Edgy & Modern: Dos 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. Or maybe your home is full of bright colors that you need to balance out. Before you break out the black paint, consider these dos and don’ts of decorating with dark accent walls.

When Decorating with Black Walls, Do:

Start with an accent wall. 

An all-black kitchen is a big commitment. One wall, though? Not so scary! You may be happier with black wall accents or just a black accent wall, which is on-trend right now. Even something like a black front door can totally change the feel of your home.

Dark accent furniture in a bright room.

Create contrast.

Create a clean contrast with a pure white or ivory trim that continues throughout the room. If painting a black accent wall, paint the other walls a light, neutral color such as ivory, white, or even a pale gray. Shades of gray for a bedroom can be soothing and striking at the same time!

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.

Assorted decorative mirrors add dimension to a room.

Incorporate mirrors.

Brighten the space with mirrors that reflect light or light-colored artwork. If you have a maximalist style, mixing and matching different shapes of mirrors can create a thrilling visual experience!

A dark bookcase and chair add dark accents to a room.

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. Different shades of black can also bring visual interest and create unique illusions in the room. 

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 wallpaper and gold accents.

Brush up on your painting skills.

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:

Worry about the size of the room.

Sure, black wall paint may seem to shrink a room, but not as drastically as you might think. You can counter the effects of a diminished space by incorporating lighter tones, mirrors, and natural light.

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, dark flooring 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 a wall with a window or door adds an element of interest to the room. Plus, if the wall opposite your black wall is a lighter color, it will amplify the room’s natural lighting!

Force it if black walls don’t fit your style.

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.

Be afraid to take a risk.

Black walls are bold, and it may seem scary! But keep in mind that paint can always be covered. If you don’t like the outcome, there are plenty of tips for how to paint over black walls. 

The Exceptions to the Dark-Wall Rules

Don’t let a lack of windows hold you back.

While choosing a wall with a window as your dark accent wall is recommended, sometimes your space doesn’t have a window or other natural light source (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.

Re-think Your Decor with CORT Furniture Outlet

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!


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