Color of the Month: Decorating with Black

No matter what the “new black” du jour is, black will always be the new black. Everyone loves a bit of black as an accent color to add some drama to practically any room, but using black as the dominant color is less common simply because it’s difficult to get it right. An all- (or mostly-) black room can quickly become a depressing black hole that swallows everything, or it can be incredibly chic, elegant, and sophisticated.

Be aware that black comes in different shades; there are pure blacks and blacks with various undertones, glossy blacks and flat blacks. The classic combination is, of course, crisp, striking black and white – for extra drama and less severity, add red.

If you’re using black as your main color, it’s imperative that you balance it with something. The good news is, black really does match everything, so adding your favorite accent color is easy with colored accessories. If you’d rather stick to an all-black palette, incorporate texture and patterns for depth and be sure to light it well (natural light is best, but it must be artificially well-lit to avoid a haunted-house feel at night).

These rooms show you how to blacken your home the right way:

Dreamily dark kitchens:

Kitchen by Design Line Construction, Inc.
Kitchen by Tomas Frenes Design Studio
Kitchen by Jado Decor
Kitchen by Smith Designs
Kitchen by Katherine Wills Interiors

Sophisticated yet soothing bedrooms:

Bedroom by The Interior Place
Bedroom by Habachy Designs
Bedroom by Piazza Wohnkultur
Bedroom by Atmosphere Interior Design Inc.

Sleek and chic bathrooms:

Photo credit: Becki Peckham
Bathroom by Jerry Jacobs Design, Inc.
Powder Room by Martha O’Hara Interiors
Blu Bathworks Halo One Piece BluStone Freestanding Soaker Tub
Blu Bathworks Halo One Piece BluStone Freestanding Soaker Tub
Powder Room by Lynbrook of Annapolis, Inc.
WS Bath Collection Concert Collection
WS Bath Collection Concert Collection
Bathroom by The Sky is the Limit Design
Bathroom by Stephen Fletcher Architects

Elegant dining rooms:

Dining Room by Kathleen Ramsey
Dining Room by Orange Coast Interior Design
Dining Room by Roughan Interior Design
Birds on Branches Wallpaper
Dining Room by Kristin Drohan Collection and Interior Design

Cozy living rooms:

Living Room by LDa Architecture & Interiors
Living Room by LeichtUSA

Serious and “manly” spaces:

Family Room by Michael Abrams Limited
Home Office by Design Line Construction, Inc.


Even kids’ rooms, for daringly edgy parents:
Nursery by Orange Coast Interior Design

Or strikingly inky exteriors (balanced with landscaping and take advantage of natural surroundings):

Exterior by r.o.i. Design
Exterior by Giulietti Schouten Architects
What do you think about black? Would you splash it all over your home or reserve it for your favorite little dress?