Black is back in home design

Back in Black is a famous rock album by a well-known group. It is also a design catch phrase for 2012 – ‘black is back’. This once sought after focal point colour was replaced by browns and espresso only to make a triumphant comeback as the go to colour for homes this millennium.

Whenever I suggest decorating in black, clients get a strange panicked look on their face and I’m sure they are envisioning jet-black chalkboard walls. There are many ways to infuse this radical and vibrant colour into your home without painting the walls black.

Reconsider your white baseboards, window trim and doors. The perfect complement to the fantastic greys we are designing with is a glossy black trim and door treatment. It takes baseboards to an urbane level that no white paint can even touch. Plus, adding the gloss will make these items glow with style.

Wherever you want a light and airy black accent, consider the many advantages of wrought iron. This material is perfect in any setting from contemporary to formal and frilly. It is used in almost every decorative element on earth from lighting to stair banisters, the windows to the walls. Wrought iron shows up in furniture and as a decorative element in windows, it is the quintessential design element and look most marvelous in black so feel free to indulge in this metal marvel.

Make any kitchen instantly elegant with the addition of black appliances and glossy granite. The addition of these features of black will add the perfect touch of finesse to any kitchen and will coordinate with any cabinet colour or wood species. When adding black as an accent to a kitchen, the granite is a perfect choice because it’s sheen helps to reflect light back into the space. This is a good rule of thumb for most additions of ebony — the more shine on the product the more light reflecting it will be resulting in the colour not seeming too dark. You can still have the value of black but by adding shine to it and you will feel like the colour seems to be lighter in value.

It is important when decorating with black to watch the tones you are dealing with as not all shades are created equal. Some blacks have a blue base whereas some will have a brown or purple hue to their base. Be prudent and compare the blacks you want to decorate with especially when it comes to paint or fabric selections. We all have paired two different black socks in our morning stupor only to arrive at work and realize that they are completely different shades. This will happen in your design if you do not carefully coordinate your blacks.

Maybe you are a brave soul and choose to paint your feature wall black or to cover your fireplace face in sultry black slate – I say go for it. Jump in with both feet and create a breathtaking focal point in your home. Black is the perfect colour for furniture, draperies, paint, and flooring or absolutely anything you wish to feature in your home. Black is back, go ahead and indulge in this sophisticated shade.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext 227 or email her at

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