ColorTherapy Survey: Light or Dark?

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Favored Blacks: RL Black Silk, RL Farmington Green, RL Embassy Purple
Favored Whites: BM Frosty Lime, BM White Vanilla, BM Swiss Coffee

Dark-colored rooms—people either love them or hate them. I listen to this debate all the time: does a dark color shrink a room or not? I’d like to answer that with “yes and no.” A dark color can bring the walls closer towards you, but it also makes the room appear to be vast, like the night...

I remember years ago seeing a photo of a room Billy Baldwin designed in the sixties. It described the paint color as “Coca-Cola,” or what I would call a red black, but it was in one of those Upper East Side apartments with plenty of wood paneling painted white so the color never became overwhelming. I thought this room was gorgeous, and it made quite and impression on me.

I live in the smallest apartment in Christendom (yes, Maxwell, smaller than yours) and have a long, dark brown accent wall. I love it, and it doesn’t shrink anything.

So for the end of small apartment month at Apartment Therapy, let’s take another survey. Who is brave enough among you to paint a small space dark, and what would you choose? Once again, I’ll try to pick fun colors for our options.

- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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