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.
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 🙂 ).
So, here are 13 ways to consider using black in your home to add some drama and elegance to any room.
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.
#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)
(via Apartment Therapy)
The black trim and accents anchor and make this bright white space pop (Bliss at Home).
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)
#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)
I really like the black crown and window trim plus the black valances and other accents (via Apartment Therapy).
Black window trim here accents the tall windows to give this room character (Blair Harris).
Black moldings are right at home in a colorful eclectic room, too! (via BHG)
Not sure how to change your trim color? Read how Sarah’s Big Idea painted her windows and grids.
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).
#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
It’s as beautiful on a front door as inside, too! In Tricorn Black. (Modern Vintage Interiors via Remodelaholic)
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.
Just look at the difference Tasha made over at Designer Trapped using bright white molding with Kettle Black Valspar on the door.
Honey We’re Home used a lovely shade, Black Fox by Sherwin-Williams.
This is Behr’s Black Suede, used by 7th House on the Left.
If you’re looking for a great dark charcoal color, The Inspired Room used Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore.
Graphite by Benjamin Moore is another great option, used here by House of Hepworths.
Timeless Paper used another Benjamin Moore: Wrought Iron.
And rounding out the top 10: Urbane Bronze by Sherwin-Williams, pictured here from This Is Happiness — black French doors look amazing!
#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? 🙂
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)
If you’re not full into black, gray works, too — isn’t Thrifty Decor Chick‘s home library amazing?
The Rozy Home hunted down a great deep blue color for the interior of her cabinets:
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).
#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.
Tanya from Dans Le Lakehouse painted her brick fireplace a dark gray for a similar look — featured here.
A black mantel is a show-stopper! (via Better Homes and Gardens)
#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).
If flat black isn’t your style, give it some textured with a paneled wall (by Life on Virginia Street, featured here).
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)
# 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)
To make a tall ceiling cozier (via Apartment Therapy)
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)
Using charcoal instead of a true black lessens the “black” while still having the same dark drama. (featured here)
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)
#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).
A full-height brick-style backsplash gives some modern-meets-classic style to this gorgeous black and white kitchen (via Better Homes and Gardens)
#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).
Black countertops looks great in a grey and white two-tone kitchen, too! (via Apartment Therapy)
A dark gray kitchen looks great with black countetops, too! (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)
#11: Black Bathrooms & Vanities
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).
A marble vanity top plus other patterns keep this black and white bathroom looking fine! (The Shabby Creek Cottage).
A white vanity and mirror frame and a multicolor backsplash keep this black bathroom bright (featured here).
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).
This charcoal bathroom is stunning, thanks to a white vanity and wood toned mirror to break up the dark spaces (featured here).
#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 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)
#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).
You can also give black a try for office accessories (featured here).
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)
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)
So, will you be adding more black to your home?