They say it is all in the details right?
And when it comes to a bold design decision like taking a can of rich, saturated dark charcoal paint to your bookcases and wall- well, the details really make a difference.
I have gotten a ton of questions about the color, type of paint, design elements and why I chose to go bold in the little cottage. And so today- we are delving into a couple of those questions.
This was a hard one. Do you know how many different beautiful colors of charcoal, gray, black and even navy blue paint talked to me? I can appreciate each of them in different ways. But really- from the first time I thought of doing the bookcases a dark moody paint- I was picturing a dark, rich saturated black color.
I found these beauties: Farrow and Ball Pitch Black , Farrow and Ball Soot & Benjamin Moore Black Beauty – which are very close in color to each other and considered a good ‘dupe’ or alternative for one or the other.
If you like a tad more ‘blue’ undertone- Farrow and Ball Railings was another that looked good.
I think I would suggest that you get samples of several and try them in your space. If your room has a ton of natural light- or not much at all- that will absolutely change the saturation and feeling of the color you choose.
I have to be honest- I tend to go against most sheen advice and always go with a semi-gloss or even a gloss paint. I think it is because with the wood plank walls in our house- the eggshell, satins, etc just don’t do well. They seem to absorb much too much light and feel flat and dull. The sheen on the bookcases is a semi-gloss- love the ‘bounce’ it gives to the candles and lights.
I did not use a primer. But if you wanted to- I would have your primer tinted to the color you choose to help layer that rich saturation on. This is also just 2 coats of paint in here- I think if you use a good quality paint- you will get far more reach than a drippy one.
Why a dark color?
My mood. haha.
Recently, I have been a bit ‘moody’ and feeling dramatic with everything going on in the world. Plus- staying home means spending a lot more time looking at walls and dreaming up ideas.
And I love black. I wear black all the time- and I love pops of black in design- especially when paired with golds, brasses, and blush. I feel like it just makes everything feel so rich and elegant- and I LOVE that drama it brings.
Did you paint the whole room?
Just one wall. The bookcases and fireplace are all on one wall- the other walls stayed regular old off the shelf white color. The layout in the little cottage is really one big large shared space- the dining room and kitchen are both in here as well. So this is more of an accent wall.
How did you decide to commit to it?
I woke up one morning and told my husband I was painting the bookcases in the cottage. He guessed another shade of white- since that is pretty the direction I usually would go in. When I told him I wanted to do the whole wall black- he stared at me. Then he asked- AND the bookcases? As in EVERYTHING?
I said yeah. Everything. The fireplace, bookcases, back of bookcases, Everything – it is going to be AMAZING. 🙂
He brought a can of paint home and I just went for it and painted the entire wall and both of the bookcases in a couple of hours.
I did know that I would be painting it for a specific project- but originally- that was going to be more of a charcoal gray than charcoal black paint-I just decided to go for the ‘bold’ at the last minute. 🙂
Where did you get all the books?
I have been collecting books for several years. I pick them up at the thrift stores, tag sales and flea markets- etc. I actually love if they are missing their covers or are on the more faded side also- I won’t pass them up and bring those beauties home. I love the faded and worn books and the texture they bring.
The colorful leather books were my grandparents. They had them all in a bookcase in the living room and I can remember staring at them while I was growing up and thumbing through favorite titles.
I would love to have a collection of vellum books- and enough to fill both bookcases – but they are on the pricey side.
Will you leave the dark bookcase color- or change it back?
I am leaving it for now. For one- I don’t want to get out there and start covering it all up- and I have some holiday photography projects that it is a fantastic backdrop for. And for two- I actually really love how it looks and feels in the room. It adds a chunk of personality.
Are the chairs comfortable?
I have gotten quite a few questions about the chairs. I do think they are comfortable- they are firm and on the small side – the back is not tall for relaxing back into for example- so you could use them for dining chairs.
I love them in the seating group- they really do have such a simple yet charming look with the marble fireplace and gold accents. (side note- They are On Sale through August 14th)
Is the chandelier heavy?
This gorgeous chandelier is made out of a cast metal- so yes it is definitely on the heavy side- but my husband and I put it up ourselves with no issues.
Bold & Beautiful
All in all- using a rich dark saturated color in this room absolutely changed the look and feel- from the moment you walk down the steps – that bold library color envelopes you and makes you feel like getting cozy.
While I generally keep things like wall color fairly neutral- I also have been known to have wallpaper an entire room- ceiling and all- so I am guessing it is that pattern, texture loving side of me that is loving this color in here.
If you are considering doing something like this- I say Go for it.
Paint is one of the easiest ways to change the look of your room- it doesn’t require a ton of money to try it out and it isn’t a huge commitment like taking down a wall or changing a floor plan. If you absolutely hate it- you can paint over it. Yes, a dark color paint will require a bit more paint and effort to go over- but what if you love how it turns out? What if it inspires even more bold design decisions? It might be the thing that makes you find you love a bit of sass on the wall and bold style you didn’t even know you would.
I hope this helps answer some of your questions! I am working on the next room update share – and that should be coming your way very soon.