The Art of Darkness: How to Decorate With Black

The color black has telegraphed mystery and sophistication since the beginning of time, but how to decorate with black is a bit less clear. From the darkest night to the most darling LBD, black can always be relied on to flatter its surroundings and let other shades show at their very best. Why not, then, use black in your interior design? Yes, to the uninitiated it can be intimidating to decorate with black—we’ve all heard how it can make things too intense, too drab, or too depressing.

Well, it’s possible we’ve all heard wrong. Some of today’s most chic, modern, and simply gorgeous interiors feature black, and we’re here to show you how to make this color work (and how to bring the drama!) in any room of your house.

Objects of Desire

For a low-commitment idea, consider a vignette or mantelscape of black objets d’art. Place a stack of black books on a coffee table topped with a brass pineapple or a small Blenko vase (or any objet you love) for instant designer cred. On the mantel, try a grouping of black candles or a variety of objects (picture frames, plaster statues, vases) all in black. The single color will tie the items together and make a statement.


Source: Lonny

If you’d like to take it a step further, try a piece of accent furniture in black. A glossy black Parsons table brings a chic edge to a more bohemian space, while a Louis XIV style chair with a few coats of black will add a light touch to a seriously modern space. Upholster the seat in a great print (maybe zebra!) to add a bit of zing.


Source: Wichmann+Bendtsen/Bolig

Get Floored

Black flooring instantly glam-i-fies a space. Whether you are lucky enough to be installing a new floor in a black hardwood or tile, or you want to re-paint your floor in a glossy black, almost nothing else will snap a room into shape as quickly. For a low touch way to experiment with a black floor, look into a rug, or several rugs to layer.



Source: Haldan Block/Design Sponge

Make Room

A black wall (or walls) feels a bit like advanced territory, but there is nothing else that will give you so much bang for so little buck. If you decide to go for a black wall, choosing a smaller wall to paint as an accent can be an easy and quick way to add a bit of grownup sexiness to a room. A piece of artwork you specially want to highlight will really shine here. If you’re bringing the black to your kitchen, chalkboard paint can be fun as well as functional – use a chalkboard wall to write a grocery list or the menu for your next dinner party.

Black wallpaper will add a city-slick touch to any room. Try high shine black in the powder room, or a snakeskin textured black wallpaper in the bedroom. Ooh la la.



Source: Elisabeth Heier

Go Outside

And finally, using black in your outdoor spaces is a great way for your garden or front porch to look really put together. In the front of the house, consider a black mailbox, welcome mat, shutters or garden pots. For a truly sophisticated welcome, a glossy black front door cannot be beat.

{Featured photo via Abigail Ahearn, by Graham Atkins-Hughes}


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August 11, 2016

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