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This dining room has drama in spades, with a statement light and contrast between the new and vintage chairs. Image via Pierre Emmanuel Martin.

This dining room has drama in spades, with a statement light and contrast between the new and vintage chairs. Image via Pierre Emmanuel Martin.

In the latest instalment of our interiors alphabet, T&W Head of Styling Jessica Bellef shares her top three ways to add some drama to your life – in a good way – by adding wow factor to your home. Want more pro tips from Jess and the team? Enrol now in one of our T&W Style School online courses.

Too much drama in our lives can leave us camping out under the bedcovers, but just the right amount in an interior decorating scheme can be energising, mesmerising and totally pleasing. We are drawn into a dramatic interior and can’t help but drink in all the details and soak up the atmosphere. A dramatic room has ‘wow factor’, a term you hear hosts of home renovation shows use to describe the confident way in which a space has been put together.  Here are three key ways to add some za-za-zing into your home.

Here drama comes courtesy of the modern lighting cluster in a period space and a dark wall behind the bed. Image – Matthew Williams.

Here drama comes courtesy of the modern lighting cluster in a period space and a dark wall behind the bed. Image – Matthew Williams.

Make a statement with lighting
I like to think of lights as the earrings of the homewares world – they add sparkle and polish to a look.  A ‘woweee’ light fitting will instantly add drama to your space, whether it’s hanging from the ceiling or sitting on a table. Ceiling pendants will draw eyes up and make a space feel grand, but if you don’t have the ceiling height to make this work, table lamps with interestingly shaped bases or patterned shades will also add that sparkle.

Classic chairs and retro pink table lamps that echo the colours of the oversized artwork. Image – Susanna Howe.

Classic chairs contrast with retro pink table lamps, which echo the colours of the oversized artwork. Image – Susanna Howe.

Create contrast
Dramatic spaces will always contain contrast, a design element that’s tricky to conjure and steer. Contrast occurs when two seemingly opposite elements are thrown together to create an interesting visual tension. Tension, like drama, is another one of those things that we avoid in real life but should embrace in interiors. For example, a rustic country kitchen table surrounded by sleek modern chairs is an unexpected pairing that catches the eye and adds character to a space. Playing with contrasting patterns, like bold floral cushions on a striped upholstered armchair, is a subtle way of sprinkling some contrast into your room. The trick is to limit your colour palette to unify the elements that are at odds.

UK interiors expert Michael Minns teams dark walls with a striking pink sofa in his Edwardian villa.

UK interiors expert Michael Minns teams dark walls with a striking pink sofa in his Edwardian villa.

Paint the walls dark
The most powerful way to add oomph to a space is to slap dark hues on the walls. If architecturally interesting features are missing from your home, dark walls will add depth and a cool edge to a basic box of a room. Moody, lush hues will create a sense of infinity, despite popular belief that dark walls can close in a space. Feeling extra confident? Paint your ceiling in the same dark shade for a completely intoxicating space. My favourite dark hues to work with are Taubmans Wongulla Night for a charcoal with body; Dulux Harpoon for a deep, dirty navy; and Murobond Drab for a sophisticated khaki.

DramaAbigailAhearn

British interior designer Abigail Ahern is known for the dark, dramatic look.

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