Bold and Beautiful: 3 Transformative Tips for Designing With Black in Your Home

In the world of interior design, where colors harmonize with emotion and atmosphere, one hue stands out as a timeless symbol of sophistication and glamour: black. For some, diving into the trenches of experimenting with bold colors like black can be intimidating. But we’re here to tell you that a black design doesn’t have to be intimidating. In this Redfin article, we ask design experts to share tips to help you create the ultimate aesthetic with black paint. So whether you’re designing a luxury home in Beverly Hills, California, or a Colonial in Savannah, Georgia, join us as we uncover the secrets to harnessing the elegance and versatility of black design.

1.Contrasting with lighter tones:

One of the most powerful techniques in black design is juxtaposing it with lighter shades. This can also be done with different design styles, not just ultra-modern. The interplay between deep black and light tones creates a visual contrast that draws attention to both elements. Whether it’s a sleek ebony sofa in a white-walled living room or matte black hardware in a light kitchen palette, this approach elevates the overall aesthetic while ensuring that the black darkness doesn’t overwhelm the space.

In a recent remodel by Optimal Remodeling owner Dotan Trabulsi, his team went with lower black cabinets. They supported the darker elements with natural wood upper cabinets, open shelving, and lighter quartz countertops.

“Harmony through contrast is key when balancing black with other colors in minimalist interiors,” says Judi Lee-Carr, founder and lead designer at Jubilee Interiors. Black is a bold and dominant color that can enhance the overall aesthetic while maintaining the simplicity and elegance of minimalism.” She continues, “For the right balance, try using neutral tones like white and beige.”

Emma Falcon of The Homestyles Group shares how layering “materials like rope, rugs, burlap, linen drapes” can also balance black features. She mentioned that the team at Homestyles Group likes to mix bold colors like green, blue, or orange.

2.Consider room size and lighting:

When designing with black, it is crucial to consider the size of the room and available lighting. In a smaller space, heavy use of black can create a cozy, intimate vibe, but overdoing it can make a room feel cramped. Conversely, in larger rooms, black elements can anchor the space and provide clarity.

Sabrina Antony, an interior designer at Kitchen Design NYC, shares, “If you have a large and well-lit kitchen, go all out.” Sabrina recommends black cabinets with copper metal accents or a warm wood mixture of walnut or oak. If in doubt, she recommends bringing in black in small doses—”think chic black shelves, handles, or a funky black faucet.”

Emma of The Homestyles Group adds, “Since black is a natural light absorber, avoid using too much black in poorly lit spaces.” Think cramped bedrooms, dimly lit offices, or powder rooms.

That’s not to say these rooms don’t lend themselves to black. If you’re going for an ultra-modern, moody aesthetic, black can be paired with ambient lighting to add color to a space.

3.You don’t have to use paint:

Black design isn’t limited to painted cabinets, accent walls, or wallpaper. Black design can also be introduced by integrating furniture into a space.

According to Offer Steuer, president of OTM Designs and Remodeling Inc., “In rooms where you want to be bright and airy, it’s best to limit the use of black or opt for softer, pastel tones. Consider adding black accents to your home with black furniture, such as stylish black leather sofas or black chairs. You can also introduce black with statement accessories like black wheels, lamps, and accents to create a bold focal point in the room.”

Denise Wenacur of DW Design and Decor shares how, during one of her bathroom renovations, they introduced black in floor tiles, trim, and fittings instead of using paint.

Hunted Fox designer Moana Dixon deftly incorporates black and white tones into her projects, using them to subtly capture cultural nuances. She pairs black and white tones with hand-picked trim and accents, hand-poured cement sinks, and custom leather headboards, pillows, and drapes.

Final thoughts on black design:

No matter your home design style, incorporating black elements can elevate your space into a refined and timeless sanctuary. Whether you’re looking for a minimalist living room or an ultra-modern bathroom, with these insights, you can boldly infuse black into your space for a home that truly reflects your style.