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High-end London interior designer Jo Hamilton delivers stunning luxury interior designs for private clients & developers

How to design a room with sumptuous inky walls

Jo's Notebook blog

Luxury inspiration blog direct from the notebook of high-end London interior designer Jo Hamilton

How to design a room with sumptuous inky walls

Jo Hamilton

Take a look through any interior design magazine, website or newspaper feature and one thing becomes clear — we are getting bolder and braver with colour choices, and that’s a good thing in my book.

Our overnight passion for moody greys has set the tone for this trend and now we’re in full swing. But as wonderful as greys are, and I love them; they are not the only route to achieving moody interiors.

Inky tones have long been a staple in my designs — they are so easy to use and yet they can create such drama. Simply tone them up or down depending on how much of an impact you want to achieve.

There are numerous inky blues out there, but Paint By Conran's Copse is a particularly great colour, as is Farrow & Ball's Hague Blue.

One of the interior design ‘rules’ to remember here is that darker colours are visually advancing, so we can use this to draw the space in and make it feel more intimate. Blues are gloriously calming and serene, but they can make an interior feel cold, so it’s important to understand that effect and balance it with warmer colours, tones and textures.


If you are going to be going down the route of inky blue tones, then warmer metallics should be on the top of your shopping list, and particularly brass and copper — they are an absolute smash with inky blue tones.


Textures are a great way to warm an inky theme. Natural materials like woods and linens, or accessories like books and artwork groupings, work wonderfully to soften the tone.

The Lene Bjerre Depot Frame Shelving Unit would sit in nicely for the first image above, with the La Lampe Gras wall lamp in black satin and copper or the Lyx adjustable poster light in satin brass.


Warm colours are another great way to bring balance. Reds are an option, but yellows and oranges are particularly good with inky tones — they really pop against the dark background.

Be as bold as you like and drape all walls and ceilings with inky tones to maximise the impact, just remember to warm with colours, tones and textures.

If you want to calm the look, knock back the inky theme by using it on just the one wall. You can keep the rest of the room fresh and bright, again balancing it with warm textures.