Expert advice: Choosing wallpaper for darker rooms
Elizabeth Ockford

Meet Elizabeth Ockford

Elizabeth’s creative talent and passion for colour, pattern, and form saw her study textile design at the Chelsea School of Art before beginning her career, creating fabrics and wallpapers for the fashion and interiors industries.
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Decorating a north-facing room, or space with few or no windows?

A light-starved room needn’t pose a problem – here’s our advice on choosing the perfect wallpaper for your home and aesthetic…

Infuse your room with light

Maximising the light in your room doesn’t mean that you’re restricted to clinical white emulsion – wallpaper can be a strong choice for making a dark room appear brighter. Wall coverings in soft dusky pastels, such as Faroe in pink, pale blue or sepia, will work wonders in a children’s bedroom or nursery.

Faroe wallpaper in sepia
Faroe, Sepia - W-01064
W-01061-Faroe
Pink - W01061
W-01063-Faroe
Blue - W-01063

It’s worth noting that the light in north-facing rooms can be a little cooler, so choosing warm-toned wallcoverings can rebalance this. A wallpaper like Martinique in sunny yellow, with its light warm palette and gentle pearlescent finish, will maximise how much natural and artificial light reflects around the space.

Martinique, Yellow - W-01022
Martinique, Yellow - W-01022

Likewise, a light-toned wallpaper with a subtle print, like Nevis in white/grey or Montserrat in black/white would perfectly suit a living space.

Nevis, Grey - W-01063
Nevis, Grey - W-01063
Martinique, Black - W-01023
Martinique, Black - W-01023

Other suggestions to maximise the light flow in your room include:

  • White or light colours on the ceiling and for the woodwork
  • Streamlined window dressings to avoid obstructing any natural daylight
  • Large mirrors to bounce the light around
  • Pale flooring – we love painted floorboards
  • Low-slung furniture

Embrace the atmosphere

Instead of fighting against the lack of light, why not go with it?

Adding darker, richer colours to low-lit rooms can accentuate the space and create something really interesting. Darker colours absorb light, which makes walls appear closer and the room feel more intimate and cocooning.

If you’re looking to create drama and sophistication in an occasionally-used room, such as a formal dining room or living room, then the rich and vivid tones and larger scale pattern of Pearl River in black or Bahama in wine would work beautifully.

Pearl River, Black - W01082
Pearl River, Black - W01082
Bahama, Wine, W-01051
Bahama, Wine, W-01051

Or, for a cosy and relaxing feel in a bedroom, snug, or study, opt for the woven linen texture of Lucia in black/gold.

Lucia, Black/Gold - W-01033
Lucia, Black/Gold - W-01033
Lucia, Black/Gold - W-01033
Lucia, Black/Gold - W-01033

Checklist...

  • Consider your lifestyle and how you use the space

If you’re mainly going to be using the room in the evening, with low lighting, then darker wallpaper can add atmosphere.

  • Think about the light you’re working with

The light in north-facing rooms typically brings out the cooler tones of a colour, so be aware that anything with green, blue or grey base will appear even stronger.

No matter how much natural light you have, your home can be packed full of style and character when you opt for wallpaper.

We hope our article has given you some inspiration for wallpaper for your low-light space but if you’d like some more advice then please email us and we’ll be happy to help – Enquiries@elizabethockford.com

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