Do you REALLY need performance fabric for a sofa? Get the basics on performance fabrics from interior designer Lesley Myrick.

If you’ve recently shopped for a sofa, I can bet you got pretty overwhelmed with all the decision-making. Sofa, or sectional? A tight upholstered back, or loose cushions? Do you need a matching ottoman? Leather, or fabric? Do you need performance fabric for a sofa? What type of arm should it have? What kind of legs, and how high? Or maybe a skirt?

#decisionfatigue

“Performance fabric” is one of those buzzwords floating around, but unless you know exactly what that means, it’s hard to know if it’s something you really need or a fancy marketing gimmick. Here’s the down and dirty on what performance fabrics are, and if you need ’em:

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, I’m Lesley Myrick – your interior design partner-in-crime to help you Bust Out Of Boring. Welcome to Episode 5:

Do You Need Performance Fabric for a Sofa?

Aah! I don’t know! We’re about to find out today.

We talked a little bit last week about my epic sofa failure and how getting a sofa with vinyl was not a good choice. It just deteriorated after a few years.

But the conversation I want to have today is about specific fabrics for a sofa – mainly, do you need Performance fabric for a sofa?

Now, you might not be familiar with the term “performance”.

Basically, Performance fabric is the kind of stuff that was used in restaurants and hospitals and – you know – fabric that’s plastic-y and resists stains and dirt and you can be pretty rough to it and it still holds up.

I will have you know that things have come a long, long way since then and there’s lots of fabrics available on the residential market that are “Performance”, meaning they have those stain-repellent qualities, they have treatments done to them and even woven into them that’s going to make them easy to clean, resistant to stains, really durable, but it’s not that old, stiff, commercial fabric you might be thinking of.

Now, do you need it for a sofa?

The short answer is, no – but yes.

I think Performance fabrics are an awesome option for a sofa in two really specific instances. The first one is if you have kids or pets (because those things make messes!) and the second is if you want a light-colored sofa, like a light linen color, white, a light grey, or something like that.

I see all these really cute inexpensive sofas on the market that are upholstered in beige linen or grey linen and, girlfriend, you pour one little bit of water or, heaven forbid, a little bit of red wine on that and you’re toast.

That sofa is never going to look like it did when it came to your home for the first time.

The benefits of performance fabrics are

that when you spill red wine on them, on a good performance fabric that stuff will bead up and roll right off.

Now, it doesn’t mean you can be super mean to them and just throw crap all over them! But it buys you time to clean them properly and it resists stains and it’s going to work really well.

So having little kids, having small pets or big pets, I think it’s a great great idea.

Think about that plastic sheeting on grandma’s couch back in the day. Grandma’s couch probably did need plastic sheeting because that fabric was way too delicate. But now, you don’t need itg – you can just get a really great fabric on your sofa and it kinda has the plastic secretly built in to the fibers which makes it super, super durable.

The other time you’re going to want a performance fabric specifically is if you’re doing a very light color.

A white couch – guys, you can do a white couch! If it’s your dream to have this pristine white couch you can actually do it with a performance fabric and get a really awesome result and have something that’s really going to serve you and function well, even though it’s white.

I show clients samples and they look at me like I’ve lost my mind when I’m proposing something that’s a really light color for upholstery, but with the right material it’s a really, really great fit for a project.

Now, I will say –

I mentioned last week that we just got our new sectional and I’ve got kids, and those kids can be dirty, and we did not do a performance fabric.

I did a teal sofa (obviously – I love teal!) and I didn’t like the options that were available in performance fabric in that color. So we chose to do a beautiful soft, silky velvet fabric. We also know how to clean it properly, we know it’s a darker color so it’s a bit more forgiving, and the kids now know they do NOT eat on our new sofa!

So that’s one way we’ve made it work.

But overall, do I recommend doing a performance fabric for a sofa? Yes.

It is just something that’s going to make your life a heck of a lot easier. You won’t be thinking and worrying about all the things spilling on your sofa, all that kind of stuff. I think it’s a worthy investment to look into it.

A lot of ready-made sofas have the option of performance but not that many. But if you look to a company that does custom, or semi-custom usually they’re starting to roll out some really great lines of fabric that do have performance characteristics like Crypton or Teflon. Sometimes the fabric is treated on top or underneath (sometimes both), and other times it’s actually woven into the fibers so they’re stain and soil repellant all the way through.

So – YES to performance fabrics if you want a sofa that’s going to last and look great and be easy to clean.

But here’s something to note…

I’ve heard stories of people complaining because they had a performance fabric and their sofa got dirty. Well yeah – you still have to clean it if anything happens to it and you spill on it! It’s not the plastic-covered sofas from the 70s you might remember your parents or grandparents having. It is still fabric, it is still a fiber with little pores that you can get stuff in – but it’s a lot easier to clean, maintain, and keep looking beautiful if you do invest in a performance fabric.

I hope you’re enjoying these weekly Bust Out Of Boring – or, BOOB – videos.

If you’re finding value in them I would be so honored if you’d click “Share” and pass this along to a friend. Let someone know that might be interested in design advice that I am here every Wednesday at noon to answer your questions and to chat about all things design and cool and sofas and fabrics and yellow cabinets and all that good stuff!

If you’ve not already gotten my FREE ebook

on how to bring personality to a boring space, you can text the word BORED to 444999 and you’re going to get a happy little automated message from me and a link to download this awesome ebook.

What an interior designer does that you never know about! #truth from designer Lesley Myrick

Interior designers are a sneaky bunch. I mean, there are all sorts of things that an interior designer does that you never know about.

Wait…whaaa?

Don’t worry – I’m not talking about bad stuff. I’m actually talking about really good things! Specifically, handling a whole bunch of crap behind the scenes to make our client’s lives easier and to make major design magic happen. Check out what happened with one of my clients behind the scenes…

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here, interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create some pretty fantastic interiors with an offbeat edge.

And, part of how we do that is by taking care of all the crap behind the scenes so our clients don’t have to deal with it.

If you’ve ever tried to manage your own home decorating project,

you know there is a ton of minutiae that has to happen between making selections, picking the right finishes, fixtures accessories, and fabrics; purchasing things, ordering, tracking; dealing with things that come in damaged, or broken, or just come in completely wrong! And by the time you’re done a room, you almost can’t appreciate it because you’ve spent so much mental energy trying to get there.

This is why people hire interior designers.

I love that stuff! Or at least, I’m really good at that stuff and I can make amazing design magic for my clients.

So, I just want to tell you today a little bit about what it can look like behind the scenes of an interior design project.

Our job as designers is to make things smooth sailing for our clients.

I want them to be completely wowed by the design, the process, and just the fact that it looks so easy to make it all happen for them.

That’s the goal.

But there is a lot that happens behind the scenes.

For example, I had a project last year where we had this beautiful brass sideboard. I was obsessed with this piece of furniture! It was just stunning.

Now, this wasn’t a huge room. This wasn’t a “huge design project”. But this piece of furniture was the bane of my existence for about 6 months.

Basically, we specified it and it went on backorder before we even placed the order. That’s normal; things move quickly in the design world.

We waited for it, we finally got it sent to our receiver. It was damaged. We sent it back. They sent another one. It was damaged!

We were getting closer and closer to our big reveal, our big install date,

and we didn’t have the focal point of the room. And finally, with hours and hours of work on our back end, we had the vendor rush ship it to our receiver who unpacked it, inspected it, assembled it, made sure it was all phenomenal. It got on the truck in time, it got delivered, and my client got to have that “wow”, like HGTV reveal moment when she walked in to her space.

It was amazing! And she had no idea that that one piece of furniture took about 40 hours of our team’s time to deal with behind the scenes.

And that’s the point!

My clients don’t want to deal with that. It’s so much headache. We love to do the hard work behind the scenes so our clients can have those magic moments in their new spaces and completely lose their sh*t.

Hands up if you’ve ever redecorated a room – and it ended up being waaaaay more that you had hoped to spend. You’re not alone! Here’s the truth about how to keep an interior design project in budget.

You may not like to hear it though…

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here. Interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create some pretty awesome interiors with an offbeat edge.

I’m going to talk today about something not a lot of designers want to talk about, and that is:

how to keep a design project in budget.

I feel like “budget” is such an icky word. It sounds so restrictive, and negative, and it shouldn’t be that way when you’re talking about design. What you’re doing is making an investment. An investment in your home, an investment in your family, and an investment in the quality of your life.

And of course there are concerns with how much the investment is when it comes to design. People always ask how to keep a design project in budget, or, within the investment you hope to spend.

I have an answer for you, and I don’t know if you’re going to like it!

It’s easy to blame the designer when a project goes “over budget”. However, here’s a little real talk for you. Sticking within the amount you wanted to invest – your budget – is 100% up to you.

It is ultimately up to you, the client,

to decide what to purchase, to decide what to invest in. My job as a designer is to take care of everything on your wishlist, to show you what is out there that is gonna meet your needs, your wants, your desires, is gonna look amazing, and function for your family.

So here’s the thing about design projects.

I have never worked with anybody whose budget matched their wishlist. That’s human nature. Think of it like buying a car. You might want to invest in a Kia but everything you want is a Mercedes. It is totally in your power to decide if you want to scale down your wants and needs to the Kia, or if you want to up your budget to meet your Mercedes dreams.

I hate to say it but designers are not miracle workers. It is our job to design an amazing space that meets your wants and needs, and its your job as the client to decide what you want to invest in that.

So there you go.

There’s the truth about keeping a design project in budget – it is all in your court.

We’re going to support you the best way we can but you get to decide what you invest in your home.

Should you reupholster...or not? Interior designer Lesley Myrick has a few tips to help you decide if reupholstery is worth the investment.

Should you reupholster – or not? A couple of years ago I chose to reupholster a loveseat for my master bedroom, thinking it would be a delightfully inexpensive way to transform a basic piece of furniture into something badass. Well, that loveseat definitely got a badass transformation – but it wasn’t inexpensive!

There’s a lot I’ve learned about design choices whether it’s been in design school, while working for other designers, while running my own interior design firm, and while designing my own home. Here’s what I’ve learned (and what I wish I’d known) about deciding whether or not to reupholster a piece of furniture:

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here – interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create some pretty awesome interiors with an offbeat edge.

I want to talk to you today about reupholstering,

and whether or not it’s a good idea to reupholster an existing chair, sofa, loveseat, whatever it might be. So here’s the thing with reupholstering. People often think it’s gonna be less expensive than just getting a new piece.

Sometimes it is, but not always.

I encountered this in my own home working on a project. We bought this cool vintage loveseat and thought it would be a fairly affordable project to reupholster it. What blew me away is that by the time we paid for the loveseat, we bought fabric for it, bought foam, paid an upholsterer to do a great job, all these things started to add up and before I knew it my “inexpensive” loveseat project cost more than a new one probably would have.

So here’s my thoughts on whether or not to reupholster something:

If you have a piece of furniture that is quality-made, you love the form, it’s comfortable, it’s beautiful – it’s probably going to be worth the investment to you to have it reupholstered versus letting it go and trying to find something comparable brand-new.

If you have a piece of furniture that has a story to it, that has history, or there’s something about it you connect with whether it’s just how it looks or how it feels to you, I think that is a great opportunity to take something existing and to give it new life with new fabric.

However if you think reupholstery is just going to be the less expensive option, it isn’t always. On something simple like a dining chair where you’re reupholstering the seat, that’s an easy, affordable project and that’s one I recommend my clients do a lot if they already have great dining chairs and the fabric just needs a little refresh.

But when it comes to a larger piece of upholstery like a sofa, loveseat, or big chair,

don’t do it because you think it’s going to be affordable. Do it because you love the piece and you want to transform it and give it new life.

So there you go. A few quick thoughts about reupholstering – or not!

What's the one thing every room needs? Interior designer Lesley Myrick shares her must-have item for any room.

I’m totally breaking my own rule here by asking the question “what’s the one thing that every room needs?” because I hate those listicles that tell you you must have something! My girl Tina Fey said it best in her rad book Bossypants:

“When people say, “You really, really must” do something, it means you don’t really have to. No one ever says, “You really, really must deliver the baby during labor.” When it’s true, it doesn’t need to be said.”

You’re totally right, Tina. So yeah. Take this design advice with a grain of salt. Maybe every room doesn’t need this, but if your space is falling flat, this might be the missing element:

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here, interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create some pretty fantastic interiors with an offbeat edge.

Now, I’m going to do something today that kind of goes against what I believe.

Stick with me on this one! I hate those lists you find that’s like “10 Things Every Woman Needs In Her Wardrobe” or “The One Thing You Need for XY or Z.” I think it’s dumb. I don’t think there’s one one-size-fits-all rule for how you dress or how you live or whatever.

But, there is one thing that I really do believe that every room needs.

Do you know what it is?

I think that what every room needs is something old.

Something vintage, something antique, something with character, something with a story behind it. Something that is a little imperfect, a little irregular, a little beat up, brings a little heart and soul to a space.

So, why?

Why if you have a whole new room and you’re buying all new furnishings and decor should you put “something old” in there?

Well first, it brings personality.

It has a story behind it. It has something to say in the room. A fresh, clean, beautiful polished room is awesome but bringing something in that has a little bit of grit, a little bit of edge, can make the space feel less like it’s on a magazine page and more like it’s in your home with your story and your history.

Or maybe even someone else’s history if you just find a cool antique piece somewhere.

One-of-a-kind older pieces also bring a ton of personality.

They’re gonna be conversation starters. Not everyone is gonna have the same thing that you have in your living room. And that is really cool.

Introducing something old also layers in this kind of eclectic, funky vibe.

It shows that you’re confident in not just sticking with one literal design style but that you can mix and match. You can incorporate cool, unique pieces.

I love that offbeat mix. I love what that old piece brings to a space. It’s an element of contrast, it’s an attention-getter, and it’s a serious conversation starter.

I’m not going to tell you you “need” something old in a room,

buuuut it’s kind of a good idea and I think it can really elevate a great room into something amazing.

Project tour from interior designer Lesley Myrick - a chic and badass realtor's office in Waco, TX

Some weeks, you spend more waking hours in your office than at home. Shouldn’t your office totally rock and be a space that supports and inspires your awesome work? I love designing offices because I’m a nerd who is obsessed with office supplies, plus I believe that a “corporate” space doesn’t have to suck.

Let’s go behind the scenes of one of Lesley Myrick Art + Design’s commercial interior design projects and take a tour of this chic and badass Realtor’s office in Waco, Texas. I’ve shared the progress and the after photos previously but dive a little deeper in today’s video:


Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here.

I’m an interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create interiors with an offbeat edge.

So at Lesley Myrick Art + Design we mainly do residential design projects.

I love doing people’s houses. It’s been my goal since I was five years old to “make people’s houses pretty.”

But every once in a while…

a commercial project comes our way and they’re usually so much fun there’s no way I can say no.

We recently wrapped a project with a Realtor’s office here in Waco, Texas, and I want to walk you through the whole design from start to finish.

So you can see the space was a pretty big corporate snooze-fest. Bad ceilings, ugly carpet – the saving grace was the phenomenal walls of windows that this office had.

This Realtor loves turquoise and white,

and feminine, and brass, and just this fresh, pretty vibe and it was so much fun to get to translate her wishes into this space.

So, here’s a look at the Pinterest board where we started pulling together our ideas and selections. And here’s the moodboard to give you an idea of how all those pieces were going to work together in the space.

Doing these moodboards is one of my favorite things for clients because it really starts to give them a sense of proportion. How colors are going to fit together; the scale of furniture pieces; how all these sort of random items are actually going to flow in a room.

And what I love the most is..

seeing the moodboard and then – aaah! The final space.

Even though this is what I do, it is still so cool to me to see when my vision comes to life and looks how I planned it.

I think this office is so chic, and if I were a client of hers I would be so impressed working in this Realtor’s office. It’s fresh, it’s pretty, it’s professional, it’s sleek, it shows she has style and pizzazz – and that’s exactly what we were going for.

Plus – there’s a bar. You can’t argue with having a bar in an office.

This is just one of many design projects that we’ve been working on.

I love what I do and I’d love to do it for you too.

If you’ve been needing an expert eye to guide you through a design project or if you’re just feeling stuck, I would love to talk to you.

You can book your complimentary Design Discovery Call where we’ll get to know each other and start the process of making something awesome together. ✌

One of the biggest design investments in the home is your kitchen. If yours is less-than-awesome, how do you know if it’s worth investing in a kickass complete remodel or if a less expensive makeover will do the trick? Here’s when you should renovate a kitchen (and when you should just leave it alone):

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Let’s talk kitchens, baby.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here, interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create interiors with an offbeat edge.

Kitchens. If yours is kinda needing some love,

How do you know if it’s just time to do an aesthetic upgrade or a full-out renovation?

I recommend my clients make aesthetic changes when it just comes down to the fact that they don’t like the look or design of a certain element.

Now, what if the issues with the kitchen go beyond just “I don’t like my doors?”

What if there are practical and functional issues?

There’s not enough light coming from the ceiling, or your kitchen was built in the 1950s and the shelves are not adjustable so your cereal boxes don’t fit – which is a real problem I’m currently having.

Or, there’s something else function-wise that’s really inhibiting your use of the kitchen and – if you plan to move any time soon – the resale of that home.

When it comes down to functional issues –

– something isn’t meeting your needs, something is broken beyond repair, something doesn’t have enough of what you need to be adequate – that’s when it’s time to really consider gutting and renovating, starting fresh, and designing a new kitchen that’s going to meet those needs and look totally kickass.

In a kitchen aesthetic improvements are a bandaid solution. If you’ve got a kitchen with some small problems a bandaid solution is probably going to be just fine.

When function AND aesthetics are lacking,

that’s when it’s time to consider doing some more major work on your kitchen.

Now, some people think selling a house, you’ve gotta update the kitchen. That’s not always necessarily the case. I would recommend consulting with a designer or realtor and getting a professional opinion.

Sometimes renovating a kitchen can be a great thing for resale

and can bring in a profit; but sometimes, having a kitchen that needs some work can actually be a negotiating tactic while you’re selling and it can work to your advantage not to put the work in to it.

So – don’t do a kitchen renovation for someone else.

Do it for you. Do it to make your home feel better, work better, function better, and so you can live better.


Remember those matching furniture sets from the 80s and 90s that came with an identical sofa, loveseat, and chair? I wish I could forget them too. It’s time for a breakup – no more matching furniture sets! Here’s what to do with a matching furniture set to update it and make it your own.


Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here – I’m an interior stylist and I transform boring beige spaces into kickass colorful homes with an offbeat edge that are livable, delightful, and unexpected.

Today, we’re going to talk about break ups. I’m not talking romantic break ups – I am talking breaking up that matchy-matchy set of living room furniture with a sofa, and loveseat, and chair that all matches and coordinates perfectly. These were super popular in the 80s and 90s and even a little bit into the 2000s, and I’m sad to say that I still see them today, and they are not a good idea.

It’s a total no-no to do too much matching in your home.

Sure, you want things to make sense, have something visual that ties them together and have a cohesive look – but, I think that’s better accomplished through mixing and matching the right pieces than just sticking with a pre-made set that some retailer has decided goes together.

So, if you have one of those living room sets, you’ve invested good money in it, what do you do? Well, friend, it’s time for a breakup. The pieces on their own are probably great. It’s together when they’re all matching, that’s when things get a little bit stale.

So why not repurpose some of those pieces in other parts of your home?

A loveseat or a settee can be a great fit in a master bedroom, and I love the idea of using an accent chair in an office or on a landing – somewhere where you want a little somewhere to perch, sit, maybe read a book, but you don’t need a full living room setup.

Alternatively, if the pieces have good bones, but it’s just the fact that they’re all upholstered in the same boring fabric that’s kind of becoming a snoozefest, you could look at re-upholstering one or more of the pieces. The fact that the frames tend to be similar and the proportions are good together means that with some change of fabrics you could totally transform the look without buying all new pieces of furniture.

If you do decide to keep your matching set together all in one room, there are a lot of little ways you can make each piece feel unique, even though they are all the same. Different pillows, throws, slipcovers. You can mix and match different soft textiles and decorative accessories to really give each piece its own personality but still have it work together as a whole.

So, never fear if you are stuck in the 80s with your matching sofa, chair, and loveseat set – there is hope for you.

If you do like it all as a set, you can personalize each piece and make it work in one space. However, if you’re kind of over the matching look, break it up, spread it throughout your home, and give each piece new life.

If you liked this video, be sure to share it with a friend and spread the love. And if you want more inspiration to help transform your home, hop on over to my website at lesleymyrick.com where you can download my free guide, Bring Personality to a Boring Space.

Project tour from interior stylist Lesley Myrick | A colorful family-friendly great room

First things first, since I know you’re gonna notice as soon as you watch the video – I cut my hair! Bye bye, bun. 💇

Now, let’s get to the good stuff: a design project tour of the colorful, family-friendly great room I recently completed here in Waco, Texas. I’ve shared the progress and the after photos previously but dive a little deeper in today’s video:

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here. I’m an interior stylist, and I transform boring beige spaces into pretty kickass colorful homes with an offbeat edge that are livable, delightful, and unexpected. Today I’m going to walk you through one of my recently completed design projects from start to finish.

So, this space was a great room for a family here in Waco, Texas. They have young kids, and they needed a space that felt grown up, they could relax in together, and hang out as a family.

Everything had to be stylish and colorful and accessible, but nothing so precious that a toddler could ruin it.

Here’s a peek at the space before. It totally has good bones, great high ceilings, cool architecture – but really stuck in the 60s and not at all in line with the rest of the couple’s home. They had a mix of French traditional, and kind of a softer, more contemporary look, so this really hard retro style was totally not them. They wanted to merge their tastes but still respect the architecture of the home.

Here’s a look at the Pinterest board I put together with design selections initially, and a moodboard showing what the space was going to look like completed. This is my favorite part – to get to pull this together visually and show a client what we’re going to create. But even cooler than that is seeing the end result!

I am so thrilled with how this room turned out. I think it works perfectly for the couple and for their young family. There’s a really adorable play space for their daughter; everything feels chic and grown-up and colorful; there’s some Mid-Century elements to tie in the retro feel of the room; but there’s also some prettier, more feminine elements that work really, really well with the rest of the couple’s home. I love being able to transform spaces from something nobody really wanted to spend time in into a place that the family cannot wait to be together in.

That’s why I do what I do – to empower homeowners to make confident design decisions and create homes that they love.

Whether or not you’re in Waco I would love to work with you on your design project. If you’re looking for a rad “design partner in crime” reach out to me – you can get in touch via my website.

If you liked this video, I’d so appreciate if you’d share it with someone who would find value in it. And leave a comment on YouTube below this video – I would love to hear from you.

It’s tricky knowing whether you should play it safe with paint colors (or even sofa colors), or be more bold with your walls. What’s better…dark or light paint colors? Well, it depends on the room. And lighting. And some other stuff. Here are my thoughts on choosing light or dark paint colors for your walls:

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

I hope that this video answers some of the pressing questions you’ve had about paint colors! I get asked all the time, “Should I paint my walls a dark color?” Dark colors are really “in” right now, and I think it’s awesome. I love to see stuff that’s rich and lush and just full of color saturating walls. But – it’s not always the best idea. So let’s talk a little bit about dark walls – when they work, and when they should be avoided.

So, a common misconception is that white and light paint colors equal bright and light in a room, and that’s not true. You can paint a room white and if it doesn’t get great lighting it’s going to look dingy and dull and sad. And by contrast, a dark paint color doesn’t have to mean a room that feels dark and gloomy. In fact, the right dark paint color in the right room can feel rich and warm and comforting and inviting – and can actually be a better option than a light color.

As you probably already guessed, the key to painting a room with a dark color is great lighting. Now, if you have great natural light, awesome! You are in business and you’ve got a great starting point. But what if you don’t have great natural light but still want a room that has that coziness and that depth and that richness, but doesn’t feel like a cave? Well in that case, you need to add the right lighting.

There are three types of lighting for a room: ambient, which is the main lighting; task lighting, which is specific to doing a task; and then there’s accent lighting, like table lamps, that give a beautiful warm glow but aren’t illuminating the whole room. For a dark paint color to work successfully it’s really important for all three types of lighting to be working in conjunction in a room. Most rooms have some sort of ambient lighting whether it’s pot lights or a ceiling fixture, but it’s the accent lighting I find gets missed a lot.

I’ll also mention that dark paint colors tend to work better in smaller, enclosed rooms – so, a bedroom or powder room. In really large rooms or open plan homes where you can see multiple rooms from one vantage point, a dark color isn’t often the best choice.

I’d love to hear if you’ve been brave enough to go with a dark wall. How did you like it? Leave a comment on YouTube below this video – I would love to hear from you.