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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Whether you use a lot of black, as these designers did, or just a little, do try to incorporate at least a dash of darkness in every room, says designer Miles Redd.

Those are just a few of the surprising ways you can make black work throughout the house.
"Every room needs some black," he says. "It's like eyelashes and eyebrows: It makes everything else look framed and focused." Which is exactly how this red dining room, designed by Douglas Dolezal and Robert Miller, looks.

And there's certainly no shortage of ways you can introduce black. It really does go with almost everything. "As is the case with white," says designer Nicole Sassaman, "black can look good with almost any color. But it is best used with contrasting colors — lights and brights — rather than darker shades of brown and so forth. Bright colors like pinks and oranges really sizzle against black."

Redd also favors the color with bright, bright accents. "I adore pink with black and white — and make it a shocking pink!" he says. Redd also loves emerald green with black and white, and all kinds of blue.

And don't restrict yourself to solid-and-solid combos, either, say designers Alexandra Loew and Lauren Soloff, principals of The Desk of Lola. "Certain patterns can also look great with black," they say. You might try a feminine black and white print, a traditional toile or a graphic modern pattern. Or, try accenting black walls with ethnic textiles. "Their textures," Loew and Soloff say, "can be a great foil to the slickness of black and white."

Photo by David Duncan Livingston

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