Because of that pesky little thing called work, many of us don’t have the luxury of enjoying our homes during daylight hours. It’s usually after 6 p.m. when we can fully appreciate the fruits of our design labors. It makes sense to decorate a room to look its best at night.
“Evening rooms” are designed to soothe frayed nerves and provide snug refuges from the outside world — a task that makes them prime candidates for cozy, dark colors.
Walls painted in deep shades of brown, blue, red and even green are ideal, especially when they are given a semi- or high-gloss finish. Flat finishes have a tendency to suck the light — and life — out of a dark-colored room, while a glossy sheen will reflect light and create a warm glow.
If you’re especially daring, consider coloring your evening room black, which is not as depressing a color as it might seem. Cecil Beaton’s swank London drawing room had walls covered in black velvet with gold and silver embroidery reflecting glints of light.
Lighting is most important at night. Forgo overhead lights, as they tend to emit an antiseptic glare that is about as inviting as a hospital ward. More attractive by far is a combination of table and floor lamps, as well as sconces, all of which will bathe the space in warm, flattering light.
Pink incandescent light bulbs or lampshades lined with pink fabric will not only enhance your room’s appearance, but also will also cast a rosy glow on faces.
Remember that lamps are not your only friends when it comes to lighting a room. Materials like brass, gilt and chrome act like light amplifiers, thanks to their reflective surfaces, so a smattering of furniture and accessories in these finishes will impart additional glimmer to this environment.
Fill your evening sanctuary with comfortable furniture. This is not the place for ladder-back chairs or antique settees. Roomy, upholstered sofas and armchairs are a tonic for weary bodies, just as tufted stools and ottomans are for tired feet.
Cover furniture in a fabric that is soft to the touch, yet durable. Brushed cotton, velvet, corduroy and certain wool fabrics invite lounging. Silks are rather standoffish and are not conducive to people eating and drinking on them — something that should be encouraged in an evening room.
The finishing touches to your evening room include pleasant music, a roaring fire and books.
From In With the Old — Classic Décor From A to Z by Jennifer Boles (Potter Style, 2013)