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Decorating with black brings sophistication, depth

If you use black paint on the walls,

If you use black paint on the walls, balance the room by having a bright, clear white for the ceiling and trim paint. Credit: Dreamstime

There's a color that is at once all colors, yet it's the one most feared in decorating. That color is black.

Although black isn't a color highly regarded for walls, black is coming into favor for decorative use in surprising ways. There are several guidelines for decorating with this shade that are important to know so that everything looks balanced and you keep the hue from becoming too harsh. But if you're looking to make an impact that shows your decorative fearlessness, black is your color.


There's no doubting the drama and intensity of the color black. It's strong and elegant and can be used in any decorating style. Having black accents and accessories is a chic way to add gravitas to your room and unify it. Unless, you want the room to be dark, if you use black paint on the walls, you'll want to balance the room by having a bright, clear white for the ceiling and trim paint.

When you have black walls, play up the color by adding strong, bright accents. Artwork with bold colors pops against a black wall. Good lighting is also important to keep the room from becoming depressing. Layer in lighting with lamps, wall sconces, and chandeliers. If black walls are too much of a stretch, try adding dark floors.

Black boost

There are some places where black simply shines. From front doors to interior doors, a rich, glossy black is as gorgeous and elegant as it gets. Black doors and window frames are especially popular in the modern farmhouse design, but black has always been a classic. Take the black-and-white checkerboard floors. It's a clean, timeless look.

Today, though, black is coming into its own in the new black stainless appliances. These appliances read metal but without the glare and look fabulous against dark or black painted cabinets. Black is also showing up in bathroom fixtures and as a metal option on shower frames. The black color disappears into the background and looks clean and contemporary.


If you're ready to express your decorating derring-do, black is the go-to color. Give a powder bathroom a coat of black paint or try a black patterned wallpaper. Pair with sparkling lighting fixtures and bright white trim and a glossy interior door. Or, go in contrast with white wallpaper featuring a black pattern and finish out the room with black trim.

In a study, what could be more introspective than black? Try an almost-black such as Farrow and Ball Off Black ( Pair with a dramatic lighting fixture and leather tufted sofa for a room that invites you to linger.

In the kitchen, give your island cabinets a coat of black to update it and give it more weight. Instead of white open cabinets, paint the wall behind open shelves or cabinets with black so dishes pop. Give barstools a coat of black or paint the pantry door black. Give window and table linens a black and white color scheme. It makes the perfect backdrop for colorful dishes.

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