking at a bland, overhead look that doesn’t showcase different textures, features, and angles in your space. With accent and task but no ambient, you’re squinting to see anything, and don’t really have a baseline to see your room’s trust colors.

Ambient

The ambient is the regular, overall illumination casting a glow throughout the room. You’ll mostly see these in the leading overhead lights in a home, giving you enough light to live practically in your space, especially when you don’t have enough natural light to help you.

Have a single ambient lighting fixture in each room, whether through a chandelier or as ceiling lights. Keep them to a warm hue, preferably, somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 Kelvin. We have Wiz lights, which allow you to transfer between many different shades and bounce light off the walls and pieces in many different moody colors and hues.

Accent

Accent lighting adds depth and visual interest to your space, particularly, brightening some light to highlight those gorgeous dark walls!

Accent lights specific features or objects, adding a touch of drama and allure, making unique parts of your room its own mini focal point. Think candles, sconces, picture lights, and twinkle lights (including our beloved lighted branch by the TV!), all as accent lights that set their own tone to create contrast against otherwise dark palettes, and help you draw attention to key elements you might not see otherwise, like pictures, artwork, unique angles, or furniture pieces.

lighted tree branch interior design

Task

Task lighting ensures that you have ample illumination for focused work activities: reading, writing, pouring tea, or working on the computer. A whimsical desk lantern, a vintage tea table lamp, an undercabinet light, are all task lights that not only make tasks a little easier, but add a luxurious vibe to a space with depth, character, and intention.

Think about it– when you walk into a space, you can feel the intention behind it, even before looking around. You can tell when a coffee shop just threw everything together, trying to open without needing to do any design work. And, you can tell when you walk into a museum, a mansion, or an intentionally designed house, that everything has a purpose, and in it, has elements– like task lights– helping make it more functional and free-flowing.

Related: The 5 best floor sitting desks for flexible creativity



3. Artfully contrast textures and materials.

Texture infuses a sense of depth and visual interest in a space. Without it, things would just seem… flat. Like you’re in a hotel waiting room, a doctor’s office, or a mall.

With a moody palette, there is a little bit of spook to the design. Those dark colors need some textures to bring it to life and show that there’s an intimate atmosphere in the space.

Distressed woods can bring a rustic charm to your space while incorporating some natural elements. With moody spaces, I always think of witchy, cottage-y, and even faerie-lore-type energy, which requires some wood elements that make you feel like you might be a little bit of a woodland creature yourself.

Wallpapers with rich and intricate patterns can also be a big factor in your overall moody color palette. Some like focal point walls; personally, I like it when it’s all the walls, letting the rich hues of the pattern fully stretch all across the room.

Decor that adds texture can be anything from an intricate mirror to sweeping curtains to paint finishes to a cozy, dark academia rug or plants. Anything that breaks up the general flow of the space and makes it look more lived-in than sterile.


4. Curate statement pieces and artwork that spark 110% joy from your thrifting journeys, marketplace finds, and favorite Etsy shops.

Thrifting journeys and online marketplaces are treasure troves for discovering one-of-a-kind pieces that spark joy. Look for furniture pieces that make a statement, like a vintage writing desk with intricate detailing or a mid-century modern chair in a rich, moody color. These unique finds add a touch of nostalgia and charm, making your workspace feel truly special. Plus, the knowledge that you “foraged” for these finds yourself will make it all the more special.

Etsy is another resource for finding statement pieces that will elevate your home office, hand-crafted by artisans and fellow creatives that aren’t found in your go-to Target aisles. Hand-painted abstract canvases, whimsical sculptures… there’s something for every taste and style. This is where those statement pieces come in that can rarely be duplicated in another home!

The key to curating statement pieces and artwork is to select items that bring you 110% joy– brought from Marie Kondo’s incredible philosophy. Let your heart guide you as you browse through flea markets, thrift stores, online marketplaces, and Etsy shops, and embrace the process of discovering hidden gems and unique finds that truly resonate with your aesthetic.

Related: 5 steps to organizing using the KonMari method


5. Create cozy nooks and comfy seating.

Another big element of moody interiors– and honestly, all interior design in general, is how likely you’ll be to actually enjoy the space.

With your moody elements already in play, you can now make sure the space is cozy enough for you to enjoy its moody atmosphere. Here are some design ideas of creating a calm space amongst the moody look:

  • Incorporating a window seat or reading corner.
  • Add a couch, and layer in blankets and pillows in its correlating color scheme.
  • Find plush seating with soft textiles, like velvet or faux fur.
  • Incorporate a floor altar for cozy rituals.
  • Add immediate comfort with curtains.

Embracing what sparks joy and love in you is the key to embracing a moody room, particularly those deep and dark passions that make you swoon. Maybe it’s Wednesday, The Nightmare Before Christmas, or Edward Scissorhands that helps you draw inspiration for color palettes, and then your love of unique artisans on Etsy to help you draw everything together.

At the root of everything, should be your moodiest, darkest, most gothic self, just waiting to show up in its most elegant interior designed dark side.

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