How does one incorporate black into home interiors?

As every designer knows, the use of colour is a science in itself and can dramatically alter the aesthetics of an interior. Colours evoke different moods in people, and while one person may love the use of black, another may hate the very idea of it! Black is a colour that cannot be ignored; it is bold and dramatic. When used with flair, it can lend a look of sensuous sophistication to any space. It makes a definite style statement when used as part of a two (or three) tone contrasting colour palette. Designers often use the following combinations; black-and-white, black-and-red, or black-white-teal, and so on.  It’s important to keep in mind that an overdose of stark black can have an overwhelming, depressing effect. You must take special care to balance the black with neutral or vibrant shades.

How does one contrast this with other colours to create a sense of balance? Say you have a black wall, how can you work with it?

A black wall has the potential to be a showstopper. It can be elegant and refined — anything but dull — when combined with elements that contrast and enhance its effect. For instance, take this image of a cleverly put together family space below. Here, the freestanding midnight wall has been used to tack up posters and to showcase doodles in chalk. The minimalistic chair, white couch, black-and-white patterned rug, and pillows only serve to accentuate the contrasting shades in the room.


This modern bedroom showcases what a stunning combination black and red can be. This bold combination brings out a strong personality. Here, a three colour palette is brought to play, with bold and solid colours being the hallmark of the design.

What are the do’s and don’ts?

Too much of darkness can have a very overpowering effect, especially as a long black wall can make the room look closed-in and small. Two or more walls painted black will definitely impact the size of the room in a negative way. That’s because black tends to suck all the light in a room, giving it a dungeon-like feel if you are not careful! Avoid using black upholstery or drapes against a dark wall, and opt for light coloured wood and floors to provide visual relief.

Too much clutter in the room will also not go well with the space; a black wall calls for a minimalistic and very modern theme. Dark walls come to life when combined with contrasting shades such as mint, golden yellow, teal, grey, dusky pink and (of course!) white. Keep the number of colours in the room to a minimum, though; anything more than three strongly repeated shades is probably overdoing it. Keep it simple.

Your sofa upholstery should never be black if you have pets with light coloured fur. Remember that sofa material also tends to attract dust, and darker fabric will need a lot of maintenance.

While black granite or cuddapah is a popular choice for flooring, glossy black tiles in the bathroom can be very hard to maintain if the water is hard. Contrary to popular belief, black tiles need a lot of scrubbing to keep them clean! If you do have the patience and time to maintain it well, an all-black bathroom can be very glamorous indeed.

Anything else on black as a colour in home décor?

Black cabinets in the kitchen lend an air of sleek sophistication, especially when teamed with lower level cabinetry in wood. Black granite is also a very popular choice for kitchen counters as it looks great with most cabinets, is very cost effective and is also very easy to wipe clean.

Many people adore black for sofa upholstery as it is very forgiving with liquid spills and dirty little hands or feet. However, like already mentioned, pet fur shows up very easily against black upholstery.
What are your thoughts on using black in your interior? Let us know in the comments below!

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