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Light or Dark Colour Scheme: Which to Choose?

When choosing a colour scheme for your home, it ultimately comes down to two choices—light versus dark. While following your heart can make things easier, you don’t want to live with buyer’s remorse down the road because you forgot to account for something. To help you make a decision, we played out a few scenarios so you can see whether a light or a dark colour scheme works better for you.

Scenario #1: If your home doesn’t receive a lot of sunlight

Choose: Dark

Design: Rockin Spaces

Unless your home gets in plenty of daylight, you are better off going with a dark colour scheme. Light colours need natural light to reflect and bounce off them; without which they will look dull and dreary.

Scenario #2: If you are planning to sell your home in the near future

Choose: Light

Design: Couple Abode

We’ve been in this industry long enough to know that dark colours are a much bolder choice and therefore less universally accepted. While the trend might seem to go the way of dark hues of late, there is still a strong leaning towards light and bright interiors. So if you are thinking of selling your home in the near future and want it to appeal to more potential buyers, go light.

Scenario #3: If you have a small space

Choose: Dark

Design: Zenith Arc

While it is true that light colours can appear to recede from the wall and make a space feel bigger and brighter, dark colours work just as well in a small space—with the added benefit of being more visually high impact. With small spaces, doing less is always more. The key to using dark colours in a small space is to cover all the walls in a single colour to blur the edges of the room and create visual depth.

Scenario #4: If you are expecting a change down the road

Choose: Light

Design: Happe Design Atelier

If you are looking to change the function of your space down the road e.g. turning your guest room into a nursery or a kid’s bedroom, you might want to hold off on the dark colour scheme and go light. It’s easier to paint over light hues than dark.

» Read: 8 Tips to Designing a Nursery to Welcome Your First Baby + Resources!

Scenario #5: If you are going the DIY route

Choose: Light

Design: Sync Interior

Dark colours are a lot more difficult to paint than light as they require more coats and touch-ups to come through. They also show up imperfections more so you will really need to sand down to a smooth surface before painting. Spare yourself the tedious task and go light—or just get in a professional.

Scenario #6: If you want to feel warm and cosy

Choose: Dark

Design: The 80’s Studio

A light colour scheme feels bright and airy, but a dark interior channels intimacy and feels like a comfortable blanket. This is because dark colours tend to close in on you rather than move away from you. Pair dark interiors with warm lights for a cosy, comfy vibe.

Scenario #7: If you are obsessed with decorating

Choose: Light

Design: Forefront Interior

Love decorating and changing up your space every now and then? Go light, which provides a perfectly clean canvas for all sort of furnishings and home décor. Dark interiors are less versatile, and they speak for themselves anyway with their bold hues so you don’t need much in the way of décor.

Scenario #8: If you want a low-maintenance home

Choose: Light

Design: UNO Interior

In high traffic areas of the home, avoid going dark. Fingerprints, stains and scruff marks tend to be more noticeable on dark walls. Dark colours can also fade over time when exposed to constant sunlight, so you might need to repaint your walls after a few years. Go light if you want a low-maintenance home.

So will you follow the light or go to the dark side in your home? Tell us in the comments!


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