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My rooms get little natural light – can I paint the walls a bold colour?

The question

What do you think about painting rooms with little natural light a bold, dark colour?

The answer

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I'm not afraid of a lightless room going bold and dark as much as I'm wary of particular colours, such as dark mustard yellow. (In fact, it doesn't matter how much light is getting into a room, as the desired effect is often dependent not on the amount of light but rather the choice of colour and sheen.)

For my money, give me a bold deep red or a chocolate brown, make sure it has a glossy finish and pair it with furniture in neutral shades. Match the drapes to the walls if you wish, then paint the ceiling chalk white and throw in an area carpet that echoes the dark floor.

Remember: Tastes and fashions frequently change; if the room has good bones, you can always switch either the paint colour or the accessories. Typically, when we go to extremes, we eventually end up somewhere back in the middle: My middle is grey.

Dee Dee Taylor Eustace is an architect and interior designer. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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