13 Dark and elegant moody living room ideas

If you’re on the hunt for a moody aesthetic with tons of character, start your journey with these 15 dark and elegant moody living room ideas.

3 images of dark living rooms with moody interior design
sources: old_victorian_home | ellerhowhouse | thegarthhome

Moody interior design has skyrocketed in popularity. With moody bathrooms, living rooms, and bedrooms replacing the ‘bright and white’ aesthetic, we’re certainly all for the change. Contrary to the belief that darker colors make a room feel smaller, these moody living room ideas prove otherwise.

Adding moody paint colors and decor is a sure-fire way to transform your living room effortlessly. Whether you’re looking to create a statement room or simply want to achieve a moody living room on a budget, there’s an abundance of options to explore.

Let’s dive into our simple moody living room ideas to enable you to create your dream relaxing space to escape.

Rich colors

It’s no secret that opting for darker color shades can result in “shrinking” any small room. However, when thoughtfully planned you can achieve a beautiful cozy atmosphere for your home. This stunning design by @ellerhowhouse showcases the ideal combination of intense moody tones and lighter shades and patterns.

Lighter feature pieces, such as a classic gold chandelier and neutral floral curtains, help to diffuse the darker colors. Selecting a neutral rug also aids with seamlessly combining deeper colors and light flooring such as maple and oak.

Muted shades

Neutral and muted tones are an ideal color choice if bold statement colors are out of your comfort zone. While most moody living room designs consist of intense, loud colors, this isn’t always necessary. Neutral colors such as deep khaki can bring a darker shade to your room without feeling overwhelming.

As seen in Angie’s (@homehouseabode) design, this color scheme provides an abundance of options when selecting furniture and flooring. Selecting brighter shades such as white, cream, and gray can create a lighter moodier atmosphere. Whereas opting for darker shades of gray, navy, or black will achieve a darker vibe.

Color theory pairings

Choosing intense bold colors like mulberry, emerald green, and navy, is often the first choice for achieving the moody living room aesthetic. When designing with such intense color palettes, it’s crucial to find balance with complementary colors and tones.

Utilizing color theory is a simple way to identify the best color combinations based on your chosen wall color. You can achieve this by selecting your primary color and opting for complimentary pieces of furniture and decor. Try to choose items of the color placed opposite your primary color on the color wheel.

This stunning pairing by Kate Pickford of @housebykate is a prime example of color theory pairing, with mauve-violet shades and lime-olive green.

Vibrant shades

Brighter shades such as teal and turquoise are often overlooked for moody decor color palettes due to their vibrant nature. However, many darker shades of these colors are fantastic choices to add a vibrant, playful feel to your living room. This use of an energetic shade of teal has achieved a moody yet exciting design within @edwardianbythewoods living room decor.

If you’re looking to incorporate wall paneling, darker shades such as black or navy may hinder this from standing out. Whereas, colors with undertones of green and blue will allow features such as wall paneling to draw attention and complement your space.

Warming colors

If you’re enchanted by the moody living room theme, but feel it may be too intense, don’t worry, we’ve been there. Thankfully there is an abundance of options to achieve a subtle moody living room decor using dark colors with neutral undertones.

Burgundy walls offer a calming and welcoming feeling to your space, without feeling too bold and adventurous. While this color still has a moody and warm feel, it’s a mass-appealing color with versatility that allows it to work in most spaces.

Gemma Berlyn (@gemmaberlyn) has created this beautiful, moody oasis using Dulux Heritage’s Cherry Truffle. If you’re looking for a lighter moody paint then consider Benjamin Moore’s New London Burgundy, or Green Smoke by Farrow & Ball.

Earthy undertones

Moody living room with rustic and earthy textures
Source: giulianodesigns

When planning your moody living room ideas, embracing lighter shades as secondary colors will bring a neutral and calming atmosphere to your space. Amanda Giuliano’s (@Giulianodesigns) combination of dark earthy tones and lighter natural materials is a prime example of this. This elegant combination creates a grounded and welcoming space by utilizing this pairing.

Combining this color palette with a large neutral rug is a brilliant way to incorporate bold walls and decor with lighter flooring and furniture. Patterned rugs are an ideal style that allows you to cohesively include darker and lighter shades from your color scheme.

Warming balance

When we hear “moody living room”, rich navy blue is often a color that springs to mind. Darker shades of blue make for an elegant statement color. But with a cool undertone, it can leave spaces feeling cold without warming tones to brighten the space.

Neal Clark (@ourvictorianmoneypit) has utilized warm golden and yellow tones beautifully to create a harmonious and comforting atmosphere in this living space. Incorporating these sophisticated shades aids in opening up the space to create visual flow in the room.

Feature walls

Feature walls are a fantastic way to create a cozy, moody vibe for your living room while working on a budget. When selecting your feature wall, it’s best to consider which wall you intend to catch the eye. Statement walls are guaranteed to stand out within the room, especially when working with darker shades.

If you’re looking to take a subtle approach to your decor, then lighter tones are a great way to dip your toe into the world of moody decor. Dove tale, Sulking room pink, and Roasted macadamia are just a handful of colors that help to seamlessly blend a feature wall with a home’s existing color scheme.

Warmth & ambience

The harmonious color combination that was simply meant to be, burgundy and emerald green. Executed perfectly by Casey & Chris (@north_mast_house), this pairing of two interior design color classics creates a warm vintage decor that makes for a cozy space in the home.

Making use of patterned rugs and natural materials such as mahogany helps to tie the decor together while adding warmth to the room. If you’re looking to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere in your living space, then ambient lighting and lamps provide the perfect golden hue to create a cozy atmosphere.

Monochrome design

If your living space is blessed with an abundance of natural light, then you may be questioning if a moody living room is the right choice for your home. The great news is, that lighter spaces provide an ideal canvas for statement moody decor.

Larger living rooms with a strong source of daylight are ideal for creating a bold statement piece. Typically, this is achieved using colors like black, navy, and emerald green. Karla (@old_victorian_home) has achieved an exquisite balance of bright and moody in her period home by opting for an intense shade of black.

Color combinations

When curating a mood living room design, we’re often looking to achieve a warm and welcoming space within the home. Going for a variety of shades such as sage, gold, and black is the perfect way to achieve an elegant design while ticking all the boxes for a moody atmosphere.

When working with lighter paints such as sage, look to incorporate complimentary decorative pieces. As seen in this elegant design by Sam (@thegarthhome), items such as gold-framed mirrors and picture frames work beautifully to add variety to your decor.

This will also help to bring warmth back to the room alongside the cooler-toned shades. If you’re looking to add a final touch of intensity, then consider darker features such as black fireplaces and picture frames.

Classic moody shades

Charcoal gray is often a top contender for a primary moody living room shade, and understandably so. With its ability to create an exquisite dark canvas, it’s no surprise that this classic dark and moody shade has found its way into many of our homes.

This timeless design shade provides a blank canvas to encapsulate your personality within your living room. Whether you’re looking to incorporate a beautiful cowhide rug as a feature piece as @beetle_and_wilde has, or you’re simply looking to add brighter complementary pieces, this moody living room idea is a sure winner.

When working with dark, intense shades, we recommend playing around with textures and fabrics. This will inevitably add warmth and dimension back into the room. Alternatively, opt for a bright white ceiling to create a clean feature that adds height back into the room.

Moody ceilings

Do keep in mind that opting for a darker ceiling can impact the spatial feel of the room. To balance this, incorporate wall decor and lighter feature pieces. Some of our go-to’s are chandeliers, rugs, and throws, showcased perfectly by Donna (@deccorbydonna_). All of these items aid in drawing the eye to both the upper and lower space and rebalancing the room.

With the intense nature of this color scheme, vibrant feature colors such as lime, mustard, and orange work tremendously well to complement the moody vibe while adding character.

For more living room ideas and tips, check out our related posts.

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