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Popular in Decorating

Decorating with Black

Black has withstood the test of time. It's a color that defines the ideals of classic design, and for good reason -- it's bold, it's revitalizing, and it has the power to redirect our focus and add a sense of architectural elegance with the swipe of a paintbrush or placement of a piece of furniture. Here are some easy tricks for incorporating the hue into your own home.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Wow with Ebony Walls

      Are you ready to dive right into this ultraedgy color trend? Paint a small space in pure, undiluted black for instant impact. This trick is great for small spaces that lie in between utilitarian rooms, like the kitchen and living room (think: an entryway, a half bath, or an office). 

    • Shades of Gray

      If you're not ready to infuse your space with a rich palette accented by black, try incorporating softer charcoal tones instead. This saturated color still packs a punch, but doesn't risk overwhelming the space like black can. Layer in a few shades of dark gray to achieve a subtle sense of drama.

    • Ebony Curtains Add Wow Factor

      Hanging curtains along the ceiling is a favorite trick among savvy decorators, but to further the impact, use black curtains. If the ceiling is low, this trick will add the illusion of extra inches, and if the ceiling already is high, the pop of contrast will firmly establish the focal point. 

    • Mix and Match Black Patterns

      When it comes to combining patterns, the first rule of thumb is to pay attention to color scheme. A unified palette throughout -- like this classic black and white scheme -- will bring cohesion to seemingly disparate designs. Pay attention to scale, combining a large pattern with a medium sized one, and then finish with a small, repeated design.

    • Say It with a Sofa

      A black sofa is a sleek alternative to the typical white and beige. To make sure the effect doesn't overwhelm the rest of the space, layer in neutral accents with just a few thoughtful pops of peppy color.

    • Look to the Ceiling

      Don't forget to look up and establish your style there, too! Here, a set of thoughtfully placed black metal drapery rods seem to add the perfect finishing touch to the space. The heavy contrast stops the eye and redirects it back to the homey scene unfolding within the rest of the family room. Black is used throughout the space (within the rug design, the coffee table, fireplace surround, and sofa), so the black curtain rods don't feel out of place.

    • Perfectly Punctuated

      Just as a black picture frame adds punctuation to a piece of art, a glossy black bed frame can bring attention to the focal point piece in your bedroom, too. A black painted four-poster bed frame feels both modern and elegant when balanced by a room filled with softer neutral colors.

    • Black Wallpaper Adds Wonder

      There are certain rooms in a home that can get away with a pop of unexpected interest, and the bathroom is one of them. Let your fancy take flight by hanging a nature-inspired, black-and-white wallpaper pattern around your sink or vanity. The high-contrast character looks especially striking against white fixtures and cabinetry.

    • Layer It In

      Set the mood in your formal dining room with a bold, ebony wall color, then layer the rest of the space with pure black accents. The graphite color of the walls in this room layers nicely behind the black display shelves for a look that feels sophisticated and brimming with intrigue. Perfect the look with neutral furniture and warm wood finishes to balance the rest of the room.

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      Establish a Palette with Art

      Black is a color that is best embraced in stages. If the hue is new to you, try starting small. Wall art is a great place to begin, as it can be layered in over time, and can be changed out easily as the mood strikes. Chalkboard-painted message boards, black-and-white photography and charcoal-framed fine art allow you to settle into the trend without going all-out up front.

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      Try a Textile

      Black fabrics and decorative textiles are another great way to bring the color home without the permanence of painted walls or furniture. Small black accent pillows, tapestries, or blankets give you the dose of sophistication you crave without tying you down for the long haul.

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      Black-And-White Statement Seating

      When it comes to black, a little goes a long way. You can easily establish a high-contrast vibe with a single chair upholstered in an black-and-white stripe. Without another piece of black in the entire room, the thoughtful accent chair becomes a crowd-pleasing conversation piece -- not to mention everyone's favorite place to land.

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      Mantel in Black

      Transform your fireplace into the focal point it was always meant to be with a few coats of pure black paint. When layered into a largely white or neutral space, focus is instantly directed to the fireplace. The pop of classic color also draws attention to the natural architectural details of the space itself -- and all this is accomplished with nothing but a can of paint and a paintbrush.

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      Anchor with a Coffee Table

      Bring the focus front and center with a black, glass-top coffee table -- a great way to accentuate a comfy conversation area. The dark color succeeds in drawing the eye away from less-than-ideal aspects of a space, such as small square footage. Instead, you notice a pretty color palette and feel the stately elegance that comes with those bold black details.

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      Say It in a Stripe

      A simple black-and-white stripe is one of the most classic tricks you can employ in a space. It's a wonderful way to layer in dark hues without committing to a space fully outfitted in the color

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      Throw Some Shade

      Because white lamp shades have largely been the norm, lighting topped with black shades is a beautiful way to mix things up. The crisp edge created by the added dose of contrast makes this dark-hue twist perfect for rooms that are based in neutral accents and furniture.

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      A Thoughtfully Coordinated Collection

      Take the time to plan out the accents in your space. If neutrals rule the room, consider adding pops of black in items like throw pillows, blankets, and frames. This adds visual layering to the room by relying on edgy, high-contrast pairings.

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      Black Does Drama Right

      Black tops the design charts as a color that is impossible to ignore. Give it a chance to really shine on statement furniture, like the buffet in a dining room. When topped with a few statement accessories and accented by black-matted art prints, it becomes a conversation piece worth gushing over.

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      At the Head of the Bed

      We all know black has the tendency to instantly draw the eye, so use this reaction to your advantage -- create a strong focal point for your bedroom with an ebony-color headboard. The ultramodern color can be softened with a tufted silhouette, as shown here. It's the perfect balance of contemporary and traditional design.

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      Floor to Ceiling Style

      Throw caution to the wind with this design trick -- use the richness of black tile to ground your space, then use it on the walls, too. White shiplap paneling from floor to mid-wall gives the eye a visual break, while the top layer of black finishes the look and balances the room's saturated color palette.

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      Next Slideshow Neutral Paint Colors

      Neutral Paint Colors

      With tones as varied as driftwood gray and creamy latte, neutrals are anything but boring. Browse our top neutral paint color picks to find the right hue for your rooms. Plus, learn the best tricks for decorating in neutrals.
      Begin Slideshow »

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