We all know that opposites attract, but what do design gurus say about mixing light and dark colors in your home?

Thankfully, the consensus seems to be that there’s no need to choose between light or dark colors in a room because, done right, they complement each other beautifully. We’ll show you simple ways to mix light and dark colors to give your room a chic, balanced look.

There’s a Reason Opposites Attract

Creating an eye-appealing look using light and dark colors is all about balance. Decor that runs the spectrum keeps the eye moving, generating excitement and interest.

The takeaway? Consider these steps as you decorate a room:

  • Pick your colors (black and white, gray and cream, etc.).
  • Pick four furniture pieces – sofa, loveseat, coffee table, and area rug are good examples.
  • Evenly distribute the colors – sofa + coffee table = gray, and loveseat + area rug = cream.
  • Keep in mind that dark colors are visually weightier than light colors.
  • Add decor such as flowers, succulents, throws, ottomans, lamps and wall art.

Let’s look at some examples of harmonious light and dark room designs.

The Bedroom

Decorating a bedroom can be tricky – too little color and it can be boring, too much color and it can be overstimulating, which is the last thing you want when you’re trying to rest. Mixing dark and light tones can be the perfect antidote, especially if you stick with classic colors like black, white, navy and gray.

We love how @theblonderoastblogOpens in a new windowincorporates a dark accent wall, with plenty of lights and neutrals for a jaw dropping space. Our Sorinella bedOpens in a new window makes such a fashionable statement paired with the different textures, colors, and of course, the puppy.

@designinkredibleOpens in a new window serves up eclectic style with different textures alongside plenty of patterning to entertain the eye. Notice how the combination of light and dark meet on the bed, walls, and even the curtains for a grandiose look that’s still well-balanced. And the touch of green? Subtle, yet magnificent—it’s that extra oomph that separates “nice” from “inspired”.

You can never go wrong with a “less is more” aesthetic. @katie_bujnowskiOpens in a new window impresses us with the deep brown of the headboard against lighter shades. Not only does this make the light colors more prominent, but it also draws attention to the lattice patterning on the pillows and bed set. We’ll call this design a win-win, for sure. 

Living Room

The living room is your family’s go-to destination for everything from watching TV to playing board games to entertaining or just hanging out. That’s why it’s the perfect setting for a mixture of light and dark colors, which create exciting visual rhythm. Choose two or three colors and feel free to integrate bright colors into the mix.

Notice how the star players of this room are black and white, yet splashes of color on the wall art, throw pillows and table accents create a gorgeous, cohesive living space. @theatlantahomegirlOpens in a new window kills it with the pop of yellow on the throw pillow, as well as varied textures on the ottomans, accent chairs and rugs.

For a more elegant look, @RONAULI.LIUOpens in a new window used our Fraloni coffee tableOpens in a new window to provide a dark contrast that, thanks to the glass inlay, isn’t too heavy. Paired with black lamps, the rest of the space sings with high style and contemporary glamour. We’re obsessed!

Light and dark isn’t exclusively for glam style, though.@OURSWEETFARMHOUSEOpens in a new window knocks it out of the park with lights and darks in a minimalist chic aesthetic that steals our hearts. Accentuated with textured wood and pale colors, we’re loving how she pulled everything together in a dreamy, modern farmhouse style.

We hope we’ve inspired you to experiment with dark and light combinations. We’d love to see your final makeover. Share your photos with us using the hashtag #MyAshleyHome for a chance to be featured on our blog and Instagram.