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For several years now white and bright interiors have been all the rage, but lately I’m starting to see more deep and dark colors. 

How do you feel about a dark and moody room?

Have you been thinking about trying this design trend?

Well if you are, then take a seat and see our design tips for creating the perfect dark and moody room.

This “Man Cave” is my son, Alex’s room.

He mentioned that he wanted to create a dark and moody room, more like a gentleman’s cigar lounge without the cigars. 😉

This would be a spot to play his guitar with friends, play video games and would also double as an office.

I was intrigued with what he wanted to do and offered to help with some of the design elements.

This room sits over the garage and has unique architectural details with the sloped ceiling.

Knowing he wanted the walls a very dark charcoal grey can create a few design challenges.

Some of these challenges are:

  • Where should the dark paint end?
  • What about lighting?
  • Will the dark color make the room feel small?
  • How can we create this room on a small budget?
  • What is the best layout to make it multi-functional?

For more dark and moody room inspiration, check out our cozy home office library.

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Design Tip 1: Plan the Layout

The first step is to make a plan for the room. I find that it is easiest to grab a piece of graph paper and make a sketch of the room to scale.

Take measurements of the furniture pieces that are going into the room. Then create out of graph paper furniture replicas. Then they can be placed onto the sketch of the room and moved around until the best placement is determined.

For this room we knew we needed an area for the long desk, a place for the media cabinet and TV and some comfortable lounging chairs.

We determined that the desk area fit best along the left wall as you walk into the room. In the area to the right we placed the media cabinet. Two comfortable lounge chairs were placed by the window, which is convenient for gaming and viewing the TV.

Design Tip 2: Architectural Details and Texture

Adding architectural detail to the walls brings in so much character and additional texture. Their home is a new build with a lot of craftsman details. Installing a board and batten paneling was the perfect design element for this room.

Would you like to learn how to install a fun board and batten wall, then see our complete tutorial here.  Not only does it add a lot of style to a room but it’s very inexpensive to install.

We asked Alex and Megan to get the room all painted, then we would come in and add the details to this space. The color they chose for the wall is Chimney Smoke Ultra Eggshell by Valspar .

We also determined that the sloped ceiling is really also the wall. Therefore the walls, ceiling and all of the molding and doors are the dark charcoal color.

Having the entire room painted one color makes the room appear larger. The eye just flows around the room and is not stopped by white trim or doors.

Pro tip: Painting the wall first before adding the board and batten paneling will save time. It’s so much faster to roll the wall first, then come in with a brush and paint the molding after.

Design Tip 3: Beautiful and Functional Lighting

Lighting is an important element in any room. However in a dark and moody room, not only does it need to be functional for the tasks that are performed in the space, but also we want to create mood lighting, or low lighting. This will enhance the overall feel of the room. With this in mind, in a dark and moody room it is essential to use lighting that plays off of the dark walls.

DIY Light Fixture

In a room with dark walls, gold light fixtures are the perfect choice. The gold hue of the light fixtures plays off the dark moody walls perfectly.

Design Tips For Creating the Perfect Dark and Moody Room

Remember, we were on a tight budget here. Finding low cost fixtures or FREE light fixtures made our day! Friends of Alex and Megan had purchased these lights. They came as a set of 3 and their friends only wanted one. Lucky for us, they were FREE! Can you believe it?

We did find the same light fixture here.

We loved the geometrical shape of the lights, however  the light fixtures were black.

Now black light fixtures in a dark room just wouldn’t work. We needed a finish that would play off of the dark walls. Clearly they needed a mini-makeover with champagne gold spray paint.

We hung them up in the basement and gave them 3 light coats of paint. Now they were perfect for the room.

Alex wanted the room to have a bit of industrial flair as well. With this in mind, we created a box out of pallet wood for the light fixture to hang from. Now we have the perfect juxtaposition, the raw pallet wood with the gold glam light fixtures. Don’t you just love the contrast?!

Because of the dark walls, functional lighting was a major consideration. This room only had one ceiling fixture to begin with. The lighting was already poor in the room.

Installing eight small swivel can lights made it possible to direct the light where we needed it. We also chose a dark oil rubbed bronze finish. This way the light fixtures would blend into the ceiling.

This was just what this dark and moody room needed. Separate switches provided the perfect solution for the pendants and can lighting. Pendants when you want low lighting and can lighting when the room functions as an office.

This beautiful sculptural lamp provides ideal task lighting for the desk area. When I found this lamp base and shade at World Market, I knew it would be perfect against the charcoal walls. It is a piece of art in and of itself.

One element that Alex specifically asked for, for his lounge, was two leather club chairs. In particular, he wanted leather Chesterfield chairs.

We knew that we would need to find them used in order to stay on budget. We searched and searched and never found the Chesterfield chairs within his budget. However, we did find these cognac leather club chairs. They were used, but still in great condition, extremely comfortable and were only $100!

These chairs can easily be replaced if he comes across the Chesterfield chairs that fit in his budget.

Cozy faux fur pillows and a Moroccan throw help make this space inviting. We also created an accent table out of vintage luggage. The perfect spot to set a drink.

Design Tip 4: Art and Decor that Pops

Every well designed space needs art. When selecting art for a dark space, look for pieces that bring in beautiful warmth and color.

Now I need to brag a little. Alex is an artist, an amazing photographer. As you can see, his incredible photography pops off the dark wall. The rich vibrant colors really stand out on that moody wall.

As we brought in other accessories, we looked for items that had a sheen and a reflective quality. We hung a couple of small gold framed mirrors along side the art. In order to make the room feel cohesive, we placed additional gold decor pieces around the room.

Gold accessories add just the right amount of contrast in a dark space. We brought in a gold pencil cup, a small gold vintage globe, vintage cameras and great-grandpa’s trophies. Adding a few sentimental pieces makes the room have meaning!

The media cabinet brought in that industrial touch Alex wanted for the room. We found the FJÄLLBO media cabinet at Ikea and it was only $139. It adds that perfect industrial feel with the rustic black metal base and solid wood top.

Finally, the desk top is the Limmon from Ikea. This piece makes a great workspace for crafting as well as a computer area. We place two of them end to end which filled the east wall.

For more dark and moody inspo, check out this design plan for my husband’s office.

Shop this look . . .

Do you want to shop this look? For your shopping convenience we have created this mood board for a dark and moody space.

Are you now ready to create a dark and moody space in your home? Well, after the opportunity to help create this room, I am so excited to try it in my home. Soon I will be sharing my  moody master bedroom.

Thanks for spending some time with us today! We hope you found a little inspiration! Please share with us your thoughts on this stylish dark and moody room. We would love to hear from you.

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We hope you have a great day!

And as always here at Sunny Side Design


Looking for more ideas using a dark paint color. See how a black chalkboard wall creates energy for a colorful and energetic kids space.

How about a moody navy blue wall? Does that sound intriguing, then click here.

If you’re looking for even more budget friendly DIY ideas be sure to follow us on Pinterest!

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