How To Go Minimal & Moody Without Seeming Too Dark & Sparse

How To Go Minimal & Moody Without Seeming Too Dark & Sparse

Adrienne Breaux
Jan 11, 2014
(Image credit: Vipp via RUM)

Is minimal and moody a look you're hoping to transition to as 2014 continues rolling on? Dark, matte, moody colors create interesting, sophisticated spaces, perfect for those who like bold rooms but don't want startling pops of color. It's the sort of color palette that leads to powerfully dramatic interiors.

Pair that with a minimal aesthetic, and you've got spaces that combine a heightened sensitivity to materials and textures partnered with unusual colors for a unique space. But how do you pull off a minimal and moody look without it looking, you know, too dark or incredibly sparse?

Focus on furnishings.
No you don't have to have an entire room full of expensive designer pieces, but you are going to want to think very strongly about every piece you add to a minimal space. Search for accessories with simple but unique design elements. For furnishings that lean a little in the modern direction, but have beautiful, warm, materials or textures.

(Image credit: Pia Ulin via 20 KVADRAT)

Go with matted, muted colors in many layered shades.
You can pick just one hue — gray would be a great place to start — but consider adding in multiple moody colors, like deep, dark and rich jewel-tones. And then use multiple shades of the colors you choose. This will help the space seem fuller and more sophisticated. More thoughtful.

(Image credit: Holly Mueller)

Use light to facilitate the look.
You know how the rest of a space seems darker outside of the light pooling in from just one source, like a window or a lamp? Use that effect to heighten the drama in a room by keeping your light sources dim, small and slightly obscured (like with heavy curtains, perhaps). This will give the whole room an aura of mystery, but more importantly, make even the cheeriest of colors seem a bit more moody and dramatic.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Embrace architectural details
Spaces that sport great architectural details add a level of richness to a space. But don't think you're unlucky if you don't have your own brick wall or other architectural detail; look for lines anywhere, from an interesting window sill to a mantel or more. Combine with some moody wall paint to highlight (or create) architectural detail.

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