When friends ask you what colours you'll be using for your latest decor update, expect a few strange looks when the answer is black.
Rest assured, however, you are not alone in your desire to make this most versatile of colours a main facet of your interior design project.
Among its myriad of uses, black can lend strength, contrast and even a crisp beauty to your room. Far from drenching your walls with black paint and your floors with black carpet, decorating with black means knowing how much to use and just how to use it.
High Contrast Glamour
If you're serious about adding a heavy dose of black to your design space, consider amping up the contrast factor. Leave the rest of your space all white or stick to pale colours such as soft pastels and pale neutrals. As for the black décor, choose black furniture
instead of more classic options such as tans or browns.
Imagine you've painted your walls an extremely pale shade of blue and your floors are a light blonde hardwood. For intense drama, choose black for all of your furnishings. If you prefer a more eclectic look, mix it up and select a few black pieces such as a small table or an upholstered chair. Since black is neutral, it pairs well with everything
so your space will look stunning no matter what.
Have a can of black paint but realize your initial idea to paint your entire bedroom black isn't the best plan? You can still put that paint to good use. If you're decorating with black in your bedroom, consider painting the trim black for a super sleek appearance. Or paint the doors black and hang black curtains to create a sense of cohesion. If you have a four-poster bed, paint it black for a sensational focal point and then add colour throughout at will.
The same theory applies for the rest of your home. In a larger space, for instance, such as a large bedroom or your living room, create a black accent wall
and paint the remaining walls a softer, lighter colour. Hang lighter-hued paintings on this wall or place a vibrantly coloured piece of furniture in front of it for added excitement.
Play With Pattern
When you're not sure exactly where to put the black or how much to use, the easiest way to incorporate this darkest shade into the mix is by playing with patterns.
What is especially useful if you're not ready to commit? Choose a rug. Accent rugs
come in all shapes and sizes and work for nearly any aesthetic and space. If your style leans toward clean lines and minimalism, opt for a black-and-white striped accent rug. If your taste is a bit more relaxed and falls toward the shabby chic end of the spectrum, choose a floral print with a black background and colourful flowers. Once you reach a comfort level with decorating with black, you'll feel confident enough to add a few permanent black pieces into your space.
Go for a Vintage Vibe
So you're a fan of black, but you prefer a distressed
, nostalgic look to your décor. Decorating with black doesn't mean you need to opt for saturated, high-gloss pieces. You can play around with well-worn pieces, too. Keep an eye out for pieces at local thrift stores and antique marts. Look for picture frames, furniture, mirrors and anything black that's been a bit scuffed up.
For a more direct route (unless you're already a re-purposing aficionado) find a retailer which specializes in re-finishing older finds and re-selling them. These types of stores typically let you pick your piece and will create a distressed finish for you. What is even more exciting? You can ask for a contrasting base colour so your “faded” furniture will have hints of colour popping through.
True, that first swipe of black paint or the initial introduction of a black piece of furniture into your home can feel a bit unnerving – but it's extremely exciting, too. There is no colour as deep or as saturated as black so you'll be hard pressed to find anything quite so stunning when decorating your home. Whether you opt for a distressed bohemian vibe or a sleek finish, the visual impact always packs a powerful punch.
By Tarah Damask