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The Edit: Moody Interior Design


The Edit: Moody Interior Design
Clara Carlino de Paz
October 25, 2023

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Some are obsessed with clean lines, white hues and an otherworldly sense of cleanliness and calm. Others – those who veer into the dangerous, less orthodox sides of interior design – are willing to take more risks and do things a little differently. If you haven't clocked on yet, we're talking about moody interior design. Known for its use of darkness, glam and drama, moody interior design is going to be your next, favourite thing.

Inspired by our article with celebrity interior designer Naomi Astley Clarke, we're letting you in on how to achieve the look with Portaire's curated directory. Browse over 40,000 curated luxury products from the world's best brands, and access our directory for free, forever. If you don't find what you want, don't worry; we add new products every single month. Get started now.

What is moody interior design?

Moody interior design is all about creating an atmospheric space by using dark colours and rich textures. The colour palette includes deep hues like navy, charcoal, burgundy and mahogany. Ambient lighting and wall sconces enhance the moody atmosphere, with flooring, furniture, decor and art pulling it all together.

Lighting is your best ally

To create a moody interior, good lighting is essential, as without it, the darkness can overpower the whole space. Wall sconces and ambient lighting can be used to achieve a cozy and intimate vibe, and incorporating dimmer switches allows for adjusting the level of light, giving you complete control over the atmosphere. For added warmth and intimacy, consider incorporating candles or even fireplaces into your design. Since the darkness is one of the main features of this style, light serves as a powerful contrast, with which you can create a focal point and make a statement. To do so, clients should invest in a unique and eye-catching light fixture capable of setting the mood and creating a captivating ambiance.

Design by Naomi Astley Clarke – read our exclusive interview here
  1. Berkeley ceiling light - Black by Dowsing & Reynolds
  2. Mahlu 60 by Cameron Design House
  3. Evie - Topaz by Northern Lights

Paint and wall coverings are the protagonist in this design style

Experimenting with dark hues (but not strictly black) is a great way to create a moody interior without making the space feel too dark. Instead of traditional black walls, consider using deep tones like navy, grey, burgundy, warm charcoal, or walnut. By using these rich hues in your paint choices, you can create a moody backdrop that sets the stage for the rest of your moody decor.

Also, wallpaper can be a fantastic option for adding texture and pattern to your moody spaces. If your clients are going for a modern and sophisticated look, try using a monochrome colour palette that includes shades of black, gray, and white. To add depth and drama, incorporate contrasting colours in your design.

And finally, if your clients are more into the minimal, textured look, Microcement or Eggshell and Chalk paints can add that rustic touch that they're craving without edging away from the original dark mission of the design.

Design by Naomi Astley Clarke – read our exclusive interview here
  1. Loving Grey Paint by Yes Colours
  2. Europa Green by Pickleson Paint Co
  3. Microquartz Urban in Onyx by DecΓ³ra Cement

Wood – a timeless element

Incorporating rich wood tones like grey, mahogany and walnut is a great way to infuse warmth and character into moody interior design. Wooden flooring or paneling adds an inviting touch, serving as a timeless touchstone to your clients (even the adventurous ones!). To enhance the depth and texture, mix and match different wood finishes within your space, and use said differences to differentiate between different spaces and functions – this will allow you to have airer, less cramped spaces while still using dark tones. Win win!

Design by Naomi Astley Clarke – read our exclusive interview here

  1. Classic Saint Timber Floor by AH Peck
  2. Fumed Oak Plank, Colour 167 Timber floor by AJK Wood Flooring
  3. Ilchester Grey Timber Floor Small by Ark One

Tiles: dramatically perfect

Tiles can be a fantastic way to embrace the moody interior design trend in a playful, contemporary way. When you choose dark-colored tiles, such as charcoal or slate, you're effectively crafting a dark canvas that injects depth and drama into your living area. Whether you're working on a bathroom or kitchen, using tiles can instill a luxurious and moody ambiance

To enhance visual appeal further, you might want to explore tiles with intriguing patterns or textures; even tiles that are not strictly black but complement darker hues.

Tiles also seamlessly complement other elements like artwork, velvet, rugs, textiles, and even drapes, and by incorporating these elements alongside your choice of tiles, you'll succeed in creating a rich and atmospheric ambiance that transforms your clients' living room or dining room into a moody sanctuary. So, don't hesitate to embrace those dark hues and let your space become a haven, offering respite from the loud and bright outside world.

Design by Naomi Astley Clarke – read our exclusive interview here
  1. Lunna by Cobolondon
  2. Uroko Porcelain Mosaic Navy by Artisans of Devizes
  3. Trilogy - Tortora by Giovanni Barbieri


When it comes to moody interior design, paying attention to the small details like hardware can make a big difference. One option is to go for hardware in dark finishes like bronze or black to complement the overall ambiance. Vintage-inspired or ornate hardware can add character and a touch of nostalgia to your space.

For an eclectic look, don't be afraid to mix and match different hardware styles. This is a great way to incorporate unique textures and designs that enhance the overall moodiness of your space. Whether it's for your kitchen cabinets or bedroom dresser, hardware serves as an opportunity to add intrigue and depth to your moody interior design.

Design by Naomi Astley Clarke – read our exclusive interview here


  1. Queslett Cabinet Knob with Square Backplate-HBN by Armac Martin
  2. Rutland Pull Handle - 12" - Zero Black by Croft
  3. Withenshaw Cup Pull-SCP by Armac Martin