Secret Style Advice: Dark Nights

Navy Blue and Charcoal 100% Linen Bed Linen

The nights are drawing in, daylight hours are short and the bright, fresh tones of summer are a distant memory. Pull out your thickest throws and cosy up with a cuppa, our wonderful friend (and stylist) Laura North is sharing her inspiration for when the nights are as dark as our Black 100% Linen...

Stop the clocks

I suspect that, like me, everyone is asking the question - why can’t humans hibernate? And I mean actually, properly hibernate like hedgehogs or bears. Our daylight hours have been rudely snatched from us and our bodies are asking us (demanding of us) to hide under blankets, watch Strictly and eat carbohydrates.

I’m wondering this year whether the solution is to lean into it rather than fight it every step of the way as I do most years. Maybe to embrace the time to rest, recover and slow down. Perhaps to choose candlelight, soft lamp glow and fireside haze over daylight. And to purposefully surround ourselves with dark, cocooning tones and textures that make us feel safe, protected and cozy.

Sea Green 100% Linen and Waffle Charcoal Cushion Cover

The science bit

When we look at how we use our bedrooms, it’s surprising we haven’t been embracing darker tones for longer. It’s a place of rest, safety, restoration and even an escape - so really this room needs to cuddle you. Deeper colours are the most effective tool in a stylist’s back pockets for instantly creating an impactful but relaxing scheme. Better still, research has uncovered that deeper tones in your bedroom (be that your bedding, your curtains or your walls) may be beneficial for drifting off more quickly and staying asleep for longer because darkness is key for melatonin production. Colour, without a doubt, affects our biorhythms and therefore our thoughts and mood.

And yes, you now hereby have permission to buy new DARK bedlinen (navy blue or charcoal linen anyone?) because science says so.

Optical Illusion

‘But won’t my room look tiny?’ I hear you ask. And the answer is, surprisingly, no! Since black and darker tones absorb the light, its harder for the eye to read the space (particularly if, like our friend Abigail Ahern, you embrace painting woodwork AND ceilings). So, on the contrary, it can make a room look larger. A note here that whilst feature walls are back in fashion thanks to WFH zoom meetings - one wall in a dark colour can make your bedroom appear a little more cramped. My advice is, with paint, go for the plunge and be brave.

Go Green

Naturally our minds wander to blacks and blues when folk talk of dark bedrooms but green can be a gorgeous choice. Greens practically beg you to mix and match with each other so a mid green bedroom can instantly be given the deep-tone look by changing your bedding. You could try a sea green tone layered with charcoal waffle cushion and throw to really add depth. With greens and nature inspired palettes looking to be ever present once again in 2022 this is a look that is set to last.

Truxton, Chartreuse Finn and Spice Marl Accessories

Pop of bright

Dark bedrooms don't have to be totally deep in palette. If you’ve taken the plunge and gone for a dark scheme you can always add a splash of playful colour to not only help your eye move around the room but also to make you smile. With dark greens try a really acidic citrine such as the Finn Chartreuse throw. With dark blues, how about a pop of terracotta (its complementary colour), to lift the space - the Spice Marl cushion will look incredible layered onto an inky blue - you’ll look like a styling pro.

Layering Loveliness

If you’re getting tired of me chattering on about layering then I'm sorry, but it is the key to everything in styling world and I shall probably keep banging on about it. In this case, it can really heighten a deep room. Since the dark colour will absorb a lot of the light, have a think about layering your textures rather than colours to make the space even more of a cocoon. Try velvet cushions, rattan lighting, woven textured throws with fringing (such as the Truxton), slubby linens and sheers to bounce light around and to stop the scheme looking in any way monotonous.

Black Out

A final tip towards achieving a truly deep and moody bedroom is to remember to think carefully about your curtains. As much as sheer linens are utterly gorgeous for summer, have you ever thought about changing to blackout curtains in the winter? Or you could layer up adding your sheer style behind to give privacy and colour. I have the relaxed denim blackout curtains in dove grey which block out EVERYTHING, but am currently eyeing up the charcoal for winter.

My advice is to be brave and take the plunge if you’re still on the fence about a dark scheme for your bedroom. Then remember that science says so too and it’s as close as we’re ever going to get to being able to hibernate this winter. Is it bedtime yet?