Black Walls – 8 Ways to Make Them Work For You

DIY Black and White Kitchen with Butcher Block and Open Shelves
We Are The Brauns

I’ve had this post in draft form for quite a while now wondering – would black walls still be sticking around?  Do we really like them, or are there just a few infatuated designers using them?

Here are my conclusions (would love to hear yours in the comments).

  • Yes, they still seem to be more than a passing fancy.
  • No, they’re not for everyone.
  • Painting a wall or a room black may not be as drastic a step as you think.  After all, it’s paint – one of the easiest things to change in a room.

If you’re debating about whether or not to try black walls, here’s some inspiration and ways to make them work:

1.  Start small

As with a lot of trends, sometimes smaller is better to give you a chance to check it out.  If it’s something you love, then you can do it again on a larger scale.

Junction Bungalow by Révélateur Studio
Home Adore

2. Go low (sheen).

High gloss black paint will show wall imperfections and, in some instances, can feel stark and cold, while a lower sheen can feel softer and more easily masks imperfections.  (A truly matte or flat black can be harder to maintain so satin may be your best bet.)

3.  Add light.

If you’re concerned about a room with black walls feeling too dark, try it first in a room with large windows that let in loads of light.

Even though black walls won’t reflect light like white walls will, the light coming in will obviously make a huge difference.

LA home of Jenni Kayne. love
Architectural Digest

4.  Pair black with white.

Use the black and white trend to your advantage by liberally using white, whether in cabinets, wainscoting, furniture or all three, to make walls pop and give the space a lighter feel.

Laundry room, Charcoal walls, white shelves #laundry
House&Home Magazine via DecorPad

{Related post: 7 Reasons to Decorate With Black and White}

5.  Black walls in shiplap.

Is there really anything that can’t be made better with shiplap? :-) I do love the way Studio McGee incorporated it into this bathroom, don’t you?

White and Black Cement Tile Bathroom Floor
Studio McGee via DecorPad

{Related posts: Farmhouse Style: Slater Mill Dining and Shiplap Walls + 10 Creative Ways to Decorate with Shiplap}

6.  Warm woods.

If black and white is too high contrast for you and you’re more inclined to go cozy, pair your black walls with warm wood floors and trim and incorporate stained wood pieces into your room’s design.

Mod-Home via Brit + Co

7.  Pop them with color.

Yes.  Black walls in a nursery.  It probably wouldn’t be the first wall color most of us would choose, but it actually works in this case.  Especially with the liberal use of white and bold bursts of color.

Wouldn't think to do dark walls in a #nursery, but this works! Love the pop of #turquoise and #coral
Brooklyn Limestone

8. Embrace the mood.

Fully embrace the moody feel that black walls bring to a space.  Pair them with textured fabrics in warmer tones, brown leather, a plush rug, and a variety of other interesting textures like we did in this room featuring our Dana Sofa.

{see the entire room and shop it HERE}

Black walls combined with a cozy mix of textures in warm tones make for a cozy space

What’s your take on black walls? Have you painted a wall or a room black? Would you?

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2 Responses to Black Walls – 8 Ways to Make Them Work For You

  1. Bryan August 20, 2016 at 11:47 am #

    So I have to admit, using black paint can be a little scary to work with but I agree it can be used sparsely, in small spaces to for boldness and to intensify any colors you’re working with. Also an easy way to make a room a bit more masculine and sharp. I’ve had friends use it in rooms which get a lot of natural sunlight to tone done the brightness–great idea!

    • PK August 22, 2016 at 7:30 am #

      I like your point about adding it in small touches to a space for boldness, Bryan. A great way to give a wimpy space some oomph!


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