Design Ideas

13 Bright & Airy Rooms With One (Unexpected!) Thing in Common

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Rikki Snyder/Houzz)

Color can be a funny thing. While many people, including myself, feel comfortable and confident donning black head to toe (LBD, anyone?) the idea of using black in interiors is one met with extreme caution. The moody hue is restricted to furnishings and accents, but why? For fear that the room will be depressing? Too dark? We rounded up 13 (because we’re not afraid of a little superstition) happy, chic and cheery rooms that all just happen to be cloaked in black.

Forget Madonna in the art gracing the mantel, Benjamin Moore’s Iron Mountain is the real star of the room above via Houzz. The white high molding/railing and fireplace surround break up the slate-colored walls for a room that’s surprisingly super cheery.

(Image credit: Desire to Inspire)

Mixed with rustic woods, worn-in leathers and nubby jute, this black wall spotted on Desire to Inspire is warm and comfortable.

(Image credit: Swoon Worthy)

Matte black zaps the traditional look of moldings. A white ceiling and weathered wood plank floors keeps everything bright. (via Swoon Worthy)

(Image credit: Suburban Bitches)

A fabulous happy medium: Ultra bright white wainscoting draws your eye right up to the Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams wall and ceiling. (via Suburban Bitches)

(Image credit: Architectural Digest)

Another look at Sherwin-Williams’ Tricorn Black, but this time in a high-gloss finish, which catches any light in the room featured in Architectural Digest (designed by architect Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson) and bounces it right back.

(Image credit: Architectural Digest)

We can’t imagine a fashion designer would ever be wary of going bold in their home, and the abode of Jenni Kayne (which ran in Architectural Digest, and was designed by Silvia Kuhle and Jeffrey Allsbrook of Standard), proves that. A flax-colored sofa against a charcoal wall makes the space lean warm, as opposed to the stark contrast of black and white.

(Image credit: Lonny)

The interiors of c/o the Maidstone, Jenny Ljungberg’s intimate hotel in East Hampton, New York, directly challenges the idea that Scandinavian design is all about minimalism and holding back. The smokey black paneling really makes all the happy textiles and furnishings pop. (via Lonny)

(Image credit: Hunted Interior)

Kristin of Hunted Interior tapped Behr’s Totally Black for her son’s bedroom makeover. Paired with tons of crisp whites and earthy wood tones, it’s a modern escape for a young gentleman.

(Image credit: We Are the Brauns)

We’re sensing a theme here: Black walls with gold accents, and white furniture (or cabinets in this case) and moldings/baseboards (like the kitchen from The Brauns) is a no-fail approach to this bold look.

(Image credit: Stylecaster)

High contrast equals high style, especially with fuzzy and cozy textiles and a scattering of greenery. (via Stylecaster)

(Image credit: My Scandinavian Home)

This Swedish studio apartment from My Scandinavian Home beautifully juxtaposes a sense of glam and effortlessness: It’s all at once casual and luxurious, with its rumpled linen beddings and ornate moldings and mirror. The satin black walls come across soft and inviting.

(Image credit: Elle Decor)

Dens and reading rooms are normally moody, dark and sometimes downright stuffy. If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated library (seriously, if you have anything close to the dream room above, from Elle Decor, let us know how you made that happen), look to a dense black for the walls or paneling, and keep everything else vibrant with soft creams and other neutrals.

(Image credit: My Paradissi)

Just as black can be warm and inviting in more traditional spaces, it can really round out a modern home, like the one above from My Paradissi. When you think of modern, white probably comes to mind, doesn’t it? Flip that on its head and use black as the anchor for rooms that feel far less sterile.

Loving the black-walls look? Check out these other stories for more inspiration!