How to Decorate With Dark Bedroom Walls

Decorated bedroom with black walls with lighted bed-side lamp above nightstand

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with white, pastel, or neutral walls, but if you’re playing it safe just because you fear dark paint will turn your bedroom into a cave, take heart. No matter how dark you go, you can still have a bedroom that’s airy, glamorous, or contemporary...whatever style you like best. The secret is balancing the strong wall color against the rest of the room’s décor.

One thing you’ll notice in just about every bedroom with dark walls is a white ceiling. This prevents a closed-in, cave-like vibe and helps maintain an airy feeling throughout the room. You can create the same effect with light-colored flooring, too.

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    Chocolate Brown

    Brown and white bedroom
    Phoebe Howard

    Though it might seem counterintuitive, dark walls, when done right, can actually make a small room appear larger. That’s because dark colors visually recede, fooling the eyes into seeing the walls as further away than they really are. Check out the chocolate brown walls in the bedroom here (the paint color is Chocolate Candy by Benjamin Moore). Although this room is small, it doesn’t feel that way thanks to the rich, warm paint, the white ceiling and bedding, and the eye-catching yet unfussy pattern on the rug and shams. Additionally, keeping the palette limited to just two colors creates a feeling of airy simplicity.

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  • 02 of 07

    Deep Purple

    Bedroom with dark purple walls

    If you like a bit of drama and a touch of contemporary style in your décor, dark walls in an unexpected color are the perfect backdrop. Look at how the clean lines of the white metal canopy bed pop against the purple paint, while the patterns on the artwork and the shams add just enough contrast to keep things hopping. Using plenty of white in a dark-walled room helps prevent claustrophobia, while touches of shine bounce light around the space for an airy feel.

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  • 03 of 07


    Beautiful bedroom with black walls
    Christine Dovey

    Think the darkest color of all is only for vampires or goths? Not when you do black right, as in the gorgeous bedroom shown here. There’s no need to let a dark wall color pigeonhole your decorating style. While glamorous décor most often has a creamy, dreamy palette of light neutrals or pastels, black walls take it to a whole new level. And there’s certainly nothing depressing or gloomy about a room filled with fabulous texture, metallic accents, ornate lighting, and whimsical touches, like the zebra figurine on the chair. 

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  • 04 of 07

    Dark Red

    Deep red bedroom walls
    Apartment Therapy

    While bright red walls are typically too stimulating for the bedroom, muted shades of red, such as burgundy or the wine shown here (this color is Rookwood Dark Red from Sherwin-Williams), are equally dramatic, yet allow you to get to sleep at night. You can up the excitement factor with a few touches of bright color to play up the strong walls, but keep it under control by limiting those accents to a few pieces of artwork or bedding. A funky ceiling fixture is another way to balance the strength of dark walls.

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  • 05 of 07

    Dark Gray

    Glamorous bedroom with dark gray walls
    Apartment Therapy

    If you really want a gallery wall of artwork to pop, back it up with dark paint instead of white or a soft tint. If you want your entire room to pop, add plenty of metallic shine scattered throughout the space, a lush faux-fur throw blanket, a sumptuous velvet upholstered bed, and a celestially inspired light fixture like the one shown here. While it’s true that dark gray walls are frequently found in minimalist or other contemporary decorating themes, there’s nothing minimal about the room shown here. Absolutely stunning.

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  • 06 of 07


    Bedroom with dark blue walls
    Our Fifth House

    If you decide to go dark on your bedroom walls but don’t want an especially modern feel, choose natural or painted wooden furniture rather than metal, plastic, or mirrored pieces. The traditional look of wood balances the contemporary vibe of bold paint, keeping the overall appearance warm and friendly, as opposed to sleek and modern. But traditional furniture doesn’t have to mean boring or old-fashioned style like in the bedroom shown here, with its navy blue walls (the paint color is Gentleman’s Gray from Benjamin Moore). The sunburst mirror, patterned drapes, and unfussy light fixture add plenty of modern sensibilities to an otherwise traditional bedroom.

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  • 07 of 07

    Dark Green

    Traditional bedroom with dark green walls

    Looking to add some spice to an otherwise nice-but-nothing-special bedroom or guestroom? The solution is as simple as a gallon of dark paint in your favorite green hue. This room has plenty of country charm. But imagine it without those strong green walls: cute, but lacking the “wow!” that the bold color inspires. If you want the most decorating bang for your buck, it’s hard to beat the impact of a fresh coat of dark color. Match it to the bedding or a piece of artwork, and you can’t go wrong.