When designer Carla Bendetti and her partner, photographer Jason Clarke, bought their rundown home in Sandymount, Dublin, they wanted to restore the house to its original design but give it a modern and personal twist. The most striking departure from the look of the mid-1800s is the use of enigmatic deep, dark shades. Huge swathes of rich, deep and dark greys stridently set the tone. Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe has star billing with Railings in a supporting role. “I love the way dark colours are especially intriguing when the light falls at dusk,” Carla explains.
The dark palette creates a very consistent backdrop for the rest of the interior design, which is eclectic and quirky with a mix of antiques, industrial finds and contemporary artwork. The master bedroom, which boasts bold patterned wallpaper by Cole & Son, is one of her favourite spaces. Initially she painted it in pale grey and mauve but felt it wasn’t working out. She booked into London design guru Abigail Ahern’s colour masterclass and changed it to a distinctive shade of deep brown. It has transformed the room into a rich, sophisticated space that looks particularly tantalising by night when it twinkles with lamps, candles and fairy lights. Carla is delighted with the results and feels people should embrace dark colours. “Grey for me transforms a space and gives a sense of cosiness and sophistication,” she says. “It just needs a bit of courage to go for it.”
Photography by Mark Scott. For more ideas for decorating with dark shades, pick up the September/October issue of Image Interiors & Living, on sale now.