Foyer with wainscoting black doors gallery wall upstairs

My Love for High-Contrast Interiors

I’ve learned that opposites truly do attract and make a room dramatic and appealing.

My love for dark walls was officially born in the Esquire house. The open concept design offered new challenges in terms of making my interior color scheme flow. While I was often tempted to repaint to keep up with the all-white interiors trend, I am glad I stuck to my own style. In the world of self-taught decorating, I’ve learned that opposites attract. In this post I’ll share how creating contrast in my interiors has been my secret weapon when creating classic (and dramatic) spaces in your home.

The beauty of high contrast interior colors by snazzy little things

Dark walls call for lighter furniture and vice versa. By thinking “contrast” in each space, choosing colors (and furniture) for each room has become much easier.

There is a misnomer that that sunrooms should be painted a light color. In fact, I couldn’t get over how bright my sunroom looked after painting it darker.

Getting beige out of my life

Sunroom before: In an attempt to play off the furniture colors that I already had, I ended up with a beige and butter colored space that conflicted with the cooler tones in the rest of my house. It was surprising how the most dramatic part of my floor plan looked so boring with this beige-y look.

Once I went bold with the paint color and changed up my furniture, the result was dramatic. The whites looked brighter and everything popped! Finally a cohesive space that made sense with the rest of my house.

Sunroom with Couch Summer Home Tour 2016
Sunroom, after

Think, “where there is dark, add light.  Where there is something dainty, add drama”.  

It gives your space personality and makes it more exciting!

Doors are a perfect opportunity to add contrast and visual interest using contrasting colors or shades of grey. I’ve become a huge fan of black doors against bright white trim…

Life Isn't Perfect Home Tour Clean Entryway Towels on Stairs

…and of course, my love for black and white photography. This will always be a part of my decor. In adjacent rooms, I chose a lighter color to pick up on the undertones of the darker paint.


Laundry room before and after.  As you can see, dark cabinets paired with white walls made our laundry room so much brighter.

Tween Girl ChalkBoard Wall

Even my daughter’s room has a feature wall that’s dramatic. 

It all started with my kitchen back in 2012.  The backsplash was supposed to be temporary. Even though white subway tile was just becoming vogue, I opted for something different.

Our Kitchen

What decorating strategies have you adopted that work for you and your home? Do you love bold contrasts, or are you in the all-white camp? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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  1. I definitely did contrast. I did all white walls with black doors and trim. We stayed at the Hotel du Vin in Edinburgh and that was their color scheme, with plaids, paisleys and other Scottish prints as accent. I fell in love with it and tried to replicate it in my home.

  2. Susan Krueger says:

    This is such a crisp clean look. Don’t know if I have the nerve to do it.. Did you do the door painting yourself?

    1. Jeanette, DIY Blog says:

      Thanks Susan…I did paint the doors myself. I used Heirloom Traditions paint in Iron Gate. :)

  3. Great post! The contrasting color palette is always classic. I love the black doors against the dark paint colors.

  4. The living room is stunning. Would it be cheeky to ask where your sofa is from or the brand/model? I love it.