Luxury Bathroom : modern Bathroom by Studio Hooton

​The homify guide to black walls

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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There are no prizes for guessing why white walls are so popular – because they help to visually open up spaces of all sizes and make them seem larger and lighter. Plus, it’s always easier matching your home’s furnishings and décor with white (or off-white) walls than beige, grey or one of the other thousands of neutral tints. 

But let’s flip the worldwide love for white walls on its head by opting for the complete opposite hue: black. Yes, black may not be your first choice when thinking of wall colours, but does that mean splashing this unforgettable colour onto your home’s walls is out of the question? And how about using it to style up other surfaces and areas, like focal features or architectural elements?

Actually, working with black is not that much different than working with any other colour. Proper planning and a clear head is what is needed, plus these oh-so stylish tips from us to help make black walls (and other black surfaces) in your home work…

1. Black walls need plenty of natural light

minimalistic Bedroom by homify
homify

Black Wallpaper

homify

We don’t judge anybody who loves a moody, cave-like room covered in black, but the majority of homeowners prefer a space that feels alive, welcoming and friendly. Well, those characteristics can still be present with a black wall!

Just ensure the room where you wish to bring in said dark wall has plenty of natural light via generous windows, glass doors, perhaps even a sky light or two.

2. Experiment with black accents

Furniture and Artwork: classic Bedroom by Roselind Wilson Design
Roselind Wilson Design

Furniture and Artwork

Roselind Wilson Design

Would you just splash about cherry red, for instance, in your home left and right without a proper plan? Bringing black into the home needs to be approached the same way.

If you’re not brave enough to opt for black walls, start off by introducing small amounts of this moody colour in your home to see if it works for you. If you can’t stomach, say, a black tub chair in the living room or a black rug in the hallway, then four black walls will definitely be too much to handle. 

Should these black pieces scattered all over the house / room leave you craving more, then maybe you are ready for a full-on black wall.

3. Black walls and a monochromatic colour scheme

First Floor - A Beautiful Apartment in London by The Wood Galleries:  Walls by The Wood Galleries
The Wood Galleries

First Floor—A Beautiful Apartment in London by The Wood Galleries

The Wood Galleries

There’s a reason why a black-and-white colour scheme is considered a prime example of effective colour contrasting – because it looks so incredibly elegant! 

Want to lighten the mood with those black walls? Bring in (almost) equal amounts of white (or creams) with other surfaces (like the floor and ceiling), or furnishings and décor pieces.

4. A black accent wall

Black may be beautiful, but expert interior designers still warn us regular folk to maintain balance with it. As we said, a black wall is more effective when there is ample natural (and artificial) light in a room, plus when additional elements are much lighter in colour. 

But you can still enjoy a moody and elegant surface without covering all of a room’s walls in it: opt for a focal wall, where the wall housing the fireplace (or TV, or bookcase… ) is the one sporting a fancy charcoal tint!

5. Black windows and ceilings

If the thought of black walls is too much for you, you can still ensure those vertical surfaces flaunt a dark touch or two via other means.

Add the colour to window frames – when paired with a much lighter wall colour, the effect can be quite stunning. And don’t forget about that ceiling surface – it may be just the thing to ensure people start noticing it for a change! 

homify hint: Sheen is also important when it comes to black walls. A high sheen will be more striking on a darker colour, as the highlights on the surface will appear more defined. A lower sheen will complement a dark colour by giving the surface a rich look.

6. Black for the bathroom

Luxury Bathroom : modern Bathroom by Studio Hooton
Studio Hooton

Luxury Bathroom

Studio Hooton

Lots of people swear that small spaces should only be painted in light colours, but we dare to be different. Darker hues, like black, can be quite ideal for a smaller room (like a bathroom), as it can ensure a surprising touch. 

And let’s not forget that more and more darker colours are becoming trendy nowadays; thus, feel free to splash some black onto those smaller spaces to see how people react.

7. Black for the kitchen

Urban Style Kitchen - White handle-less kitchen with satin black glass units: modern Kitchen by Urban Myth
Urban Myth

Urban Style Kitchen—White handle-less kitchen with satin black glass units

Urban Myth

A kitchen provides ample surfaces to sport some black. Walls, yes, but also the backsplash, ceiling, countertops, cabinets, island stools, window treatment, etc. 

If you’re not ready for a full-on black wall in your cooking space, bring it slowly into the kitchen with black matte lower cabinets that have upper open shelving. It is sure to add some sophistication and grace into your culinary zone!

8. Black and a contrasting colour

Triangles: eclectic Study/office by Pixers
Pixers

Triangles

Pixers

Similar to a black-and-white colour palette, making black walls work is by ensuring everything else in the room pops against that moody hue. And lighter furnishings and accessories don’t necessarily mean white! 

How about a striking red velvet chair placed against a black wall? A fireplace mantel flaunting a golden tint? Wall art sporting an entire rainbow of colours against a black background (your wall)? 

Incorporating vibrant colours into a room with black walls ensures the space doesn’t end up looking (and feeling) like a dark cave.

9. Feng Shui colouring: A black door

Even the ancient Chinese knew there was something about bringing black into a home. In Feng Shui, black forms part of the Water element. But just be careful where you choose to add black to your home.

Black can be an excellent choice for a front door that faces north, as Feng Shui teaches us this will strengthen the energy of your home. It also brings elegance and calmness into the interior spaces. 

A black door can also work if it faces east or southeast, but if your door is positioned towards the south or west, avoid black!

10. Feng Shui colouring: Black for your child’s room

scandinavian Nursery/kid's room by homify
homify

Quack chest of drawers

homify

Your child’s room, however, is one space where Feng Shui advises to avoid painting all four walls black. But if you feel it could still do with a touch of elegance, opt for painting one wall (or just a section of it) with chalkboard paint. This will allow your little ones to freely express their creativity with some coloured chalk while being calmed and centred by the power of black (the Water element). 

Speaking of styling up kids’ spaces, let’s see how to go about Choosing the right colour for your child's nursery.

How do you feel about black walls in your home?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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