See How a Dramatic Paint Color Transforms This Home Office

published Feb 13, 2024
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Some folks like their paint choices to be light and bright, while others are tried-and-true fans of dark paint. Designer Harry Young Parmenter (@harryyoungdesign), for instance, has been a member of “the dark side” for a while. “I had always wanted dark, dramatic spaces for myself, and I had actually once painted my childhood bedroom dark brown in the sixth grade, showing early signs of interior design flair,” he says. “I guess it’s been a proclivity of mine for some time.”

Harry’s latest dark-paint passion project is in his Atlanta home, where he uses one bedroom as a home office. “I wanted to add a little more detail to the otherwise plain secondary bedroom,” he says. 

In this professional reno, Harry chose to keep the overall layout of the room the same, but he added storage, function, and a sophisticated gray color palette.

A desk and storage wrap around the window. 

The room came with two small cabinets flanking the large window and a bench underneath it. Although Harry liked the idea of utilizing the space around the window, he wanted to refresh the look of the doors and thought a desk would make more efficient use of the space than a window seat. 

The desk, cabinets, and shiplap walls are painted in a deep charcoal gray (Farrow & Ball’s Downpipe).

Shiplap on the walls makes the room feel taller.

In the beginning of his home redesign, Harry says he actually found himself “making too many safe choices … and ended up having to retroactively add more interest into spaces.”
Aside from the deep gray paint, another way Harry added interest was through vertical shiplap paneling on the walls, which he says echoes the wood details in other parts of his home.

The office is multifunctional. 

In addition to the fresh paint and paneling, Harry added new light fixtures (a flush mount on the ceiling and sconces by the desk) plus a daybed — for reading or working from a comfier spot — and a rug to soften things up underfoot. 

In addition to adding contrast with color, Harry recommends adding variety and personality with fabrics and textures. “It’s never too late in the process to add those pieces that will give your space personality,” he says.