Don’t get us wrong: we love light and uplifting spaces as much as the next person! But there’s something to be said for dark spaces, too—especially ones that help create the perfect atmosphere for intimate dinner parties. Take these daring and dramatic dining rooms, for example. We think their moody colour and rich material palettes might be enough to convince you to go over to the dark side.

High Contrast

The rest of this Mount Pleasant condo is bright and airy thanks to a white-on-white color pallette—but designer and homeowner Vanessa Stark wanted something different for the dining room. “With so much white, if you don’t have pops of dark, you stop noticing how much white there is,” she says. So she painted the dining nook walls (and ceiling and bulkhead) a deep navy blue. Check out the rest of this gorgeously curated home.

Photo: Provoke Studios

Precious Moments

This 4,000-square-foot Vancouver home has a ton of vintage charm. “We wanted to keep the traditional character alive while adding contemporary furniture into the space,” says interior designer Amanda Evans.

In the dining room (which features trim, crown moulding and a ceiling medallion), that meant painting the walls and ceiling grey, bringing in plush green chairs and suspending a gorgeous light fixture above the table. “It’s the perfect place to sit for hours while eating delicious food and making memories with friends,” adds Evans. See how else this historic home was brought into the modern era.

Photo: Michelle Johnson

Black Beauty

Every room in this 8,000-square-foot Calgary home brings the drama, but we think the dining room takes the cake. The black walls and velvet chairs obviously contribute to the vibe, but so do the glittering chandelier and custom-made dining table. Designers Katie Rioux and Candice Arcuri of DWK Interiors actually hand-selected the tree that was used to create the striking furniture piece, ensuring maximum impact. Step into this fashion-forward home.

Photo: Sharon Litchfield

Big Design Energy

“Moody and dark and sexy.” That’s how designer Brianna Hughes describes this dining room—and we couldn’t agree more. How did she achieve the look? She retrofitted the Bonaldo table with bronze legs, brought in maroon Panton chairs and upholstered the bench in dark brown velvet. Tour the rest of this decadent Calgary home.

Balancing Act

The dark teal colour that the homeowners chose for the walls could have easily overwhelmed this dining room, but designer Reena Sotropa knew how to keep it balanced. She added two pieces of custom art—framed panels of wallpaper featuring crystal-beaded dragons—to lend levity to the space. Check out the rest of this sophisticated, boldly coloured Calgary home.

Photo: Phil Crozier

House of Curiosities

Renowned fashion designer Paul Hardy’s first interior design project is predictably dramatic. “I’m very much a storyteller in my clothing collections, and I do everything with a lot of intention,” he says. For this Calgary home, the intent was for everything to illuminate, educate and fascinate residents and visitors.

In the dining room, two Home Depot light fixtures were mashed together, strung with peculiar items (a vintage doll’s head, a fly swatter) and then spray painted a glossy black. But the drama doesn’t stop there! Hardy took the look even further with mismatched chairs, an ornate ceiling and a dark wall colour. Explore this wildly eclectic home.

Photo: Janis Nicolay

Bowled Over

Peter Rose Architecture and Stephanie Brown Inc. put function first at this family home in Vancouver. But there are some special spaces for the grown ups, too—including the basement lounge and wine cellar, and the dramatic dining room. In the latter, black panelling is dotted with massive gold decorative bowls. “We didn’t just want a piece of art,” says Brown. “We wanted something more fun that felt sculptural—these are a cool installation.” See more of this modern farmhouse.

Photo: Sharon Litchfield

Green with Envy

The dining space is a complete 180 from the rest of this Brianna Hughes-designed home. “I’m all about balancing traditional with more modern elements, and I think this house has a lot of that,” she says. Take the wainscotting, for instance: this classic decoration has been painted a deep green colour. The marble tabletop and maroon velvet dining chairs help modernize the room, too. Check out the rest of this Edmonton residence.