Decorate with black for instant effect

Private Property South Africa
The Roosting Venus

Black can be used in many ways to dazzling effect in your home. Here’s how you can use this alluring colour in your décor.

Timeless, trendy, moody and slick, black is once again the new black and a colour with which you simply can’t go wrong. And just like the little black dress that first hit the runways with Coco Chanel, black in the home has endless applications and loads of allure. Here are some ways to get your space eternal, stylish, witty and edgy all at once.

Black pairs well with almost any color, but is best used with contrasting colors (lights and brights) rather than the darker shades of brown and blue. Bright colours such as pinks, greens, yellows and oranges really sizzle against black. Choose softer charcoal tones if you’re not quite ready to jump to black. Layer a few shades of dark grey for subtle drama or use charcoal walls to offset a few pieces of glossy black furniture.

Start slowly, with wall art which can be layered in over time, black-and-white photography, collectables and charcoal-framed fine art. These touches allow you to settle into the trend without going all-out up front and can be changed out easily when the mood strikes.

Despite what many believe about dark colours in a small space, black can actually make a small room look larger as the room lines disappear making the space feel bigger. As lashes and brows frame a face, so black can make a room look wonderfully framed and focused – a gorgeous palette on which to decorate. To keep the mood vibrant in a small space opt for a light ceiling, a bright white or vivid colour which will lift the eye also making the space feel larger.

While floor treatments come and go, and floor colours follow trends just as quickly, a dark floor is timeless and dramatic. Wooden floors can be inked or stained allowing the grain to show through or not. Tiles and screed also work well in tones of black, as do slate and granite, while a pairing of black and white is a classic look too.

For extra drama, add just a hint of blue to black paint to increase its intensity.

A black sofa is a sophisticated alternative to the usual beige or grey. Layer in a few accent colours in the form of scatters or throws that tie it to the rest of the colour way.

Try chalkboard black as an alternative (or accompaniment) to a high gloss black. Its subtle matt finish reflects a lot of light. Throw in some white chalk for messages, sketches and memos and the wall takes on a life of its own.

Don't restrict the black to solid-and-solid combos. Many patterns also look great paired with black, think a feminine black and white print, a traditional toile, a graphic modern pattern or ethnic textiles.

A gloss black bed frame can highlight the focal piece in a bedroom. A black painted four-poster bed frame feels both edgy and timeless, especially when complemented with fine linen and softer neutrals.

Black in kitchens and bathrooms is extremely contemporary. If you’re not ready for walls and cabinetry try mixers, faucets, towel hooks and similar accessories.

altTextKitchen design: Miles Redd | Photo cred: Tim Street-Porter

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