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. "Think about closing your eyes or going into a dark space, the boundaries are endless and this is the very same illusion that painting your walls black provides," says designer Justin Williams.
Meet the Expert
Justin Williams is an interior designer, furniture designer, and part of the "HGTV Design Star Next Gen" cast.
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.
Play With Pattern
The secret to an inviting bedroom is to create tons of visuals that draw you in. Play up black walls with accessories—like pillows and textiles—in a variety of patterns, and tie it all together with a coordinating blanket and roman shade.
Add a Mirror
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.
If an all-black paint job scares you, you can still utilize the color from ceiling to floor without having it feel too dark. The answer? Wallpaper. Choose a black paper with a small-scale pattern that lets a tiny bit of a contrasting color in. The overall effect is dark and moody, without feeling too dark.
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.
Nothing feels more sleek, sophisticated, and sexy than matte black. While you could opt for matte black appliances, consider trying out matte black paint instead. "I understand that a major concern of painting your walls black is that it'll shrink the space, however it can actually do the complete opposite and help to expand the space by adding depth," Wiliams says. When going matte, the lack of sheen makes the color feel slightly more subdued. If going all out with the walls feels too much, take a cue from this kitchen and paint your cabinetry and hood. Bring the contrast in with white walls.
Make Your Bed the Focal Point
Make your bed the focus of your black bedroom (as it should be) and dress it up with tons of white. A fluffy white duvet is a perfect place to start because it'll make your bed pop. Bonus? It's so comfy, you'll want to sink into it every evening.
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 cabinets and moldings, white shades, and white countertops will do the trick.
Consider the Light
There's no better way to brighten up a dark room than to let in tons of natural light. The more windows, the better, Skip window treatments to encourage even more natural light.