Decorating Dilemmas: Holly’s Dark Dining Room

Decorating around Holly's dark dining room

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.


I’m not sure if I’ve painted this room too dark, if some sort of accent color is needed to break up the green, or if there are ways to brighten it up without repainting. I am completely open to a paint solution if that is the best way to go.

This is our every day family dining room.

I definitely think drapes are needed and I’m wondering if a lighter shade on the chandelier would look okay. The chandelier fixture is new and I can’t return it so that has to stay.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts…

Thanks in advance,

Dear Holly,

Bravo for daring to go dark! Dark moody walls are definitely in but they can certainly be a little intimidating. They can also turn a room into a cozy retreat, add depth and create mood and drama. Let’s add plenty of soft light accents to elevate this space and create a balanced room.

First, let’s add Custom Drapery Panels in Beatrice Black. This beautiful floral with it’s warm taupe and beige color shades, soft whites, gray, spring green and lavender bring pattern and expand the color palette. Hang them near the ceiling for a stunning focal point on your window wall. Our Marquette Indoor/Outdoor Rug in Sand adds a soft pattern of beige to warm up the cooler tones in the room and will separate your dark table from the floor.

The Dehavilland 3-Door Console in Rubbed Cream below the mirrors will provide beautiful serving and storage space. If the Dehavilland is too deep for your space, try the 3-Door Martin Console. A pair of Double Gourd Lamps, perched on the console, will add soft curves to soften the more angular lines in the room and add lovely ambient lighting.  

A pop of color in a pair of Gramercy Chairs, upholstered in Garrison Linen Plum or Microfiber Lime, will break up all the wood and soften the look of your table. We would also suggest recovering the seats of your dining chairs in Bal Harbor Taupe for a little extra detail. Your extra chairs will work nicely on either side of you new sideboard.

The final touch will be the accessories that you add! Choose pieces with color and texture. We suggest you hang Blue Bird Art and Seasons Art for its beautiful color. One option is to move your Garden District Mirrors to the side of the room with the doorway toward your front door. Hang two on each side. Then some other art pieces could go over the console. Lighter background pieces will pop off the wall color and capture your eye. Don’t forget to add some of your personal favorite pieces, a necessary touch to any space. Other suggestions would be a beautiful vintage vase with flowers, a great wall clock or heirloom plates.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Decorating around Holly's dark dining room

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How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.