Edgy & Modern: Do’s and Don’ts of Decorating With Black Walls

There’s something eye-catching about dark, matte accent walls, and as the trend picks up steam, you may find yourself tempted to try one in your own home. Before you break out the black paint, consider these do’s and don’ts of decorating with dark accent walls.

When decorating with dark walls, do:

Start with an accent wall. An entirely black room is a big commitment. You may be happier with black wall accents or just a black accent wall, which is on-trend right now anyway.

Create contrast. Create a clean contrast with a pure white or ivory trim that continues throughout the room. If painting a dark accent wall, paint the other walls a light, neutral color such as ivory, white, or even a pale grey.

Play with patterns. Accent built-ins and other smaller areas with patterned wallpaper elevate the mood you want to achieve. (This looks especially good in a half-bath).

Decorate with light furniture. Light-colored furniture choices will help to brighten up the space. By introducing these types of upholsteries and fabrics, you’ll not only make the room feel more spacious, but you’ll also add an extra layer of seamless contrast.

Incorporate mirrors. Brighten the space with mirrors that reflect light or light-colored artwork.

Use pops of the same color around the room. Tie in the dark walls with pops of the same color throughout the room. Accent pieces like lamps, frames, vases, or bookcases are great options, too.

Have a plan. Decide what kind of aesthetic you hope to achieve before you start. Do you want to go big and bold with a modern theme? Decorate with colorful pop art or black and white everything. Looking to execute elegance? Incorporate gorgeous wallpaper and gold accents.

Research. Are you planning to paint the wall(s) yourself? Be sure you read up on how to paint walls black. Keep in mind that oil-based paint spreads more evenly and is more forgiving but is also harder to clean up than water-based paint. Either way, carefully prep the space, so you don’t get black paint anywhere it’s not supposed to be.

When decorating with black or dark walls, don’t:

Ignore the importance of natural light. The best rooms for dark walls have plenty of natural light. Rooms without natural light run the risk of feeling cave-like, so find an accent wall with a window on the opposite end or on the wall beside it.

Worry about the size of the room. Sure, black walls may seem to shrink a room but not as drastically as you might think. By incorporating lighter tones, mirrors, and natural light, you can counter the effects of a diminished space.

Paint the ceiling the same dark color. Dark walls may not make much difference, but a dark ceiling can make a room feel much smaller.

Pair with dark flooring. Like with the ceiling, this will make the room feel stuffy and small.

Choose an accent wall without windows or a door. Painting a solid wall a dark color can potentially make the room feel unbalanced. Eyes are drawn to natural light, so selecting an accent wall with a window or door adds an element of interest to the room.

Force it. You may find yourself drawn to the trend, but a black room or accent wall may not sync with your vibe. For example, farmhouse and bohemian styles lean toward lighter colors. That’s OK! There are many ways to make a statement in your home.

Panic. If you don’t like the outcome, there are plenty of tips for how to paint over black walls.

Exceptions to the rules:

Don’t worry if you don’t have windows. While it’s recommended to choose a wall with a window as your dark accent wall, sometimes your space simply doesn’t have a window or other natural source of light (like a half-bath or entryway). Moody spaces like these can be elegant and inviting with a large mirror and decorative lighting. Try a glass chandelier in the entry and exposed bulbs in the powder room.

Consider painting the trim, doors, and ceiling the same color. It increases the boldness factor and makes a statement. If a room has lower ceilings, using the same color for the trim can make the walls seem taller.

Break style barriers. Get creative! Is your heart set on a black wall but your home is heavy on the farmhouse feel? Use black chalkboard paint on one wall of the kitchen. For a bohemian aesthetic, try a deep, dark green instead of black for the walls and decorate with eclectic details.

In some cases, incorporating a dark accent wall into your space will call for re-thinking your decor. Find gently-used whole-room furniture sets, accent pieces, and decor by shopping at your local CORT Furniture Outlet. You’ll find an always-changing inventory of furniture and home decor that’s up to 70% off retail prices! You can shop in-store or online and take your treasures home the same day — don’t wait weeks for furniture delivery like you would with other retailers. Make your home beautiful today by visiting CORT Furniture Outlet!