Flirting with the Dark Side

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Colourful Abodes with Abigail Ahern event at the Regent Street Anthropologie. Abigail Ahern was our expert and animated guide in understanding the use of dark colours in the home, i.e. going to the dark side! Ahern is well known for her own home and shop, which are both famous for being firmly planted in this mysterious ‘dark side’, as well the amazing range of furniture and homeware sold at Ahern’s shop. I won’t give away too much of what’s in Ahern’s latest book Abigail Ahern Colour, because you should buy it and enjoy every lovely page! To quickly sum up the mini seminar on colour that we had last night, going to the dark side is the easiest way to achieve what Ahern refers to as , “drool-on-the-floor-interiors”. You can have a lovely home with white walls, but if you really want to take it up a notch and showcase every gorgeous piece of furniture and art that you own, just grab a roller and give those walls a couple of coats of the inkiest blue or darkest grey you can find, and one with natural pigments is best. It doesn’t end with the floors, walls, and ceiling paint; be sure to use plenty of texture and pattern!  Also, remember to rein in your colour palette for the edgy and sophisticated look that Abigail Ahern is known for. After last night’s mini colour seminar, I really can’t wait to enrol in one of Abigail Ahern’s day courses in London. If you’re interested in any of Abigail Ahern’s classes, books, or shop, visit Abigail Ahern’s website. As far as my own home, I’m definitely toying with the idea of joining Abigail Ahern over in the dark side! Now to decide which room is first!  

-April from Arne’s House


It would definitely be wrong of me to not share these images of the Regent Street Anthropologie’s windows. The tropical green palette is in honour of Earth Day and to bring attention to the deforestation of the world’s rainforests. All of the printed, folded flowers are made from newspaper! See Anthropologie’s blog for more info and lovely photos!  


2 thoughts on “Flirting with the Dark Side

  1. Hi Arne, lovely article. I was at the workshop myself. Well she was animated, wasn’t’the she!
    I would definitely recommend one of her workshops to anyone interested in interiors, it was a great presentation from a very interesting and well grounded professional who is clearly mad about the dark palette.
    For me it was great to see so many (full house!) like minded individuals as the only reservation I had before going dark was ‘what will others think?’ And I was not sure that the reaction would be positive.

    I am not sure I could go dark all the way (mainly because painting an entire room in railings made it well VERY dark… And you initially feel like you can’t breathe in it) mainly because I love the house to feel light and airy.
    My advise would be (if I could do one thing again) to try a lighter grey to start with – moles breath for example… Downpipe at most. Anything darker and the room will stand out so much that will feel alien to the rest of your place.
    But exactly as one would expect, every single piece of furniture and art just stands out against those dark colours.
    Good luck!


    1. Thanks for commenting and sharing on Twitter! It’s always great to meet like-minded people! Your study looks fantastic! I was just on your site looking at your first transformation for the Surface View competition. Is that the same room or a different study? Both look great, but the recent room that you posted is a bit edgier with the addition of black furniture and clever art choices! It seems that your choices have created the kind of sophisticated and edgy space that Abigail Ahern is known for.

      I love the idea of having dark spaces, but we have a 60’s townhouse which is very light and airy, with plenty of colour. I think I might have to go with bold colours, like a deep teal, rather than dark grey or black, simply to keep the house from feeling disjointed. Thanks for your comment! Looking forward to seeing your home evolve!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s