How To Work Black Walls |
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Black walls are the epitome of cool, but they don’t just have to be admired on Pinterest. Forget the old mantra that light colours make spaces feel larger or fears of such an imposing shade moody hues don’t have to be a no-go. We’ve found ten fail-safe ways to introduce black walls in your space, from going half-and-half with lighter colours to adding metallic accents. Plus, we’ve called in the interiors experts to get their insider tricks of the trade… Time to go over to the dark side.


“This keeps black from looking too morbid. Chrome and copper fittings help to make black walls look extra contemporary. If you don’t want to go for metallic lighting, gilt frames or wall sconces work just as well.” — Letty White-Spunner, Jane Churchill Interiors

“Metallics are very en vogue at the moment, especially brass, bronze and copper with their warmth and richness. A black wall means that the warmth of these shades are really bought to life and create maximum contrast.” — Mel Massey,


“You can create really beautiful designs on a wall using good old paint or I love washi tape which will peel off if you get bored.  It will create a very dramatic effect.  But remember to practice first and that a tiny artist's brush will come in handy.” — Mel Massey,

“If you do add other paint detail, keep it simple. If you want something busier then it may be worth considering wallpaper as opposed to paint.” — Letty White-Spunner, Jane Churchill Interiors


“Varying shapes, objects and sizes on a shelf can provide its own sense of visual interest breaking up the overall black design or background.” — Debra Kacher,DKinteriors

“Think about using different materials to create shelves - scaffolding planks add an industrial edge, floorboards add a wonderful vintage feel - these will work well against the backdrop and the perfect place to curate your favourite objects.” — Mel Massey,


“This looks extremely smart, especially with panelled walls or for fans of monochrome. It’s a good idea then to have low furniture to help break up the black and adorn the walls with art and photos to jazz it up a bit.” — Letty White-Spunner, Jane Churchill Interiors

“This creates a beautiful mono-tone backdrop which is very clean, crisp and minimalist.  It also give the impression of a larger space if you make the top part of the wall and the ceiling white as it draws your eye upwards.” — Mel Massey,



“Black walls work best in rooms with a lot of natural light- French doors, big bay windows or skylights. If that’s not an option, paint one end wall or half a wall so that it doesn’t make the room seem too much smaller or darker.” — Letty White-Spunner, Jane Churchill Interiors

“A dark colour such as black in a large space provides dramatic impact, black does absorb light but using maybe a gloss finish or lacquered accents will keep the space bold and dramatic , adding a mirror to a black room will bounce the light around the room and give a glamourous, elegant feel.” — Debra Kacher, DKinteriors

“If you’re lucky enough to have a huge volume, don’t stop at just the walls, ceilings skirting and even cornices all painted in the same dark tone can make an amazing canvas for a feature antique chandelier" — Karen Howes, Founder and Chief Executive at Taylor Howes Designs



“Use a monochrome effect – balance black walls with white or cream accessories for chic, understated glamour.” — Julie Paul, Head of Interior Design and Trade at OKA.

 “Black and white photographs in black or gilt frames look really special against a black wall. The white of a background juxtaposes the black wall and then a black and white photo ties the whole thing together for the ultimate monochrome look.” — Letty White-Spunner, Jane Churchill Interiors

“Mix and match vintage and new accessories, think about shapes, sizes and heights.  Don't forget if you find the perfect object which isn't monocrome, you can always spraypaint it.” — Mel Massey,



“Black is a great backdrop for contemporary art, especially metallics or sculpture. Think of an artistic statement light or a large hanging mobile against black and the art is more eye-catching as it doesn’t rely on shadow.” — Letty White-Spunner, Jane Churchill Interiors

“It could be a black and white photograph or a crazy print but the blank canvas of a black wall will set off any art beautifully.” — Mel Massey,

“A fabulous pink or blue neon writing quote on a black wall would be seriously sexy and a great talking point at parties" — Karen Howes, Founder and Chief Executive at Taylor Howes Designs



“White absolutely counts as a pop of colour with a black wall and is a great option as other colours can actually darken the effect of the room. Think about whites and creams and greys in a variety of materials such as marble or wood.” — Letty White-Spunner, Jane Churchill Interiors

“Try and create a triangle of your chosen colour pop in your room to draw your eye around the space - for example a cushion cover, part of a picture and a pattern in a rug.  It doesn't have to be 'in your face' colour, the pops will speak for themselves.” — Mel Massey,



“Any texture will work against black so your use of it really depends on the function of the room. Kitchens do well with granite or painted wood; Sitting Rooms benefit from soft furnishings and Hallways are great places for metallic or statement furniture.” — Letty White-Spunner, Jane Churchill Interiors

“Mixing really different textures such as linen with velvet, faux sheepskin with cord is great and adds a depth to your home. But for it to work, you need to make sure that you are using a complimentary colour palette.” — Mel Massey,

“Black can fall flat and appear cold but using texture in fabrics, throws, cushions and trims in a combination of plush, matt and shine together with introducing a variety of  shades of black ( yes black does vary ) makes black tactile, warm,  glamourous, luxurious as well as being modern, sleek and sexy.” — Debra Kacher, DKinteriors


Pitch Black | Farrow & Ball
Black Blue | Farrow & Ball
Off-Black | Farrow & Ball



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