Dark shades are all the rage at the moment - but it's essential to use them appropriately. Otherwise, your home will look more like a dungeon than a sophisticated space for entertaining friends and family!

From shades like Resene Bastille and Resene Diesel, there are plenty of moody shades that can totally revamp your kitchen. However, it's vital that these deep hues are used in the right fashion. Here are some tips for embracing mysterious colours, such as ink black, navy, slate and shale in one of the most frequented rooms of the house.

As with any home renovation project, don't hesitate to grab a few testpots and sample how a particular hue will look before you make the change.

Horizontal stripes

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Horizontal black or slate stripes look stunning in the kitchen, and are a smart way to embrace bold shades without going over the top.

A white kitchen island with a thick, horizontal stripe running around its perimeter is quirky, without being too daring. Try pairing Resene Sea Fog with Resene Fuscous Grey, for instance. You could add hanging lamps with black chains and paintings in black frames to play up this dramatic feel as well. By incorporating white too, you'll be primed to enjoy a kitchen that's smart, without feeling closed in.

Hanging globe lights

Globe lights are a fantastic solution when you want to embrace black, navy or deep grey in your kitchen's interior design, but are worried about how bright the space will seem. Opt for globe lights that have a warm, yellow glow to them, rather than emitting a stark, white light.

This will ensure the area is lit up in an inviting manner, rather than seeming austere. You can then play around with dark shades, whether on the floors, a feature wall or for a kitchen splashback. Or be totally daring and paint your kitchen's ceiling a majestic hue.

Dark kitchen island

Perhaps dark walls, flooring or ceiling is just a bit much for you. If so, consider embracing black or grey by investing in a quality kitchen island. This piece can take pride of place in your kitchen, acting as a focal point.

It's a great option if you're fond of entertaining friends, enabling you to chat to guests with ease while preparing food. You can also serve up nibbles on your kitchen island, then move into your dining area when the main meals are ready for dishing up.

A glossy or matte kitchen island in a dark hue adds a sense of sophistication. Pairing it with cream walls will help keep the space feeling open and light. When you're cooking, you don't want to be scrambling around in a dimly-lit space, so this is an ideal compromise if you want to embrace darker shades without giving up practicality.

Marble, dark grey and brick

Marble is the ultimate in luxury, used in kitchens and bathrooms around the world.

If you're adamant about embracing dark colours but want to create a space that feels balanced, consider playing up different textures.

For instance, a cream marble countertop, light grey painted backsplash and matt jet black cupboards work together remarkably well. By playing with glossy, rough and matt finishes, your kitchen will have a unique point
of difference.

Plus, the use of light grey and speckled cream marble helps balance out the dark shades of the cupboards. Along with inset lights - think small halogen varieties - above key food preparation and cooking areas and you'll be set!