The Most Taboo Color Infiltrates Home Design

Not long ago, black walls were practically shunned by designers, who often viewed the dark color as too heavy and overpowering for interior spaces. But in recent years, black is, well, the new black. The color's dramatic flair has finally been realized, with black popping up everywhere from living room mantels to kitchen cabinets to bathroom walls. For anyone who has been intrigued but too timid to commit to the color in the past, these 7 classy paint jobs will make you want to grab a brush.

  1. Cabinets


    Sleek black cabinets aren't new in modern kitchens, but now the look has carried over to traditional and country-style rooms as well. Balance the strong block of color with lighter hues on walls, floors, and countertops. You can choose to keep the rest of the style minimalist or incorporate pattern into fabric and tile designs.

  2. Walls


    Zillow Digs home in Pittsburgh, PA

    The idea of black paint on all four walls of a room may sound gloomy to some, but the resulting look is undeniably—even surprisingly—sophisticated. The key to success: framing the walls with an abundance of white in woodwork, furniture, and fabrics. Artwork can provide a pop of color in the sea of black.

  3. Ceilings


    Susan Gilmore for Fiddlehead Design

    A ceiling painted black creates an intimate feeling, which means it's well suited both for gathering places like living or dining rooms and intimate spaces like bedrooms and baths. Balance the black with white walls or opt for a coordinating wallpaper pattern.

  4. Floors


    Black floors lay the groundwork (literally) for a beautiful room of nearly any style, from modern to traditional. Make the strongest statement with a coat of high-gloss paint; or, for something more subtle, choose a stain that allows the floor's wood grain to show through.

  5. Mantels


    Mantels, often the focal point of a room, provide a dramatic spot for displaying trophies and family photos. What better way to draw extra attention to a mantel than by painting it black? The strong color will also highlight architectural details in the woodwork.

  6. Doors


    Interior doors tend to be overlooked in decorating projects, but a coat of an unexpected color like black turns an everyday entrance into an intriguing architectural element. Consider painting a single door to coordinate with other black details in the room, or unify all interior doors in the house with the same shade.

  7. Bookcases


    Black bookcases take center stage in any room, so use them to flank a mantel or sofa—wherever you want the focal point to be. If you want some pop without all the drama, paint only the inside of a bookcase to create a strong backdrop for colorful book jackets.

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