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When it comes to decorating your home, do you like dark interiors or light interiors? While both are popular on Pinterest, the two approaches are at polar opposite ends of the spectrum, each with their own appeals and drawbacks.

Light interiors: the pros

  • It’s hard to mess up a paint job if you’re painting everything white/light
  • No need to worry about paint going patchy (as you can’t really tell)
  • The colour feels fresh and bright
  • It provides a blank canvas kind of atmosphere
  • Easy to add items to, and easy to style
  • It’s a definite nod to the scandinavian trend – beloved by many!
The white, light home of Smita Patel via the Guardian. Photography credit: Penny Wincer | Love to Home
Photo credit: with permission from Penny Wincer, photographer – the home of Smita Patel featured in the Guardian.

Light interiors: the Cons

  • It can look boring if you’re not careful
  • It can sometimes feels sterile or lacking in personality
  • It can feel very cold if you’ve not ‘warmed up’ the interior with your furnishings and accents
  • Not all white paint is created equal: you need to think about undertones and quality of sunlight the room receives

Dark interiors: the pros

  • It’s dramatic and sumptuous
  • It’s a bold choice – and life is short, right?
  • It emboldens other decisions regarding interior choices – quirky, ‘alternative’ items look great and you don’t have to make much effort to look like a pro
  • Dark interiors can make a house feel expensive and decadent
  • Dark colours look amazing in period homes – i.e. Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian because the architecture carries it well
  • Dark interiors definitely hide the dirt

Dark interiors: the cons

  • You will spend a long time painting over it if you want to lighten it up
  • Friends and family will probably try hard to dissuade you from going dark. Or will tell you how ‘dingey’ it is inside
  • It can make a small room feel smaller (though designers like Abigail Ahern disagree about this)
  • There’s a fine line between ultra sophisticated and grungy teenager
  • Selling your house could be harder if prospective buyers aren’t into/can’t see past dark interiors

So which is better?

It’s pretty clear there are pros and cons to going light and bright in your interior, or dark and moody.

So ultimately, whether you like pale interiors with their whitewashed walls and canvas-like quality to each room, or dark interiors with their instant ability to make an impact or cocoon you in colour, it’s obvious there isn’t one option that’s better than the other. It comes down to personal preference!

If you’re going to go for a light interior in your home, the trick is to make sure you’re including lots of interesting textures. Wood, brick, greenery and a variety of surfaces, textures and materials can make it feels as though you’re outdoors, and that it’s a refreshing, crisp environment rather than sterile, clinical kind of place. And if you’d like to go to the dark side? The same tips apply. Include elements of other colours and textures to hold interest, such as gold photo frames, conker-brown leather sofas and a few candles to make your space feel interesting and inviting.

Where do you stand on the dark vs light debate? Is there a style you love to look at on Pinterest but simply couldn’t live with, for example?

p.s Here’s how to figure out your interior design style, and have you tried these tips? Oh, and you’ll need to know this whether you go light or dark.

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When it comes to decorating your home, do you like dark interiors or light interiors? While both are popular on Pinterest, the two approaches are at polar opposite ends of the spectrum, each with their own appeals and drawbacks.