Decorating With Black: 13 Ways To Use Dark Colors In Your Home

Considering painting black trim with white walls? Maybe black baseboards or crown molding, or black kitchen cabinets? See our black paint inspiration gallery, and get our picks for the best black paint colors and how to use them around your home.

You’ll also want to read how to pick the perfect white paint color and see our picks for dark green paint colors and using navy blue in your home.

Black Paint Kitchen White And Black Cabinets And Pantry Remodelaholic SGPH22 H24 (1)

Decorating with Black: Why You Should Say Yes

Let’s be honest: black has gotten a bad home decor rap lately.

White is everywhere, and black has been kicked to the curb a little bit: relegated to being boring, gloomy, blah blah blah.

And you know, that’s just not fair to our dear dark-shaded tones: black (and it’s other dark color pals like charcoal and navy) can have so much impact in small or large doses, without making the room feel dreary or dull (although it does make for a great moody space 🙂 ).

As much as we love white for kitchens and walls, there are just too many lovely rooms out there that use black so beautifully to let us stand back and see black maligned and ignored.

So, here are 13 ways to consider using black in your home to add some drama and elegance to any room.

Give black a chance! 13 beautiful reasons that you should consider decorating with black -- even and especially when you love bright and airy white!

Paint It Black: Using Dark Colors to Add Drama to a Space

One key thing to remember about decorating with black is that it’s surprisingly similar to decorating in white

Like Sarah discussed here,  when you’re decorating in a neutral (or monochrome) shade, you have to give some visual variety by including different hues and especially different textures. Wood and metals, like copper, match really nicely in a modern scheme with black, and use some brighter or whiter tones, too, unless you are going for an all-dark moody feel.

Be sure to check out some of these other Color File posts where we’ve given black its rightful credit 😉 — Best Black Paint Colors — Home Inspiration in Black

#1: Black Painted Trim

When it comes to baseboards and crown molding, many people love pure white, some love a different neutral, and some get more colorful — but black has the effect of being different but yet still classic. Just look at these beautiful rooms!

Black crown molding… swoon (via Huffington Post)

black crown molding in a black and white bathroom (Houzz via HP)

(via Apartment Therapy)

black baseboard and door trim (via Apartment Therapy)

black and white bathroom makeover with black crown molding (Bliss At Home)

The black trim and accents anchor and make this bright white space pop (Bliss at Home).

black doorway arch (Joy Tribout)

Can you get much more glamorous than this gold and chandelier room, with that gorgeous black doorway arch? (Joy Tribout)

No architecturally stunning doorway to accent with black? Any old doorway will do — just paint! (via Desire to Inspire)

dark navy door frame colorblocked (via Desire to Inspire)

black door and trim surrounded by built in shelving (via Remodelista)

Don’t worry — not all your trim has to be black! Even just one piece of black doorway trim can look lovely. And of course, anything with built-ins gets our stamp of approval 😀 (via Remodelista)

#2: Black Window Trim and Mullions

As you’re painting trim, don’t miss the windows! And black mullions are just so classy! (You can DIY your own mullions for your grid-less windows here.) As the folks over at Apartment Therapy said — contrasting trim is like eyeliner for your home 🙂

In this gray and white kitchen, the black window frames and mullions stand out, in a good way 🙂 (Martha O’Hare via DecorPad)

Farrow & Ball Offblack window frame and mullions, with BM white dove cabinets (Martha OHara via DecorPad)

I really like the black crown and window trim plus the black valances and other accents (via Apartment Therapy).

black painted trim in a black and white bedroom (via Apartment Therapy)

Black window trim here accents the tall windows to give this room character (Blair Harris).

black painted window frames (Blair Harris)

Black moldings are right at home in a colorful eclectic room, too! (via BHG)

painted black windowsills and frames (BHG)

Not sure how to change your trim color? Read how Sarah’s Big Idea painted her windows and grids.

how-to paint black windows (Sarah's Big Idea)

Even if you don’t have a window, a mirror makes the room seem larger, and the black frame makes it stand out (via Style At Home).

black painted mirror to resemble window in the living room (Style at Home)

#3: Black Interior Doors (plus paint color recommendations)

Especially when you’re using neutrals on the walls and in your decor, using a dramatic black or dark gray on the doors dressed them up so nicely. I swooned over black doors for awhile before I took the plunge and painted mine the first time in a true black — and then in our next house, in a dark charcoal gray, Iron Ore from Sherwin-Williams (plus see how I made our real-wood Dutch barn door match the color by using it to stain the wood, here). You’ll find each of the door’s paint colors above the photo. 

Read our guide: How to Paint Interior Doors

interior door in Iron Ore, with a real wood dutch barn door colorwashed and stained to match, along a tall white board and batten wall (Remodelaholic)

It’s as beautiful on a front door as inside, too! In Tricorn Black. (Modern Vintage Interiors via Remodelaholic)

black entry door in Tricorn Black

Painting just one door black, with some added crown molding, is a great way to make a pantry door stand out (House of Noise). Color is Graphite by Annie Sloan.

black pantry door with added trim, in Graphite Annie Sloan

Just look at the difference Tasha made over at Designer Trapped using bright white molding with Kettle Black Valspar on the door.

black painted doors, Valspar Kettle Black (Designer Trapped)

Honey We’re Home used a lovely shade, Black Fox by Sherwin-Williams. 

painted black door, SW Black Fox (Honey We're Home)

This is Behr’s Black Suede, used by 7th House on the Left.

Behr Black Suede painted door (7th House on the Left)
dark gray painted front door, BM Kendall Charcoal (The Inspired Room)

If you’re looking for a great dark charcoal color, The Inspired Room used Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore. 

painted black door, BM Graphite (House of Hepworths)

Graphite by Benjamin Moore is another great option, used here by House of Hepworths

Timeless Paper used another Benjamin Moore: Wrought Iron. 

dark painted front door, BM Wrought Iron (Timeless Paper)

And rounding out the top 10: Urbane Bronze by Sherwin-Williams, pictured here from This Is Happiness — black French doors look amazing!

black painted french doors, SW Urbane Bronze (This Is Happiness Blog)

#4: Cabinet Interiors and Bookcase Backings

It might seem counterintuitive, but painting the interiors of your bookshelves or cabinets in a dark color like black can actually help reduce the visual clutter of whatever is on the shelf, as with our built-ins. Plus, we hid a small TV on the shelf… can you find it? 🙂

paint bookcase interiors black (test with paper first to see how you like it)

Not sure how you’ll feel about black bookshelves? Test it with black paper first!

 Get the tutorials to *build your own built-in bookshelves* and *corner bookshelf*.

Contrasted with a bright backsplash, this dark kitchen bookcase backing looks great! (via The Kitchn)

black painted inside kitchen bookshelf (via The Kitchn)

If you’re not full into black, gray works, too — isn’t Thrifty Decor Chick‘s home library amazing?

built-in shelving with painted gray interior (Thrifty Decor Chick)

The Rozy Home hunted down a great deep blue color for the interior of her cabinets:

dark blue painted interior cabinets (The Rozy Home)

Or, rather than painting the backing, using black shelving on a light wall makes for a great statement, especially on this large wall! (via A House in the Hills).

black painted tall built-in bookshelves (via A House In The Hills)

#5: Dark Painted Fireplace

If you have a dated fireplace like we did, sometimes a good coat of paint is in order… See our tips here.

How to paint a brick fireplace Black

Tanya from Dans Le Lakehouse painted her brick fireplace a dark gray for a similar look — featured here. 

Living Before and After with Dark Painted Fireplace, Dans le Lakehouse on Remodelaholic

A black mantel is a show-stopper! (via Better Homes and Gardens)

black painted stone fireplace (BHG)

#6: Black Accent Wall

An accent wall is a great way to give a space some character and color, and a black wall can provide some class!

It’s also a cheap easy way to hide a TV in plain sight! 99 More Ways to Hide a TV/Electronics

In a white and neutral kitchen, a black wall with a large calendar gives depth to the space (via The Kitchn).

painted black kitchen wall (via the Kitchn)

If flat black isn’t your style, give it some textured with a paneled wall (by Life on Virginia Street, featured here).

dark painted focal wall (Life On Virginia Street)
painted black beadboard, bathroom wainscot

Black beadboard gives some drama to a small powder room (featured here). 

And you can make black a little more fun by making it… chalkboard! (via BHG)

black chalkboard walls in dining area (BHG)

# 7: Black Ceiling

Painted ceilings, while a decent amount of work, make such a statement! See some colored ceiling options here, and consider black for a few reasons:

To add drama (via Apartment Therapy)

black hallway ceiling, photo ledge (via Apartment Therapy)

To make a tall ceiling cozier (via Apartment Therapy)

black painted ceiling to make a tall ceiling cozy (via Apartment Therapy)

board and batten wainscot with dark gray wall and ceiling (via sfgirlbybay)

To make a regular ceiling height room feel larger — paint the top part of the wall a dark color too! (via SF Girl By Bay)

#8: Black Kitchen Cabinets

I’ve confessed my love for white kitchens, and our kitchen in this new house is white, too — but that doesn’t mean I can’t admire a dark dramatic black kitchen!

This black kitchen remodel is beautiful! (featured here)

contemporary black kitchen cabinets

Using charcoal instead of a true black lessens the “black” while still having the same dark drama. (featured here)

dark charcoal gray kitchen cabinets DIY
black painted kitchen hutch (Susan Serra, kitchendesigner)

Painting just a section of the cabinets, such as a range hood or kitchen hutch, adds interest to a lighter colored kitchen. (Susan Serra on flickr

Warm up the dark cabinets with a wood countertop (and subway tile never hurts!) — so gorgeous! (via Decorola)

black kitchen cabinets with colorful knobs and wood countertops

#9: Black Kitchen Backsplash

If you’re wanting some drama (in a good way) elsewhere in your kitchen, step it up with a dark backsplash.

A chalkboard backsplash is a great way to change and personalize it as often as you want! Draw a message, a pattern, or whatever fits your style. (The Lettered Cottage).

black chalkboard backsplash (The Lettered Cottage)

Subway tile is classic, and black subway tile adds a modern edge, plus grounds an all-white kitchen. (Urrutia Design via DecorPad) See tips for installing your own subway tile backsplash here.

dark subway tile backsplash, BM Super White cabinets (Urrutia Design via DecorPad)

A full-height brick-style backsplash gives some modern-meets-classic style to this gorgeous black and white kitchen (via Better Homes and Gardens)

black subway tile backsplash in a black and white kitchen, coffered ceiling (BHG)

#10: Black Countertops

This one isn’t so far out there — but black countertops can be so gorgeous in any kitchen! (And it doesn’t have to be granite.)

A coat of black paint turns dated into faux soapstone in this lovely white kitchen (Assortment Blog).

painted black faux soapstone kitchen countertops (Assortment Blog)

Black countertops looks great in a grey and white two-tone kitchen, too! (via Apartment Therapy)

two tone gray and white kitchen cabinets with black countertop (via Apartment Therapy)

A dark gray kitchen looks great with black countetops, too! (via Style Me Pretty)

gray kitchen cabinets with black countertops (via Style Me Pretty)

Don’t love your wood cabinets? Try pairing them with a black countertop like this! Obviously yellowish builder grade oak won’t look quite like this no matter how gorgeous the countertops (and sink!) are, but it’s worth a shot, right? (via HGTV)

beautiful kitchenw ith wood cabinets and black countertops and apron sink (via HGTV)

#11: Black Bathrooms & Vanities

Decorating With Black

Black paneled walls look elegant without being stuffy in this bathroom makeover (featured here).

A classy black vanity was matched with a light blue and white trim in this bathroom (featured here).

black painted bathroom vanity

A marble vanity top plus other patterns keep this black and white bathroom looking fine! (The Shabby Creek Cottage).

black vanity and mirror frame (The Shabby Creek Cottage)

A white vanity and mirror frame and a multicolor backsplash keep this black bathroom bright (featured here).

dramatic black painted bathroom remodel

Painting black or dark gray above a white wainscoting is a great way to add both style and drama to a small room, without overwhelming it (featured here).

black painted powder room

This charcoal bathroom is stunning, thanks to a white vanity and wood toned mirror to break up the dark spaces (featured here).

charcoal dark gray painted bathroom

#12: Use Black to Define a Space

Any time you use a dark, dramatic color, you’re defining a space — but it doesn’t have to be a whole room or an accent wall. Think outside those confines, and use a dark space to define a room or nook in an open layout.

dark purple painted entry foyer (via Apartment Therapy)

Dark purple defines this entry niche, while also helping cut out some visual “noise” by having the shelf and bench the same color. (via Apartment Therapy)

This modern home uses colors to define different areas in an open concept– what do you think? (via Apartment Therapy)

use a dark color to define a space (INT2 Architects via Apartment Therapy)

Decorating With Black

#13: Decorate with Black Accessories

And last but not least — if you’re not ready to slap paint on the walls or cabinets — give black accessories a try! This is one area that black has been popular for awhile, thanks to good ol’ oil rubbed bronze spray paint. It’s great for updating cabinet and door hardware, curtain rods, and just about anything else… including lights (via Liz Marie).

painted black farmhouse light (Liz Marie Blog)

You can also give black a try for office accessories (featured here).

black and white office space

Okay, I know this a door, but I’m now counting French doors in non-traditional places as home decor accessories, okay? 🙂 (Down To Earth Style)

black french door (Down to Earth Style)

This girl’s room is bright and fun, but the black accents help it “grow up” a little bit — and it’s one of the most popular rooms on our site! (featured here)

black and aqua girls room

So, will you be adding more black to your home?

More painted black projects:

Painting your interior doors black gives your home a whole new style, and it's an inexpensive update. Here are 10 black and dark gray paint colors to consider.

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9 Comments

  1. I personally prefer light colors when it comes to decorating, but these ideas are simply awesome! The dark colors here are moderate which is crucial for the good decor! Thanks for sharing!

  2. You don’t really say much about what finish you recommend when painting your doors black, is there any one you particularly recommend?

  3. I’d love to know the name of the paint color used on the black kitchen cabinets with white subway tiles (via Decorola)?

    1. You might get a screen shot to use as inspiration and take it to the paint store–but the light in a room has a HUGE impact on the paint color in any room. If the room has large east facing windows the same black paint will “read” differently than a room with small windows facing north. The best approach is to try a color swatch on your wall, and look at it in the daytime and at night (under artificial light) and pick the color you like best!

      1. Thanks for the comment, Margaret. Yes, lighting makes a huge difference! We appreciate your input <3

  4. I love the grey kitchen with the wood countertops. Would you put stainless steel appliances or black stainless steel appliances?