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Looks We Love: Dark & Moody

by Moooi

Looks We Love:
Dark & Moody

In the spirit of the season, we’re feeling right at home on the dark side,
with designs that are moody, mysterious and ever-so noir.

Written by

The most terrifying time of year is upon us (well, aside from Black Friday) and you might have noticed porches draped in fake spiderwebs and front lawns being taken over by foam cemeteries. But aside from the seasonal decorations that spend most of the year boxed up in the attic, how do you add a little intrigue into your modern design scheme?

For those of us who dally on the dark side, every day is Halloween. This doesn’t necessarily mean our homes are decked out in fake blood and skeletons. Rather, there’s an elegance and timelessness that accompany a slightly spooky vibe, weaving a web of mystery and sophistication throughout your home. And accomplishing a look this bold doesn’t have to be haunting. Here, find some of our favorite tricks (and treats) for a modern design scheme so beautiful, it’s scary.

Literal Lighting

A creepy chandelier is an obvious choice for giving your home a macabre makeover. The Eduardo Chandelier from Currey & Company combines iron strands with brass accents draped over a modern candelabra that flickers right through. For an accent lamp with a macabre edge, try Studio Cheha’s Skull LED Lamp, with a spooky, glowing 3D effect made possible with LED modules.

Illusory Interpretations

For a more impressionistic approach, use decorative lighting that hints at something sinister. Terzani has mastered the play of light and shadow in their sumptuous fixtures, and the Core Half-Sphere LED Pendant is no exception. Its otherworldly frame is wide open to interpretation, from exploding planet to neurological pathways to a many-legged creature guarding its treasures. And Resident has given us the ghost in the Parison Pendant; its melty free-form blown glass diffuser brings to mind a misty apparition (you can tell the neighbor kids it’s just swamp gas).

Furniture with Fright

Aside from dramatic chandeliers and pendants, your furniture can add eerie elegance when viewed in the right light. While heavy carved-wood pieces with foreboding upholstery tacks are common in Gothic styling, they’re too heavy for everyday modern living. Enter Carl Hansen’s black edition chairs, whose curious silhouettes add an element of mystery to the mid-century Scandinavian tradition. And the Bowl tables by Mater have spindly, spidery legs that look just a little bit dangerous (metaphorically speaking, of course).

Photo via Moooi

There certainly can be something unsettling about the one-off piece in the room, the thing that just doesn’t quite fit. But in this case, the Moooi Smoke Dining Chair does its dark duty in grounding an almost-too-white bath, leaving the viewer to speculate about the fascinating creature who prepares her toilette at such a dramatic vanity. Adding just one showstopping piece to an otherwise straightforward modern space focuses the eye on the dramatic effect.

Funky Furnishings

For an edgy rock’n’roll style, take a page from Tim Burton’s book and incorporate wild patterns and a pop of bright color. Think Beetlejuice meets Alice in Wonderland. The confusion of form in the Time Maze Clock by Alessi somehow works with the wild weave of Moooi Carpets’ Utopian Fairy Tales Round Rug and would make a strong statement as the only busy elements in an otherwise dark, sedate space.

Abnormal Accessories

If you aren’t ready for a full-on mausoleum remodel (or your cohabitants aren’t feeling particularly dead inside), search for smaller accent pieces to haunt your home. Paired with a hardware-heavy pendant and the slightly skeletal Artek lounge chair, putting an Eames House Bird on it is less hipster, more Hitchcock. And Alessi helps you turn over a new leaf (more or less) with the Ohhh Gold Scent Diffuser, a spiky, spooky centerpiece that exudes a season-appropriate scent.

Finally, feel free to let your freak flag fly. Adding a bit of levity helps to keep your goth look cool and edgy, not depressing: Think Morticia Addams meets Marcel Wanders. This chimpanzee candleabra from Seletti might make your guests question your sanity, but they’ll never doubt your good taste.