Paint it Black! A Guide to Dark Decor

April Kennedy April Kennedy
Lichtscheu – Atelier
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Black rooms are mysterious, sexy and utterly glamorous. They also happen to be a little scary from the home decorator's point of view. While many people love dressing in black, most of us find the concept of decorating with black a bit intimidating. After all, the contemporary trend is always encouraging us towards a lighter, brighter and more open ambience. So it can be difficult to find a lot of great examples or guidance on how to add black to your colour scheme.

But while black does make a room seem smaller, it also has a huge number of benefits. But the key benefit of decorating with black is that it adds a sense of occasion and a very powerful dramatic punch. It also works very naturally with clean, minimalist design and can add a sense of opulence and luxury without cluttering up your home.

So come with us on a tour of 6 black interiors and explore a few tips along the way!

Contrast and presence

This black kitchen demands attention. The black walls, high shelves and black ceiling really draw the eye upwards and encourage one to appreciate the dramatic beauty of the high ceilings. Black interiors are associated with edgy, industrial New-York style lofts and the exposed brick plays into this. At the same time, the key working areas are light and create a powerful contrast to the black elements. It can be tricky to add colours to a black interior, so many recommend keeping to a restrained and neutral palette. But black just makes emerald green sing—just look at the lovely green houseplants for evidence!

Create a warm, sophisticated black bathroom

Bathrooms are the one room in the home that are almost universally white by default. But they can also run the tendency of looking a little cold or clinical without the right accessories. But as you can see here—there's no danger of that in a black bathroom. This black bathroom is very contemporary and minimal, but it also has a soothing, comforting, spa-like feel. If you're considering a black bathroom, look at investing in some mysterious, dimmable lights too. Some even recommend embracing black in a room with little natural light. Regardless, this is one black room where contrast and the right lighting scheme is all-important.

Create some mysterious reflections

Nothing quite accentuates the allure of a black room like some great mirrors and mysterious shadowy reflections. The gloss and shine will add a very elegant touch to any black interior. But aside from the aesthetic advantages, black also tends to suck all the light out of a room and mirrors are a great way of toning down this effect. Check out this black hallway or entrance by Turkish designers 3D Mimari for inspiration.

Liven up your black interior with textures

Hans Road Knightsbridge Boscolo Modern corridor, hallway & stairs Wood Black

Hans Road Knightsbridge


Black is a powerful presence in any room. But the sumptuous matt surfaces tend to suck up all the light in the room and often need visual textures to enliven the design. Look at the decorative black objects here and the geometric dividing wall. Dark interiors are edgy and often industrial, so it's they work very well with contemporary and even experimental designs.

Team black with iron or steel

Hans Road Knightsbridge Boscolo Modern living room Leather Metallic/Silver

Hans Road Knightsbridge


This black bar is another example of mirrored surfaces working well in a black decor. But don't forget that objects can reflect light as well. Metallic surfaces are big at the moment and chrome, iron and steel furniture and accessories work perfectly with black. They often evoke the industrial look synonymous with black. But they are also monochromatic and act as the perfect counterbalance to dark tones. Finally, it's best to reserve black for rooms that are usually used at night. But this doesn't mean they can't be incorporated into key living areas. Just look at this monochromatic living room for example.

Accessorise with gold

We mentioned earlier that black interiors work well with metallics—but the special pairing of black and gold deserves its own entry in this guide. If you love black and want to create a super luxurious interior—gold accents are your answer. Gold creates a powerful contrast but also exudes refinement. If you want to avoid the excessive look, apply gold carefully in the form of pillows, fabrics or even lampshades like this one by German designers Lichtscheu.

If you are interested in decorating with black, you'll love this Ideabook The Cool Black Barn by the Water.

Will you be trying some black decor at home? What do you think of these interiors? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments field below!

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