How To Darken Background Css Sidenav

CSS Programming

Have you ever wanted to create a stylish and unique CSS side navigation menu? I’ll show you how to add a touch of sophistication by darkening the background of your CSS side nav. Adding some depth to the background can really make your navigation menu stand out. Let’s dive into the details!

Understanding the Basics

First, we need to create the HTML structure for our side navigation. I usually start with a basic layout using an unordered list (<ul>) for the menu items. It’s important to give each list item a unique ID or class for styling purposes.

Setting Up the CSS

Once the HTML structure is in place, I begin to work on the CSS to style the side navigation. To darken the background, I usually use the background-color property. By setting a specific color value, we can achieve the desired darkened effect. For example:

.sidenav {
background-color: #333; /* Dark gray color */

This simple addition can instantly transform the look and feel of your side navigation. Feel free to experiment with different color values to find the perfect shade that suits your website’s theme.

Adding Personal Touches

As a developer, I always like to add my personal touch to the design. One way to enhance the background is by incorporating a subtle gradient effect. This can be achieved by using the linear-gradient property to create a smooth transition from dark to slightly lighter tones.

.sidenav {
background: linear-gradient(to bottom, #333, #444); /* Gradient effect from dark gray to slightly lighter gray */

It’s amazing how a simple gradient can elevate the visual appeal of the side navigation.

Going the Extra Mile

If you want to take it a step further, consider adding a transparent overlay to the background. This can be accomplished by using a semi-transparent color overlay on top of the existing background. Here’s an example:

.sidenav {
position: relative;

.sidenav::after {
content: "";
position: absolute;
top: 0;
left: 0;
width: 100%;
height: 100%;
background-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.5); /* Transparent black overlay */

By adding this overlay, the background is darkened while still allowing the content to remain visible and accessible.


If you’ve been looking to add a touch of elegance to your CSS side navigation, darkening the background is a simple yet effective way to achieve that. By experimenting with different color values, gradients, and overlays, you can create a unique and eye-catching side nav that suits your personal style and website’s aesthetic.