Trend Dealing: How to Do Black Walls

Sometimes interior design trends come along and they feel right and natural – like something you already knew about subconsciously and just needed a little push to see. Other times you read about trends and wonder how in the world anyone can make that work in their homes.

Are you ready for the latest design trend: black walls?

For example, one of the hottest new trends in interior design circles is black walls. That’s right – walls painted black. While this might seem kind of crazy at first, when done well, dark walls can result in a super-sophisticated look that will wow your guests. Of course, done poorly and all you have are darkly painted walls which can be as awful as you’re probably imagining. So how do you deal with the new trend?

Think Light

Your first order of business if you want to try out this trend is to choose the right room for it. Any room of the house can work with dark walls, actually – even the kitchen (imagine the wall of sleek black cabinetry) – but the key to selecting the right room is the light that the room gets. In a nutshell, you don’t want to take a room that doesn’t get much natural light and make the walls black – you’ll just end up with a depressingly dark room.

If you're going with black walls, you'll need to think carefully about lighting.

You might also consider installing some great track lighting or other lighting options to ensure that the room is always well-lit. Finally, combat the sense of heaviness that black gives a room by using a very high-gloss paint that bounces the light around.

Think Contrast

Walls painted black need a lot of contrast in the other aspects of the room or else they will overwhelm everything. However, the wrong way to approach the need for contrast is with the furniture, which is usually everyone’s first instinct. But having light furniture will look very obvious, even to untrained eyes. People may not be able to articulate why the room feels ‘off’ to them, but it most likely will.

Instead, add contrast with the ceiling and floor. White is deprecated here; having white ceilings and flooring will make the room feel monochrome, ironically. Instead, think of a subtle colour to paint or cover the ceiling and floors that will warm up the black a little – a yellow or green works well, or even just a white that’s a little creamier than pure white.

Some colours compliment black walls beautifully.

Think Shade

Finally, don’t be simplistic. Like any other colour, black has a palette, and painting built-ins or other architectural features on the walls a subtly different shade of black (edging into dark grey) is a great way to bring depth and interest to black walls and give the room a sense of complexity.

Riding the design trends will keep you creative and current, but it can be a little exhausting now and then. The trick is to think deeply about every option. And if you need some art to lighten up a room you recently painted black, click here and we’d be happy to use your photos to help solve that particular design quandary.