How to style it dark this season

Have you ever been tempted to go over to the darker side of decorating, but you’re a little worried it might not suit your style or may make a room feel smaller?

We’ve caught up with Instagrammer and style-it-dark interiors innovator Pati Robins to talk about how life looks on the other side of the colour spectrum. Over to you Pati...

Let me start with saying that those of us on the dark side definitely have more fun! I am writing this post in hope to maybe convince you to go a little darker - even if it’s just one wall and to have fun with your interior - your home should be your playground.
Over the years our small home started as a floor to ceiling magnolia - and slowly it just got a shade by shade darker. I had my fair share of ups and downs while we were finding our style – something that is still a work in progress! Looking back on it, there were more downs than ups - one of those was a hand sponged ‘all-shades-of salmon-with-a-hint-of-peach’ bathroom walls.  A good idea at the time – it certainly looked good in my head – and that’s where is should have stayed! I wish I had a photo to show you the sheer horror that those walls represented but back then there was no Instagram.

But what that bathroom ‘makeover’ taught me is that it’s OK to make those decorating  mistakes - because if you don't try - you will always wonder “what if?”

So here are my top tips into stepping over to dark side and rocking it!

1 - Start with the your background

Forget the advice that only large, well-lit rooms can take a dark wall – if you’re like me – living in a rather too-small home with equally small windows that make even a white room looking drab,  embrace the darkness even if it’s just one wall – you might surprise yourself and love it! I pretty much guarantee you that one wall will soon become a the whole room.
There are a lot of colours and shades to choose from – so start with your favourite colour tester pot and swatch it on all 4 walls so you can have a good idea of how colour will look in certain area – you may want to go a shade or two lighter or darker once you see in on the wall. A strong background of colour is the perfect starting point to build your scheme upon.
2 - Layered up

Dark spaces love layers and textures - so have fun with all you soft furnishings according to your taste. At this time of the year velvet cushions against patterned ones and cosy rugs and blankets are my go-to accessories - from bright and bold colours to muted naturals - all go hand in hand with dark walls. Don’t forget a touch of metallic - gold, silver or copper – to finish the look.
Think about what style do you like, and if you’re not entirely sure, look through interiors magazines or check Pinterest or  Instagram - all of which are great source of inspiration . It is worth mentioning here that on Instagram there are a lot of dark space crew - who are always very supportive and are always happy to answer any questions you might have, myself included!

3 - Greenery

Real or artificial, greenery adds so much to any space – and not just a dark one! Plants are making a huge comeback and add life to any corner  - pop them here and there or group them together for that true jungle look.

If you are worried that real plants might struggle in dark spaces or are a bit of hard work - fear not! There is a plant for every space - Dracaena, Sansevieria (Snake Plant), Neanthe Bella (Parlor Palm) and Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ Plant) are just a few of plants who love dark corners and are very hardy. Again if you ever killed a cactus - like myself - then fake it! Artificial plants those days look so realistic it is hard to tell - to the point that my husband tried to water my fake yucca plant - that says a lot!

4 - Light it up

It is no secret that many dark homes owners love having extra lighting – I don’t mean having a space lit up like a Christmas tree, but lighting is key to setting the mood of the space. I hardly use my ceiling lights and instead opt for table and floor lamps, complete with extra candles. Low lights create much more of a cosy and intimate atmosphere over one massive light beaming at you as if the house was invaded my Marians. Lights don’t have to me to matchy-matchy, instead opt for few quirky ones to add interest .

5 -  Your home = your playground


My mum always said to me "You’ve got one life live it to the full" – and Ii also apply her advice to interiors. Your home should represent you and people living in it - no one else. I have learned in the past that when you try to explain your ‘vision’ to friends and family, it can sometimes be very tricky without them being able to picture what you have in mind.
I remember telling my mum about going dark and she was truly horrified - saying that it will be depressing, dark, gloomy and in short that it would look like a bat cave. Fast forward a few months after my mum came over to visit us and even though her style is completely different, she loved what we have done here, and more importantly that it felt inviting and restful.

Nothing can beat the feeling of walking through the front door to your home knowing that you have created a truly personal space that makes you happy.

Head over to Pati’s Instagram page to see more of her stunning home.

For beautiful furniture, accessories and daily design ideas for your home and lifestyle,
shop at achica.


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