Best Paint Colours for Dark Rooms

Best Paint Colours for Dark Rooms

Best Paint Colours for Dark Rooms

Credit: Dulux

First, let’s talk about LRV.  LRV stands for Light Reflectance Value or light reflective value. It refers to how much light the paint colour reflects. For example, the lighter the paint colour is, the higher the LVR number is and the darker the paint colour is, the lower the LRV number is.

High LVR
High LVR colours are between 60 to 100. It is important to understand that a higher LRV means that this type of colour will absorb less light which will be reflected back.

Medium LRV
A medium LRV is considered for paint colours from 40 to 60. it means they reflect an average amount of light that is considered safe to use for exterior or interior paint.

Low LRV
Low LRV colours range from 0 to 40. They are dark colours that are not very reflective. They absorb more light than they reflect.

Colours with LRV higher than 50% will be lighter and will reflect more light back into the room than is absorbed. Only use LRV as a guideline to help you choose your colour.
Do not assume that a high LRV colour will brighten your room. You need light for your colour to come to life. Colours with high LRV need light to get a reflection. You can solve this by adding lighting to your room. 

chest drawer with inlay in a bedroom

Credit: Dulux

Now we have this information, we can start choosing our paint.
If your room needs light during the day, white may not be your colour. You need to find a colour that brightens your space and helps opening up your space. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a colour such as the direction of your space (north facing, south facing…), the shape of your room, its architecture… All these elements will affect how the colours behave during the day.
We also have different tastes and you will have to choose a colour you like and which reflects your personality. It is not always easy.

What feel do you want to create? 
Dark colours will create a dramatic effect and make the room look cosy. Medium tones work best to create a bright space. Neutrals work best in hallways because they are opening things up while a bold and bright colour will work best in a small room.
The type of room you are thinking of painting will impact your colour selection. A dark hallway will need a different colour than a bedroom or a kitchen. You also have to take into consideration which type of mood you want to create.
What you need to remember is when you are painting a dark room, avoid a black base because they absorb the light. For best results, choose shades that have a warm or a neutral base.
Take samples and test a few colours and look at them in the room you are about to paint at different times of the day.

How can you find LRV on paint samples? 

Not all suppliers supply LRV. You can email them for more information about the colour you have chosen. 

Benjamin Moore and Little Greene make an excellent job of making the LRV clear. 

fluted wall in a kitchen

Credit: Dulux

Colours suggestions for a darker room:

Yellow brightens up the space and increases natural light.

light Green Green invigorates your space. It is soothing, calming and strong. 

Light grey with a pink tone can also brighten a room. Avoid grey with black bases.

Light blue adds brightness to the room.

Neutral browns and creamy beige enhance the space and bring a cosy feeling.

eclectic living room

Truly Yummy Things

Welcome! Truly Yummy Things is an interiors, outdoor living blog and sourcebook to inspire you in your search of truly beautiful things for your home and garden.
It is also a sourcebook for houseplants and outdoor plants manual to keep them beautiful for many years to come.
I am a firm believer in recycling old furniture and sustainable products for your home. I like to think that truly beautiful things in our home have the power to improve your mood and make you smile without always spending a fortune.

Recent Posts

Alocasia Care

Alocasia Care

Alocasia Care

Alocasias are part of the Arum family. They are rhizomatous perennial (recurring every year) plant. They thrive in a bright, warm and humid atmosphere. They originate from tropical rainforest of South East Asia. There are about 70 different varieties of alocasia. They can grow very tall. They have ribbed, often oval leaves. Alocasia’s nickname is the elephant ear for a reason. Some Alocasia can reach up to 1 metre depending on which variety you have.

“If you want an ornamental plant, it is plant is for you. They are not the easiest to look after”

Overview

 

Family Origin Temperature
Araceae Asia 16º+
Humidity Light Shape
Love it Indirect bright light Tall group of stem
Watering Toxic Growth
every 3 weeks Yes Medium to rapid
Dormant Period Dislike Repotting
October to March To be overwatered Spring/Summer
a bedroom with a fiddle leaf tree next to a window

Alocasia Stingray, Credit: Patch Plants

Alocasia’s Golden rules

Do not leave your plant in a cold draft or near a cold window
Do not leave your plant next to a radiator
Do not overwater it or let it dry out, keep it moist
Do not leave the roots in constant contact with water for an extended period of time
Do not place it in direct sun

^

There are not for novice houseplant lovers

^

They like moist soil and bright indirect light

Light and Location

They like to be in bright indirect light, a West facing window is ideal. If you put your alocasia in the North facing window, put it next to the window where it has a good amount of light. They need light to grow. They can tolerate a little shade. 

Watering

Watering can be tricky. They don’t really like to be completely dry. The soil needs to be moist but not soaking wet. When the soil is three quarters of the way dry, water it. I typically wait for the top to be dry before watering. Always use water at room temperature. It is better to water your alocasia more often but in small quantity.
In summer, you will have to water your plant more often.
In winter, it all depends on your home environment. If it is very hot and dry, you will have to water more often. You will have to adjust your watering routine to your home’s environment. In general, I reduce my volume of watering and check more often.
If your plant is in the shade, you probably won’t have to water so often.
The key is to water more often but not fully soak the soil.

Alocasia Yucatan Princess

Temperature & Humidity

Alocasias like temperature between 18 to 22° which is perfect for our home.
They love humidity. The higher the humidity, the better they will grow and thrive. Increasing humidity around your plant is a good idea by having a peddle tray under the pot. Fill the tray with stones, add water without covering the stones, and put your pot on top of it. The roots do not like to be in constant contact with water.
Like most tropical plants, they do no like to be near a cold draft/window or next to a radiator.

Repotting & Compost

They like to be root bound and do not like to be repotted too often. The more root-bound your plant is the more often you will have to water them. If the roots are coming out of the pot, I suggest you repot them with new soil but in the same pot. The pot needs to be full of roots before you repot your alocasia.
When you repot your plant, only repot one size up pot.
You need to make sure that your soil drains well. If it does not drain well you will end up with root rot and bacterias. The soil need to be aerated, well drained and keep moisture.

My compost mix is:
15% pumice
10% agricultural charcoal
85% houseplant compost.
I always use terracotta pots as they retain moisture and they are breathable which is great for the roots.

The first time I repot my plants, I always add Rootgrow which is a mycorrhizal fungi. It is entirely natural and plants friendly fungi. Always read the directions for the right dosage.
The horticultural charcoal will get rid of impurities. It airs the soil and helps to increase the drainage and to grow healthy roots. It adds a source of carbon to plants, speeds water drainage, allows good airflow in the subsoil and inhibits the growth of bacteria.

Alocasia Amazonica Polly,  Credit: Hortology

Fertiliser

They love to be fertilised since they have big leaves and they grow big and tall. You can ferlitise them more often when it is most active but do not give them a full dose. 1/4 of a dose each time your water them is good.
I use Plantwork from Empahy. It is a natural plant stimulant that helps plant development.
Worm casting is also another good option.

Propagation

The best time to propagate your Alocasia is in spring or early summer. This is when the plant is coming out of dormancy. If your plant has grown big, pull out your plant from its pot, you should see long tubers. Carefully divide them if you have more than one and repot the mother plant and the division with the appropriate compost mix.

Alocasia Portodora, Credit: Hortology

Cleaning the leaves

Clean the leaves regularly to get rid of the dust. They are prone to spider mites and a regular check is necessary if you do not want to lose your plant.
You can shower your plant to clean it or use a damp cloth and clean the leaves by supporting the leave in your hand. You need to be gentle as the leaves are delicate.

Growth

They are medium to fast growers. They are as quick as dropping a leave as they are to grow a new one. It all depends on where it is placed in your home and your watering routine. They slow down in winter. 

Pruning

They do not require any pruning. When a leaf becomes floppy, you can cut it as it will have reached the end of its life. In my case, my personal preference is to wait until the leave starts yellowing. 

Common Problems

Dropping leaves is often the case when the leaf reach its end of life. It can also be caused by dormancy which is triggered by low light exposition and drop in temperatures. 
Leaf curling and brown leaf tip can be the cause of low humidity.

Leaf transpires is often a case of under watering and low humidity. 

Pests

Always put your plant in quarantine if you have any pests on our plants.

Spider mites can do some damage to your Alocasia.  They are the main pets of the Alocasia.They suck the sap of the leaves and can kill the plant if undetected. They are very hard to detect as they are tiny. You can see their spider web. Use a fungicide to resolve this problem and repeat treatment two weeks later. Ensure that your plant has enough water.

Another way to get rid of pests is to clean your plant with a damp cloth and a little amount of washing liquid. Repeat every week until your plant is cleared. Top up with fungicide.

Truly Yummy Things

Truly Yummy Things

Welcome! Truly Yummy Things is an interiors, outdoor living blog and sourcebook of truly beautiful things to inspire you for your home and garden.
It is also a sourcebook for houseplants and outdoor plants with a manual to keep them beautiful for many years to come.
I am a firm believer in recycling old furniture and sustainable products for your home. I like to think that truly beautiful things in our home has the power to improve our mood and make us smile without always spending a fortune.

Recent Posts

Calathea Care

Calathea Care

Calathea Care

Credit: Patch Plants

Calatheas can be seen in most nurseries as they have attracted our attention with their beautiful striking foliage. 
There are many different varieties of Calathea on the market: rattlesnake plant, zebra plant, peacock plant, pinstripe Calathea, the list goes on. They originate from the jungle of the Amazon in South America. Most Calathea won’t flower in our indoor environment apart from the Crocata Calathea. Calathea belongs to the Marantaceae family. Once the plant is mature, its height can reach 30 to 50cm.

These plants are relatively easy to look after. You will find that the leaves react to the light at a fixed time of the day. They are open in broad daylight and close when the light drops.

“If you want an ornamental plant, which changes shape throughout the day, it is plant is for you.”

Overview

 

Family Origin Temperature
Marantaceae South America 15 – 24º+
Humidity Light Shape
Yes Indirect light, light shade Bushy
Watering Toxic Growth
Moist soil, not soggy Not known of Medium
Dormant Period Dislike Repotting
Slower in winter To be near a cold window or a radiator Spring/Summer
a bedroom with a fiddle leaf tree next to a window

Credit: Palm Centre

Calathea’s Golden rules

Do not leave your plant in a cold draft or near a cold window
Do not leave your plant next to a radiator
Do not overwater it or let it dry out, keep it moist
Do not leave the roots in constant contact with water for an extended period of time
Do not place it in direct sun, it will scorch the leaves.

^

There are so many varieties

^

They need some use to, once you have a good routine, Stick to it

Light and Location

These plants thrive in bright light but no direct sunlight. If you put your Calathea in direct sunlight, the leaves will fade. The sun can also scorch the leaves.
A North facing window is a good location for these plants. However, they can be in any location as long they are away from direct sunlight. They also like a shady spot.
The key is to keep them in indirect light and they will be happy.

Watering

Calatheas like moist soil, but not soaking wet.
In summer, water twice a week with rainwater if you can. If you do not have access to rainwater, let the tap water sit in a watering can overnight, the chemicals inside will evaporate overnight.
The soil should dry out slightly between waterings.
In winter, weekly watering is enough, providing the temperature of your home is not too high. If it is too dry or too hot, spray the underside of the leaves daily. You will have to play by ear about watering your plant and base your watering routine on the temperature of your own home.

Credit: Palm Centre

Temperature & Humidity

Calatheas like warm temperatures. They love temperatures between 15 to 25º+. You can put them outside in the shade during the summer months in England. If the temperatures drop out, as it can often be the case in England, bring it back inside. I would mention that you should not leave your Calathea near a cold draft/window or next to a radiator.

Repotting & Compost

The best time to repot your Calathea is the end of Spring. Yet, if you think your plant needs repotting because the roots are showing at the bottom of its pot, just repot it.
Generally, you can repot your plant once or every one or two years, depending on how much you want them to grow and how they grow.
When you repot your plant, only repot one size up pot.
Calatheas like their soil slightly acidic. Ensure there is good drainage by adding a layer of small clay balls at the bottom of the pot.
The way I make my compost which has proved to be successful is:

50% houseplant potting mix;
30% Ericaceous compost;
10% garden pumice (for drainage);
10% horticultural charcoal.

The first time I repot my plants, I always add Rootgrow which is a mycorrhizal fungi. It is entirely natural and plants friendly fungi. Always read the directions for the right dosage.
The horticultural charcoal will get rid of impurities. It airs the soil and helps to increase the drainage and to grow healthy roots. It adds a source of carbon to plants, speeds water drainage, allows good airflow in the subsoil and inhibits the growth of bacteria.
In their native environment, Calatheas live in moist sandy soil.

Credit: Patch

Fertiliser

Fertilise your plant every two weeks from spring to autumn with half-strength fertiliser. This will promote new growth.
I use Plantwork from Empahy. It is a natural plant stimulant that helps plant development.
Worm casting is also another good option.

Propagation

You can divide your plant if you want to propagate it. Be aware that it will change its appearance.
After you have repotted them, water your plants and keep them in a shady, warm corner for 3 to 4 weeks. Water it when necessary. As soon as you see new growths, you will know you have succeeded.

Cleaning the leaves

Wipe any dirt or dust with a damp cloth. Be gentle not to break the leaves.
Showering your Calathea is an excellent method to get rid of the dust.
Do not use leaf shine on these plants.

Growth

These plants grow at a slow to moderate rate depending on which variety of Calathea you have.
The location of your plant in your home will also determine how it grows. When it is happy and has received the right balance of care and light, it can grow faster.

Pruning

There is no need to prune a calathea plant. You only have to cut yellow or dead leaves.

Common Problems

Rolled and brown leaves is a lack of humidity. Make a humidity tray to increase humidity. You can spray your plant with rainwater or soft water especially in hot weather. You can also cluster a few plants together to create a mini greenhouse.
Brown edge of leaves/tips indicates too much fertiliser, a lack of humidity or fluoride in water. Once more, make a humidity tray to increase humidity. You can also spray your plant with rainwater or soft water especially in hot weather.
Cleanse the soil with water to get rid of too much fertiliser.

Pests

Always put your plant in quarantine if you have any pests on our plants.

Spider mites can do some damage to a Calathea. They suck the sap of the leaves and can kill the plant if undetected. They are very hard to detect as they are tiny. Use a fungicide to resolve this problem and repeat treatment two weeks later. Ensure that your plant has enough water.

Aphides and scale insect suck sap from the leaves and stems of plants. Clean your plant to remove any insect.

Another way to get rid of pests is to clean your plant with a damp cloth and a little amount of washing liquid. Repeat every week until your plant is cleared.Top up with fungicide.

Truly Yummy Things

Truly Yummy Things

Welcome! Truly Yummy Things is an interiors, outdoor living blog and sourcebook of truly beautiful things to inspire you for your home and garden.
It is also a sourcebook for houseplants and outdoor plants with a manual to keep them beautiful for many years to come.
I am a firm believer in recycling old furniture and sustainable products for your home. I like to think that truly beautiful things in our home has the power to improve our mood and make us smile without always spending a fortune.

Recent Posts

Peperomia Pilea Care

Peperomia Pilea Care

Caring for Pilea Peperomioides

I love a Pilea. Actually, I have three as I love them so much. Its look is so refreshing, and to me, it adds a modern touch to my home with a beautiful decorative concrete pot. It is a complimentary plant to Scandi decor but it can suits any style.
Pilea peperomioides also referred to as Chinese Money plant, is a semi-succulent plant from the nettle family Urticaceae, found in southern China.
There are relatively easy to look after, and they grow quite fast. You can put them anywhere in your home as long as they have some light.

“You can spread love and gift little Pilea babies to your friends from your mother plant !”

Overview

Family Origin Temperature
Urticaceae Southern Chin 15 – 25º+
Humidity Light Shape
No Bright indirect light Canopy
Watering Toxic Growth
Light, not soggy No Fast
Dormant Period Dislike Repotting
Not really To be overwatered Spring/Summer
a bedroom with a fiddle leaf tree next to a window

Credit: Patch

Pilea’s Golden rules

Do not leave your plant in a cold draft or near a cold window;
Do not leave your plant next to a heater fan;
Do not leave your Pilea in full hot sun in summer, the leaves will be burnt;
Do not overwater it or let it dry out for a long period of time;
Do not leave the roots in constant contact with water for an extended period.

^

Enjoy it, it is so cute

^

They are easy to look after

Light and Location

Pilea thrives best in bright indirect sunlight. Do not place it in direct sunlight as it will scorch the leaves. A South facing window with indirect light is perfect for your plant. Do not discard a North facing window, if you get sufficient light, your plant will still grow. It is possible to adapt your plant to a lower light level but it will spread out more and its leaves will get darker green. Mine have been happy in any location as long as they have sufficient light.
Peperomioides are very responsive to the light, and you will find that if you do not turn your plant every week, they will grow their new leaves towards the light.

Watering

Water your Pilea once a week. They don’t like soggy soil, let it dry slightly between watering. If the leaves start to drop, it means your Pilea is thirsty. As the weather gets warmer, increase your watering as your soil may dry more quickly. They are semi succulent and they will forgive you if you forget to water them.
You always have to take into account the environment of your home. If you keep your house very warm in winter, watering once a week is fine. My recommendation is for a house’s temperature of around 20 to 22º. It is important to remember that your Pilea does not like wet soil for too long.
I advise you to add some gravel at the bottom of your decorative pot to make sure that the roots are not in contact with water.

Credit: The Stem

Temperature & Humidity

They love temperature between 15 to 25º+. Do not leave your plant below 10º outside or it will die. Our home environment is perfect for them. Remember as most plants, Pileas do not like to be against a heating vent or in a regular draft.
They are semi-succulent and do not require humidity.

Repotting & Compost

The best time to repot a Pilea is in Spring, but if your plant is pot bound and is cramped in its container, you can report it in winter. They like to be root bound, and a size up for your pot should be sufficient. I always choose Terracotta pot as it allows the plant roots to breathe well in the soil due to its porosity. They are a great choice if you tend to overwater your plants and they absorb the water excess which prevents root rot.
Be careful, Pileas have very fragile stems. Be very gentle as you may lose a few leaves when you repot it.

When I repot my Pilea, I use cacti and succulent potting mix.
I mix 1 part of horticultural charcoal with 9 part of cactus compost.
The cactus compost is excellent for these plants as they do not hold too much water and have good drainage. The first time I repot one of my plants, I always add Rootgrow which is a mycorrhizal fungi. It is entirely natural and plants friendly fungi.  
The horticultural charcoal is less dense and gets rid of impurities. It airs the soil and helps to increase the drainage and to grow healthy roots. It adds a source of carbon to plants, speeds water drainage, allows good airflow in the subsoil and inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi”.

Credit: Patch

Fertiliser

Fertilise your pilea once a month during the growing period.
I fertilise my plants all purpose plant stimulant from Empathy or worm castings. It is 100% natural plant food. It stimulates healthy and vigorous growth for all plant. Always follow the directions when applying.

Propagation

The best time to propagate a Pilea is in Spring. You will notice that your plant has a few plantlets when it gets bigger. Dig gently around the seedling and cut the bottom, as deep as you can, with a clean, sharp knife. You can either put them in water and wait for the roots to form or plant them straight in the soil. I recommend planting them in the soil as growing roots in water are harder to take than in the soil.

My propagation mix is:
5%/10% perlite;
95% Westland cacti and succulent potting mix.
The soil needs to be moist. You should start to see roots from 4 to 6 weeks.

Credit: Hortology

Trunk & Growth

When you Pilea is getting mature, it will develop into a small tree.
They grow relatively quickly. In winter, they grow more slowly but still at a good rate. They tend to grow upwards. With time, your pot should be covered of little plantlets around your mother Pilea. You can leave them together, cut them or propagate them.

Branching your Pilea

A Pilea grows upward. To change the shape of your plant and encouraging branching, you can pinch the new top leaves. You can also cut the top and propagate it in water with roots hormones. It will promote branching.

Common Problems

Dropping leaves means that they need to be watered. It could also be the cause of over watering your Pilea. If you have root rot, your Pilea will drop its leaves. Change your watering regime. If it has been overwatered, let your plant dry and change your watering regime.
Yellow bottom leaves and falling leaves can be normal. Your plant will lose its leaves for time to time. You have nothing to worry if your Pilea looks healthy. You can remove the yellow leaves. Soon your Pilea will have new leaves. If your younger leaves are turning yellow, you are overwatering your plant. Let it dry and water again.
Curling leaves could be that you are overwatering your plant. Change your regime, and it should resolve itself. Curling leaves for a Pilea is usually not a problem unless you see your plant becoming unhealthy. You need to make sure that your plant have adequate light too. I read that curling leaves from the bottom could suggest too much water and curling leaves from the top could be too much sun.
Brown leaves suggests that your plant has received too much fertiliser. It could also suggest that your plant has been burnt by too much sun. Always make sure your Pilea is not overwatered.

 

Diseases

Powdery mildew can kill the leaves’ tissue. You will end up with your leaves dropping and your plant not growing properly. You can resolve this problem by using an organic fungicide.
Spider mites are tiny insects which are very difficult to detect. If you see red spots on the leaves with a tiny webbing, use a fungicide.

Thrips are very small insects that feed on the leaf of your plant. They will weaken your plant and transmit diseases as they fly around.

Mealybugs are very destructive insects. They reproduce very quickly. These bugs like to eat from the sap of your plant which won’t help with its growth. You could detect them if you see spots on the leaves, yellow leaves or dropping leaves.

Whiteflies are again very tiny and leave a powdery white wax on your plant. They are bad news as they will damage your plant. They can cause your leaves to drop, and your plant will start looking unhealthy.
All those problems can be resolved with a good organic fungicide. I use an organic Fungicide which works miracles on all the above. There is also no chemicals which is a bonus to me.

truly yummy things

truly yummy things

Welcome! Truly Yummy Things is an interiors, outdoor living blog and sourcebook of truly beautiful things to inspire you for your home and garden.
It is also a sourcebook for houseplants and outdoor plants with a manual to keep them beautiful for many years to come.
I am a firm believer in recycling old furniture and sustainable products for your home. I like to think that truly beautiful things in our home has the power to improve our mood and make us smile without always spending a fortune.

Recent Posts