If you’re going for drama, there’s no better choice than black paint. While the color is sometimes associated with doom and gloom, a black room is anything but scary. The saturated shade can create contrast and serve as a beautiful backdrop for furnishings and art. Black paint isn’t limited to the living room, either. Designers have showcased black everywhere from kitchens to master bedrooms with sensational results. “I often hear black and other deep hues described as depressing or gloomy,” designer Sean Anderson told AD. “I find they’re the opposite. Black adds drama and sophistication. It also creates an instant welcoming effect.” Anderson frequently uses black paint in his projects and finds that the dark color can actually make spaces feel bigger.
An antique suzani hangs in a guest room of designer Amelia T. Handegan’s Folly Beach, South Carolina, bungalow. The headboard is upholstered in a Kravet fabric, the patterned pillow is of a Raoul Textiles linen, and the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Pink Bliss.
Rethink your neutrals. Painted in a Benjamin Moore gray, the master bedroom in a New York townhouse designed by Leroy Street Studio and Christine Markatos contains a Veere Grenney Assoc. four-poster and a 1940s Van Keppel-Green chest of drawers from Wyeth.
If you’re ready to go over to the dark side, we’ve polled some of our favorite designers to find out which shades of black they love to use in projects.
We’ve rounded up stunning spaces with wall decoration ideas, color trends, and the best wallpapers. Find inspiration to decorate your room with these chic examples from the archives of Architectural Digest.
In designer Jamie Drake’s New York master bedroom, the walls and cabinetry are painted in contrasting finishes of Benjamin Moore’s Soot (2129-20).
Will Kopelman’s bedroom in his parents’ Nantucket, Massachusetts, home was designed, at his request, to look as modern as possible, with the walls and floor painted in Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White.
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In a New York apartment, designer Bruce Bierman opted for a monochromatic approach. The bedroom’s periwinkle upholstered headboard, curtains, and carpeting lend the room a cozy and peaceful air; the 17th-century portrait is by Willem van der Vliet.
In the red guest room of Jim Joseph and Scott Frankel’s Livingston, New York, home, a French Empire bed from Stair Galleries is paired with an antique Venetian-stripe carpet.
When it comes to decorating, bedrooms are tricky spots. On the one hand, they must be soothing and serene enough to lull you into slumber each night, but they’re also where you spend a significant amount of time every day, and as such they should also inspire. The quickest way to make a design statement with minimal effort? A new coat of paint can reinvent any room, whether you opt for a bold shade, install an unexpected pattern, or apply a luxe finish.
Walls painted in Railings by Farrow & Ball serve as a beautiful backdrop for the colorful art in a dining room designed by Ryan White.
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Architect William T. Georgis applied Benjamin Moore’s Black (2132-10) paint in a high-gloss finish in the smoking room of a Manhattan townhouse.
For a guest room in his Singapore bungalow, Michael Fiebrich designed the bleached-teak bedside tables, blown-glass-and-nickel lamps, and charcoal nude studies. Contrasting picture rail molding in the same hue as the ceiling gives the appearance of height.
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Stripes of Benjamin Moore white and blue paints enliven a daughter’s bedroom in a California home designed by Miles Redd; the curtains are trimmed with a Samuel & Sons border, and an Alan Campbell pattern covers the chairs, ottoman, and bench.
Bobby Berk used Caviar (SW-6990) by Sherwin-Williams in a kid’s bedroom to create a graphic look that its inhabitant won’t grow out of.
A 1940s bed is paired with vintage Fritz Henningsen armchairs in Adam Levine’s Hollywood Hills bedroom. Designer Mark Haddawy painted the room in Benjamin Moore’s Black (2132-10).
In the bright-blue master bedroom of a Manhattan apartment, a Mitch Epstein photograph hangs behind the vintage chrome four-poster. At left is an Adam Fuss work from his “My Ghost” series.
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In a New York City townhouse, the red master bedroom’s prize is a Chippendale cherry bureau-bookcase; a Victorian landscape is placed above the mantel.
At the Miami Beach home of Jason and Michelle Rubell, a Nate Lowman artwork hangs on a library wall painted in Benjamin Moore’s Midnight (2131-20).
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Sporting a vibrant green by California Paints, the master bedroom in architect Jim Joseph’s Livingston, New York, house is anchored by a New York Empire bed topped with a 19th-century chintz coverlet; a photograph by John Dugdale is propped on the mantel.
In the master bedroom of an Adirondacks, New York, home designed by Thom Filicia, windows are delineated in a striking color. A twig chandelier hangs above a custom-made Murray’s Iron Works four-poster; the curtains are of a Groundworks wool, the étagères are by Mecox, and the rug is from Safavieh’s Thom Filicia Home Collection.
In the master bedroom of a Manhattan duplex designed by Lee F. Mindel, Peter L. Shelton, and Grace Sierra, the picture-frame molding is painted the same hue as the rest of the wall for a seamless look.
To get you started with your own bedroom makeover, we’ve rounded up 20 bedroom paint ideas from the AD archives that will yield the room of your dreams as well as add visual interest in surprising ways, from trompe l’oeil wall molding to Venetian plaster, contrasting trim to painted ceilings. True, you may be the only one who gets to admire your bedroom’s newfound beauty, but just think of how much peace of mind it will bring you.
The master bedroom of a San Francisco home by Thomas Britt, anchored by a gilded-and-painted Louis Philippe bed, features a Gracie metal-leaf wallpaper on the ceiling and pink striéd walls embellished by antique prints; the leopard-spot carpet is by Stark.
In a Philadelphia bedroom designed by Thomas Jayne, a Saarinen table by Knoll joins a bed draped in toile de Jouy. An all-white canvas allows colors and textiles to stand out.
The master bedroom walls in a Naples apartment by Studio Peregalli feature trompe l’oeil paneling; the chandelier is made of Murano glass, and the bed is Tuscan.
Designer Sean Anderson created a man cave that doubles as a media room in a couple’s home on the outskirts of Memphis. The walls were covered in Behr’s Broadway.
From the best wallpapers to paint colors, these shopping guides offer sources and ideas to complete your project. Browse our favorite resources for mirrors, frames, wall coverings, and more to find the perfect pieces to enhance your space.
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For an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, designer Tim Campbell used a near-black—Benjamin Moore’s Rock Gray (1615)—in the bedrooms.
The walls aren’t the only place to make an impact with paint. Consider painting the ceiling, floor, and trim to match or contrast with the wall color. Designer Thom Filicia used a striking shade on the window frames in a bedroom in an Adirondacks, New York, home, while Arie and Coco Kopelman painted the walls, ceiling, and floor of a bedroom in their Nantucket, Massachusetts, home all the same crisp white.
In the dining room of a French Tudor–style home, designer Summer Thornton accented the space with a ceiling painted in Benjamin Moore’s Iron Mountain (2134-30) with trim in the company’s Black Ink (2127-20). The wall covering is by Phillip Jeffries.
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In a New York apartment decorated by Brockschmidt & Coleman and renovated by architect Riccardo Vicenzino, the heirloom headboard in the master bedroom is surrounded by faux wall panels and 19th-century bird portraits by Hannah Pettigrew.
A 1940s bed is paired with vintage Fritz Henningsen armchairs in Adam Levine’s black Hollywood Hills bedroom; the work above the headboard is by Jean-Michel Basquiat, the black-and-white portrait is of Tupac Shakur, the lamp is by Philippe Starck, and the cowhide carpet is by Pure Rugs.
When all else fails, go with classic hues. The master bedroom in a Hamptons retreat by Carrier & Company is anchored by a 1950 Perle Fine painting; the canopy was fashioned of a Home Couture floral lined with a Lee Jofa stripe, the low table was custom-made by Matthews & Parker, and the Oushak is 19th century.
If you’re not ready to coat the entire room in an inky hue, consider using black as an accent. Try painting a single wall black or cover the ceiling and trim, as designer Summer Thornton did in the dining room of a French Tudor–style home. “I love contrast in my design work, and there’s no darker accent than black,” says Thornton. “Whether with steel windows or trim paint, it always feels moody. When I’m aiming for a more sultry mood, I definitely incorporate more black and ink tones.”
At the Bahamas retreat of designer Alessandra Branca, lamps from Circa Lighting flank a sunburst mirror in a deep blue poolhouse bedroom; the desk is vintage. Related: AD’s Guide to Decorating with Color
Designer Robert Stilin painted the cabinetry of a Hamptons, New York, kitchen in Benjamin Moore’s Carbon Copy (2117-10). A stainless-steel range and hood break up the black.
Black paint can look dramatically different depending on the finish you choose. In a Manhattan townhouse, architect William T. Georgis used a high-gloss paint on the walls of the smoking room for a glamorous look. Jamie Drake played with contrasting finishes of the same hue in his New York City apartment, using a gloss on the doors and a more matte finish on the walls.
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While pastels and neutrals are popular for bedrooms, rich jewel tones and even darker shades such as gray and black can create a cozy space. In Adam Levine’s Hollywood Hills home, designer Mark Haddaway painted the bedroom walls black for a chic, masculine space. If black is a bit too bold, consider a soft gray like the one used by architects Leroy Street Studio and designer Christine Markatos in a New York townhouse.
A 19th-century Persian light hangs in a grassy green bedroom of a home in Marrakech, Morocco; the bedspread is Gujarati mirrorwork embroidery, the chest is 19th-century Moroccan, and the desk and chair are embellished with bone inlay.