At one point or another, we're sure you've heard the myth that painting a room in a dark color makes it feel smaller. But that's all it is—a rumor. In fact, we're so confident that dark colors are the best way to open up a room, we're putting our money on the darkest shade of all: black.
The color—or lack thereof—might have a reputation of being gloomy, moody, and claustrophobic, but actually, painting your walls black can open up a space, making it feel larger, airier, and more inviting than you think. Plus, it's a surefire way to add a touch of elegance, creativity, and drama to any room in a single coat of paint.
Don't believe us? Ahead is proof that a can of black paint is just what you need to update every room in your house, from your foyer to your bedroom. And because we're positive these black rooms will inspire you to redecorate, we're also sharing the accessories you need to make black walls feel right at home in your space.
Catch the Light
Mirrors are the Swiss army knife of home décor. Need more natural light in a room? A large mirror will bounce light off of every wall, creating even more natural light. Need to open up a small room? The reflection of a mirror will add the illusion of more space.
The secret to an inviting foyer is to create tons of visuals that draw you in. Play up black walls with accessories—like pillows and catchall baskets—in a variety of patterns and tie it all together with a coordinating tile floor.
Incorporating a lively accent color is the best way to brighten up a dark room. Shop for wall art, area rugs, light fixtures, and pillows that marry black with your secondary color (in this case, it's yellow) in a cohesive way.
Black is a color often found in nature—make it feel even more earthy when you load up on natural fibers. Think jute textures, wood accents, and leather accessories in earth tones. Finally, tie it together with some artfully-placed greenery.
When in doubt, why not bring in a rainbow of colors to brighten up a dark room? Give a moody color an eclectic vibe when you accessorize with picture frames, pillows, and books in hues from every end of the color spectrum.
Taking every opportunity to incorporate more white into your décor will make things feel brighter in a snap. A fresh coat of bright white paint on the ceilings and moldings, white drapes, and a white dining room table will do the trick.
Up, Up, and Away
On the other hand, if you want to paint your ceilings black, we totally support that, too. However, we recommend you drawing the eye up and making the room feel taller when you install bright white wainscoting along the lower half of the room.
The Butterfly Effect
Black is such a cool-toned color; you can't go wrong when you contrast it with warm shades of yellow and gold. Install a honey hardwood flooring, brighten things up with a statement brass light fixture, and accessorize with gold frames and velvet chairs in a cheery shade of yellow. A butterfly print (as seen on the banquette) marries all the cool and warm tones together beautifully.
There's no better way to brighten up a dark room than to let tons of natural light in. The more windows, the better, and that includes gorgeous sets of black double French doors too.
Plants have a magical way of brightening up any room, including a dark, black one. Add a leafy friend to your nightstand or install a shelf and load up on the greenery. A light floor and rug help balance the dark paint, too.
Make your bed the focus of your bedroom (as it should be) when you dress it up with tons of white and inviting textures, like faux fur and heavy knits. A fluffy white duvet is a perfect place to start, because it'll make your bed pop, and it's comfy enough to sink into every evening.
Frame of Mind
A black wall is the best blank canvas to showcase your favorite art in a gallery wall-style setup. It makes the whites of your art pop, and in turn, your art pieces make your black walls feel lighter and larger.
Heavy furniture can make a dark room feel even darker, so skip the drawers and overpowering cabinetry. Instead, opt for a writing desk with exposed legs and simple tabletop that provides all the workspace you need without weighing down the room.
Sure, you can paint an existing wall in black paint, but installing shiplap adds tons of texture and dimension. Even in such a dark color, you can see the light and shadows bouncing off the shiplap in a way that makes it feel lighter.
In the Bath
Accentuate your luxurious clawfoot tub with a fresh coat of black paint on the walls. Tons of vintage treasures, greenery, and natural textures will have you feeling like the queen of your very own French chateau in no time.