Dark Decor: Paint it Black

For awhile now (what….like 10 years maybe? I’m totally not putting a lot of effort into this guess) white walls have been the modern decorating standard. Sure, there are always the “fun” “quirky” homes that I see here or there but let’s be real…around the early/mid 2000s most interiors focused sites/mags sort of just wanted a palette cleanse and everything was really light and airy and fresh and clean. Minimalist I suppose in some ways, but not strictly so.

I think at one point or another everyone dreams of having a minimalist life. Maybe it’s the impossibility of actually achieving it that makes it so appealing to so many of us.

Most urban dwellers live in too small spaces with too much stuff.

The only way to achieve minimalism is via a hefty investment in custom storage or a true commitment to purging. For most people, neither of these options are all that appealing.

So the lofty goal of a clean white space is the unachievable dream and thus becomes our obsession. Just like model-long limbs and pore-less skin. How we enjoy torturing ourselves!

As an obsessive fan of home decor, and a general keep-tracker of overarching trends I have to say I’m SO HAPPY to be seeing a gradual leaning towards darkness in rooms. I’m seeing it manifest in a few different ways, which I have named and have (of course) started Pinterest boards for:

  •  Dark Decor (basically just black/charcoal grey rooms)
  •  Romantic Gothic Decor
  •  Moody Blue Greens

I’m going to do posts on ideas 2 & 3 at a later point, but today I’m going to keep it simple. I basically just want to post a ton of images of black painted rooms for your viewing pleasure.

I first started thinking about adding more black to my home a few years ago when I moved into a new apartment that was painted top to bottom white. It was nice to have a fresh palette and not have to paint over hideous mustard yellow walls (which seem to run rampant in Montreal for some reason) but it was also just sort of lacking…the all white-ness.

I ended up deciding to paint the doors black and swiftly became obsessed with the satisfying process of brushing on that black paint. It felt wrong…but right. It felt like something you were always told not to do (even though I can’t actually recall anyone in my life telling me not to paint a door black).

I literally got “Paint it Black” stuck in my head for about a week straight. Not the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

I think there are a few keys to making this concept work:

1 – Lighting: When working with dark colours ot seems like things work best when a good amount of natural light is involved, but in cases where you don’t have that natural light the correct amount of overhead and task lighting is super important. Don’t let your corners recede into shadows…light them up!

2 – Texture: Texture on the painted surface helps to bounce around the light and break things up a bit. Be it via panelling, mouldings, bookcases, cupboards, etc.

3 – Contrast: If all your walls are dark, you will likely need some contrast in your furniture. Light woods, wicker, metallics, jewel tones and whites…they all pop in different ways that you can play with to achieve balance.

4 – Choose your tone of black based on the other colours you will have in the room. Just like there are a million shades of white, there are many shades of “black” too. As always when picking paint colours bring some swatches home and play with colour a bit. I always grab swatches of the other colours I have in the room and make a storyboard with fabrics/etc…but that’s the OCD designer in me…you don’t necessarily have to become that kind of maniac.

Now, I’m just holding off until we end up buying a place. As anyone who has painted anything a dark colour before knows…it’s a bit time consuming. We’re thinking of moving within the year, so for now I’ll just keep pinning my inspos and blabbing about it here.

*For more inspo view my “Dark Decor” Pinterest page HERE

One thought on “Dark Decor: Paint it Black

  1. Yes! We have dark grey in one room, but I want black somewhere in the house. We said we would do it, but that day still hasn’t come.


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