Dramatic and Sexy Black Decorating Ideas

Not just for trim, painting with black can be a smart, stylish choice for an entire wall. See how five designers use the paint color to a room's advantage.

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While shiny black walls might overwhelm a larger room, they are perfect in this 48-square-foot space.

In this powder room, adjacent to a large dining room in a New York City townhouse, designer Jamie Drake covered half the walls in dark graphite-gray Venetian plaster, which he had polished to a very high sheen; the other half is lined in gold-backed, white glass mosaic tile. Drake fashioned a sink from a 19th-century Turkish marble basin, and set it into a custom-designed base of ebonized wood. The overall effect? As dramatic as midnight.
"Even in small doses, the challenge with black is to keep it from looking funereal," says Drake, author of Jamie Drake's New American Glamour. To keep the mood sexy, rather than somber, he opted to paint the ceiling a sharp coral color, with a pale oyster gray crown molding.

"In addition to lightening the room, the vivid ceiling color also lifts the eye," Drake explains, "and that's always a plus in a smaller space."

Photo by William Waldron

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