Are you the sort of person who, when confronted with the classic sleepover conundrum, always answered “dare”? If so, then I would like to challenge you to a design dare. I dare you to do something really bold: paint an entire room black. It seems crazy, but actually, this look is one that’s popping up more and more —and if you have a space that gets enough light, it can be lovely, and even transcendent. This is definitely not a choice for the faint of heart, but if you’re on the fence about going dark, or even if you’re just considering it, maybe these pictures will be just the persuasion you need.
The wicker headboard in the bedroom of this Australia home might seem a bit precious in another context, but the inky walls add a heavy dose of sophistication—and set up a delicious contrast.
In the dining room of this Montreal home, black and white gets a touch of warmth thanks to a table and chairs in mismatched wood tones. Having furniture the same color as the wall is a neat trick; notice how the black etagere in the background has a minimal, almost built-in appearance.
In the bedroom of this New Jersey home, black’s close cousin, dark gray, creates a calming, restful retreat. Brass accents against a dark wall can be particularly nice.
Speaking of which! This bedroom from Planete Deco, with its dark walls and glowing brass headboard, is moody, immersive, almost otherworldly (partly because of the lighting of the image, but I also suspect it’s exceptional IRL, too).
Black doesn’t have to feel drab or heavy: in this room from VT Wonen, black walls add contrast and sophistication, but plenty of natural light keeps the space bright.
Of course, sometimes a more somber touch is exactly what you’re going for. This entryway from Lonny is definitely dramatic. The white floor adds a nice touch of contrast, and helps to emphasize the darkness of the walls.
This bathroom by Marianne Evennou pairs a black wainscot with gray walls, a great choice if you love the look of black but don’t want to go whole hog.
Here’s another bold, bright black room, from Cup of Jo. The dark bedding is a continuation of the inky walls, with a little bit of texture: the generous windows ensure that the room feels calming and not cavelike. I especially like the way the fig tree pops against the dark walls.
Many of the rooms above pair together black and white, but in this dining room spotted on At Mine, black makes a perfect pair with wood trim and walnut furniture, for a look that perfectly balances drama and warmth.