Black is the new black

Private Property South Africa
Carmel Woodman

A guide on how to effectively use black in your home to make details stand out or create an elegant, yet dramatic effect.

Fashion isn’t the only stage for black to star in the leading role. Now you can bring black into your home. Interior designers use black to sharpen the focus, draw the eye to certain details and make details or objects stand out. Whether on a large scale (a wall) or on a small scale (a door or headboard), black can add a whole new feel to a room. It is one of the most versatile colours and can be combined with other colours to make a room look elegant and refined. Here’s a useful guide for using black in your interior design:

Easy does it

Start small, don’t jump in and paint an entire wall black. A few ways to ease into using darker colours include painting one door frame grey, putting black and white stripes in a room, using monochrome wallpaper, using an item of black statement furniture like an armchair or desk. If these are too much for you, start even smaller – use black railings on your stairs, add black curtain rods and throw pillows to the living room, or pair the classic dream team of black and white in different rooms to liven them up.

Floor it

Use dark flooring to make everything else in your house “pop”. Stick with a monochromatic theme, and then experiment with pastel shades to contrast with the dark colour. A lacquered black wooden floor or a glossy granite floor could be ideal for your home, depending on the room and the style of your home. Using antique or bright furniture is a great way to accentuate the furniture and contrast it with the dark flooring. Creating a balance between contemporary and vintage, using black, is particularly trendy.


If you’ve got a smaller home, don’t let this deter you from using black. Entry ways and corridors are a good place to start experimenting with black. Dark shades can help separate lines between rooms and actually make your space look larger. The theory that colour makes a room look smaller does not apply to black.

Creating contrast

Black goes with pretty much anything, that’s the beauty of it. You can make almost anything ‘pop’ against a black backdrop, or create a focal point in a room with a touch of black. If you’d like to draw attention to beautiful photographs or special artwork, frame your selections and place them on a black wall – which is contrasting at its finest. A classic way to use black is to combine it with white, creating a timeless and elegant look in any room of the house. Black objects can be used as the focal point of a room as they naturally draw the eye. Generally, black and wood used together will create an ethnic vibe, while black and pastels look more harmonious together. Experiment with different contrasts and combinations that work best for your home.

Just a trim

Using black as a trim for the home is on trend right now. Add some depth to a room by using black to highlight the overall architectural design. It’s best used on ceiling beams, window frames and door frames, to bring out the edges in a dramatic way. Black trims tastefully add elegance and refinement to a room – which is particularly useful for the living room and dining room areas.

Don’t be shy, give black a try in your home and see what kind of style you can create with a touch of the delightfully dark colour.

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