Decorating with white used to the default for most stylish homes. A blanket of white paint and some pops of colour was the easiest cool decor shortcut. But deep, dark and rich colours have been quietly gaining ground, until they are now gracing many fashion-forward homes. As well as lending a property some lush and intense warmth, they also hide a multitude of decorating sins such as uneven walls or too much overpainting of traditional mouldings. If you want to try going to the dark side, we’ve got a few tips and tricks for decorating with black. They’ll ensure your home looks sumptuous and sleek rather than dowdy and bleak.
In the Bedroom
A white bedroom is frequently seen as the ultimate in grown up sophistication for bedroom decoration. And although it has an eternal, restful appeal, it’s not always the best option. If your bedroom lacks light or space it can make a room feel pokey or cold. And if you have toddlers; it can be hard to maintain. If all black seems too big a leap if you are just beginning to experiment with darker design, then a monochrome palette with a larger percentage of black or grey is a good place to start. It can also win over a partner who is unconvinced by a bold colour move. This look is very Scandinavian and when used with wood and woollen accents can make for an earthy, sensual feel. If you use black bedroom accessories, such as a throw or black cushions, you can swap them in without much or fuss or expense in the Spring; (Although once you’ve tried the elegance of black and gold bedroom ideas, with highlights such as brass lamp base with a black pleated shade or shiny black bedside drawers, then you may be reluctant to give them up). They can make a room seem very refined with only a few touches, especially important if you prefer to keep your bedroom furniture and accessories to a minimum.
A black window covering such as a Duette can add some drama with warmth, or for a softer and indulgent feel try the undulating fabric vanes of Pirouette. If you want to use black bedroom ideas in a dark bedroom, then better to envelop the walls (and ceiling if you feel confident enough) in a soft black shade, with a brown rather than black base that will keep the look deep but not too imposing. Add in lamps at bedside level to create a glow against the wall, and to make it practical in the day use variable control spots in the ceiling to brighten it up as you need.
Dark kitchen cabinets will become a big story in 2018, as like bathrooms, they move away from looking quite so practical and are seen more as indulgent rooms in their own right. But not the black gloss kitchen or black and white kitchen floor you may have seen before (although the latter never really goes out of style). Instead, matte black kitchens and black kitchen taps will be the kitchen ideas interior designers will be pinning to mood boards. It’s about a sensuous, materials-based palette, not just pure wipe down practicality. Rather than a glossy black kitchen worktop that reflects back light, these will be materials that keep the feel moody and low.
This is a great opportunity to try black walls if you already have a wooden kitchen, as they will transform the look of the wood in contrast. Add in some black and white kitchen accessories (or perhaps even that chequered floor) such as pots for wooden spoons or kettles to pull the look together. And if you feel really committed, black kitchen appliances such as a freestanding fridge make this room feel like a grown extension of a classic sitting room rather than a utilitarian space; ideal if your two spaces are open plan.
A black bathroom may seem counter-intuitive, if a feeling of freshness is the aim. However in a room that can, by necessity, be full of hard edges and angles it can add some much needed quirk, especially in a large bathroom where too much white tile can lend an almost surgical feel. Instead, slate, concrete or black furniture like a freestanding metal stool or the latest trend taking over hardware, matt black taps, will break up these floating expanses.
Here, the black wall paint makes the less exciting areas under the sink recede, the black window sill a more practical place for sticky bottles and jars, and this black window covering lends some 1930s industrial edge. The result still feels practical but with a much more considered, design-led look.
A black living room is a fantastic way to push this trend to its ultimate incarnation. Not only is it brave, glamorous and with a distinctly bohemian edge, it’s actually a lot more practical that you may imagine. Many people get to use their lounge mainly in the evening, so making it rich and welcoming as a matter of priority isn’t such a strange move. As ever with any room, the lighting ideas will be key to making it work all day long; although it will may never have a fresh morning feel, a light-enhancing window covering can keep it feeling bright and suitable for day use (such as the copper fabric of this Pirouette which turns the light into a warmer hue as it filters into the room).
Black living room design ideas can be drawn from all kinds of themes, so if you want to avoid being too period in case it lends some Victorian gloom, look to the clean long lines of mid century modern with its rich teak side tables and sleek lamps. As with the bedroom, grey, black and white living room ideas can be a very versatile option for trying out this look in a room that is very naturally bright; you can use the black more as an accent to make it feel more sensual, with layered fabrics or large statement black furniture pieces like a leather sofa. Just make sure you use enough so it feels confident, rather than a vague addition. Faint heart never won fabulous sitting room.
Like our design ideas for decorating with black? Try our Decorating with Navy for more ways with deep hues.