Dramatic Definition: Black Trim

Black is a powerful color (or rather, non-color). It’s daunting (and not advised unless you really know what you’re doing) to decorate a room primarily in black. You’ve already learned about the wisdom of black accents; today we’ll focus on black trim in particular.

Painting your trim black adds definition to rooms of any color. Because trim is typically white or wood, painting it black gives an edgy, dramatic vibe to a room without turning into a depressing black hole. It’s crisp, stark, and graphic, and as a bonus, it doesn’t scuff like light colors do (though it does show dust and dings faster).

Black trim can become a focal point in a lackluster room, perking up uninspired or unfocused decor with an energetic yet sophisticated touch. It automatically attracts the eye, drawing attention away from less-than-lovely aspects of the room and highlighting architectural features and details (or creating an illusion of architecture where it doesn’t exist). It serves as contrast for white or light-hued rooms and complements black undertones in patterned wall treatments.

Defining your decor can be as simple as painting the door or window frame, stair rail, bookcase, or basic moldings:

Family Room by Rufty Custom Built Homes and Remodeling


Bedroom by Christopher Lee & Company Fine Homes


Entry by Kenneth Davis Lux International

(How awesome are those black-outlined door panels?)


Home Office by Meritage Homes
Bedroom by Supon Phornirunlit / Naked Decor
On the other hand, black trim can be elaborate in various features throughout the room (such as matching moldings and chair rails, furniture accents, or flooring) or overhead (like intricate ceiling beams or tray ceilings):
Kitchen by Morning Star Builders LTD


Bathroom by Douglas C. Wright Architects


Living Room by McIntosh Poris Associates


Dining Room by McIntosh Poris Associates


Kids’ Space by McIntosh Poris Associates


Living Room by Croma Design Inc
Hesitant to make a statement? The hallway is a good place to try out black trim (or any big change, for that matter). Halls are generally small(er), transient spaces; you pass through them rather than linger, so dare to go bold without much potential for regret – you won’t be sitting in them ruing your decision:
Hall by Carson Poetzl, Inc.


Hall by Robeson Design


Hall by Anne Decker Architects


Hall by John Kraemer & Sons
Or, if you prefer to go with a more traditional approach, try painting exterior trim first:
Entry by LDa Architecture & Interiors


Exterior by Bowley Builders


Exterior by KUBE architecture

Would you dare to go for drama?


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