Home Decorating Interiors 101: Decorating With Black

Interiors 101: Decorating With Black

If you scroll through Instagram or flip through a shelter magazine, you’ll notice that black is having a moment in the world of interiors. From exterior paint colors to kitchen appliances and even hardware finishes, black is everywhere. But black isn’t just today’s trendy hue, it is a classic, neutral that has been used in homes as long as people have been decorating their dwellings (seriously, take a look at those cave drawings: lots of black!). If you’re new to decorating with black, here’s what you need to know to try the deep, dark hue:

There’s a reason black is ubiquitous: Black lends a room contrast, depth, and focus. Some decorators even argue that every room needs at least a touch of black—even a pastel nursery or a white-on-white bedroom. Used sparingly, black is a subtle, finishing touch to a room; employed in abundance black has the power to change the entire feeling of a space.

Today’s interiors use black in a fresh way that is neither spooky-Goth or bad 80s. Spinning off the popular farmhouse modern trend, today black is often paired with white and natural wood or leather. Used in balance with contrasting elements like this, black does not overwhelm.

Black is the ultimate neutral—the actual absence of color—making it an easy hue to play with: Shades of ebony match everything and instantly add interest to whatever space they are used in. Black can also be used in edgy modern settings or rustic country ones and never feel out of place. 

A quick glance at these eight rooms reveals the power of black: It draws your eye to it no matter where it is used. Painted on the back of built-in cabinetry, black turns the items on display into a works of art. A black accent wall or an all-black room can make a space feel larger or more intimate, depending on the rest of the decor. Black can conceal the fact that a room gets poor daylight. Added as an accent, it gives an all-white kitchen modern edge. Black does it all!

If you’re nervous to play with black, start small. A black and white piece of art or a black light fixture are easy ways to start working the midnight hue into your home. Black and white textiles are another versatile way to weave in black: A throw pillow, accent blanket, or area rug with black accents will add definition and energy to your space.


“I had initially painted my fireplace white, but I changed it to black to echo the black paint on the staircase. I also chose black for the lower cabinets in my kitchen and for both of the half baths, where continuing the color onto the ceiling gives you a feeling of height and space. Threading the black from room to room gives my home a consistent look.”
Rebekah Higgs, DIY Mom


“For the two guest bedrooms in a recent project, we definitely went dark, utilizing black as a major design component in wallcoverings, paint and accessories. But to keep things from feeling a little too moody, we brought in lots of lighter tones through soft bed linens, textiles and vibrant art. The results are balanced bedrooms that are equal parts compelling and calming.”
– Bobby Berk

1 Eyes On You Art | 2 Geo Shapes/Set of 3 | 3 Clive Knit Black/Ivory Blanket | 4 Grant Art | 5 Figure Study Art | 6 Tucker Wall Sconce | 7 Kipling Throw | 8 Tasha Rug Bench | 9 Kumi Jacquered Decorative Pillow

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