15 Black Room Ideas Proving Dark Can Be Light

Updated 08/12/19

Artjafara/Getty Images

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, 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.

round mirror with gold frame
Wade Logan Mahanoy Modern and Contemporary Distressed Accent Mirror $405
Shop

Pattern Play

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.

black and white geometric floor tile
The Builder Depot Handmade Encaustic Cement Tiles Medina Black $11
Shop

Primary Colors

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.

vintage records print wall art
Cassia Beck Vinyl Collection Poster $15
Shop

Nature Walk

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.

woven magazine basket
West Elm Hyacinth Magazine Basket $49
Shop

Rainbow Bright

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.

lips needlepoint throwpillow
Johnathan Adler Lips Full Dose Needlepoint Throw Pillow $165
Shop

High Contrast

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.

white lacquer oval table
Rove Concepts Tulip Table Oval Lacquer $1345
Shop

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.

white wainscoting kit
Ekena Millwork Adjustable Wall Panels Wainscoting Kit $94
Shop

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) marry all the cool and warm tones together beautifully.

mustard yellow dining chair
Industry West Oscar Dining Chair $315
Shop

Light Therapy

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.

black frame double French door
Jeld-Wen Black Clad Wood French Patio Door $4258
Shop

Plant Base

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.

pine wood single shelf with metal brackets
Danya B Pine Shelf with Metal Brackets $35
Shop

Bed Rock

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.

white duvet comforter
Pottery Barn Essential 300-Thread Count Duvet Cover In White $99
Shop

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.

Set of 4 white frames gallery wall
Red Barrel Studio Creason Wood Picture Frame for Customizable Wall Display $68
Shop

Desk Job

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.

wood top brass legs desk
Houzz Robbie Wood Desk With Gold Legs $417
Shop

Holy Shiplap

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.

6-pack black shiplap panels
UFP-Edge Timeless Midnight Black Smooth Nickel Gap Pine Shiplap $110
Shop

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.

white clawfoot tub
Roswell Jacqueline 5.7 ft. Acrylic Clawfoot Non-Whirlpool Bathtub in White $744
Shop

Related Stories