I have been working on a couple small interior design jobs and I am constanlty drawn to dark walls with gold finishes while using industrial fixutures. I am not sure if that means I am maturing (most likely not, ask my friends) or I am finding that it is a sense of comfort to be surrounded by warm colors and less vast open white spaces, hence insane asylum.
It can be a scary thought to take a whole room and paint it in a charcoal grey so maybe start with an accent wall (perferably the one you painted red back in the 80's)
and paint it a color that will bring warmth to the room. A small room can handle a wall or two, a large room can handle all walls I believe, just have a plan of what kind of furnishings and lighting fixtures will go along with that and start the process.
Check out these wall colors and rooms below and tell me if it does not make you feel like you could be on an English countryside settling down with a cup of tea.