Disclosure: This post is sponsored by SmithHonig, however all opinions are 100% mine. Affiliate links may be contained in this post.
If there is one thing in the 70’s Landing Pad that everyone thought I was crazy for doing, it was painting the walls black.
That move was also one that I’ve never thought twice about – I love how those black walls in our living room and dining room turned out.
I get that black walls aren’t for everyone and that’s totally ok. On the other hand though, besides the golden band, (haha – see what I did there? Please tell me someone around here knows Randy Travis?), people have said “I LOVE your black walls, but I just don’t think I could ever pull it off.”
Well you can. And I’m here to tell you how.
You see, I had no damn clue what I was doing when I painted those living room and dining room walls black. I just knew I wanted black walls. After they were black was when I had to learn how to actually decorate the space with the black walls.
How to Decorate with Black Walls
The key to having a beautiful room with black walls is to make those walls the backdrop, not the focal point. The black walls should accent the rest of the room. Think of them as supporting actors, but not the star of the show. I’m all about metaphors around here. 😉
1. Balance out the black with another neutral.
Black is a neutral. To soften the black, I also brought in white and ivory tones to our living room. The sofa is white, the bar is ivory and the cabinetry is also neutral. I’ve found that making these bigger pieces like the furniture neutral with black walls helps to balance the walls out.
Navy Velvet Pillows with Colorful Trim / Floor Lamp / Coffee Table (similar) / Red Velvet Drapes / Sofa (similar)
2. Pull in something big with pattern.
In my case, it was my snakeskin patterned rug. Now you might not want to go with something so boldly patterned, but definitely try to get something big in there that’s patterned.
3. Pick 2-4 other colors (actual colors, not neutrals) to liven up the space.
For our living room, I went with dark reds, emerald green, mustard and a little navy. I’ve found using these actual colors on textiles works best with black walls. I went with solid dark red velvet drapes on the windows. This added a big dose of color on the walls that broke up the black.
I pulled in emerald green on my two accent chairs and then added more colors in with the accent pillows on those chairs.
Green Chairs / Vintage Gypsum Pillow / Mustard Velvet Pillow with Tassels / Lion Print / Red Velvet Drapes
I loved these chairs when I got them, but I fell in love with them even more when I got those pillows.
Green Chairs / Vintage Gypsum Pillow / Mustard Velvet Pillow with Tassels
My friend Kellie and her friend, Melanie recently started a new company called Boho Luxe Home and these beauties came from there. They have gorgeous, colorful home décor items including pillows, wall art, and more.
For these chairs, I went with solid golden velvet pillows that have a patterned band around them and then smaller patterned pillows, called Vintage Gypsum, in front that are the same pattern from the band on the velvet pillows. These added the perfect amount of extra color to these chairs and the whole space overall. The velvet pillows come in lots of different contrasting piping options.
On the white sofa, I pulled in that same color pattern again, but this time around velvet navy pillows and a touch of leopard print.
This pulled all the accent colors together throughout the whole room. Boho Luxe Home pillows come in many different shapes, sizes and patterns. You can view the whole collection here. Another one of my favorites from their line is this All Love pillow that is in the Circus’ room.
I love the design and colors on this pillow, but I also love the message. 🙂 This one is also available as wall art. Besides pillows, Boho Luxe Home also offers canvas, metal, wood and leather art. Shop their whole collection here.
4. Have big focal points.
Like I said earlier, you want your black walls to be a supporting actor and not the star of the show. One way to do this is by having large focal points against your black walls – like big art. I like big art and I cannot lie.
Lion Print / Red Velvet Drapes
In my living room, one of the focal points is the oversized lion art. The black walls set it off and it’s also nicely framed by my red drapes.
The same is true in my entryway.
The art is the focal point, but damn those black walls set it off. 😉
5. Sprinkle in a few metallics.
Whether it’s brass, chrome, copper or nickel, just about any metallic looks great with black. I actually spray painted my coffee table gold and love how it looks against the black.
Navy Velvet Pillows with Colorful Trim / Coffee Table (similar) / Sofa (similar) / Eyes Art
You may have also noticed that the side table between my two green chairs is metallic as well. I also added in metallic accessories on top of the bar too.
Green Chairs / Vintage Gypsum Pillow / Mustard Velvet Pillow with Tassels / Gold Table (similar) / DIY Crystal Vase
So, yes, you CAN rock black walls. Just remember to add in a few neutrals, some color, big art and a little metallic.
What do you think of black walls?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by SmithHonig, however all opinions are 100% mine.
Marty Oravetz says
I love your bold choice of colors and design. It is so fresh and fun.
Thank you so much, Marty!
Kathy Grey says
I love your black walls. Unfortunately, my living is small and already dark. Maybe my bedroom?
I LOVE that lamp in your living room!!
Definitely your bedroom, Kathy! 😉 I love that lamp too – one of my favorite Craigslist finds!
Debra Bartels says
Still in love with that room.
Thanks, Debra! Me too! 🙂
This post could not have come at a better time! We were just discussing the other day, what color to paint our living room and because it has vaulted ceilings, I tentatively suggested black. Then I waited for the are you crazy/nutso comments to spew forth from his mouth. Instead I was met with contemplative silence. I was smart enough to have some samples pulled from Pintrest at the ready to show my ideas. After contemplating (him) bated breath (me) it was agreed that black walls were a very strong contender. Gasp!!!
Now our style is European / Venetian with strong accents of dog fur/slobber, so not the same as your style. But I love your walls and how everything goes together, so clearly your tips work! All your tips are very helpful for going with black walls, regardless of style.
The only place I’m getting stuck is the curtain color to go with. Since I hoard curtains like I hoard lamps, you wouldn’t think this is where I would get stuck but I’m just not sure. I have nate Berkus brown/black curtains now and they will fade away into the walls, so I was thinking a cream, but then I thought is that to boring? Then I thought maybe green… sigh!
Any advice would be more than welcome!
Oh girl, I don’t think cream would be boring against the black at all – they would pop!!! I think you could green as well and they would look great! Either way would be fab!! So excited you are considering black walls!!! Come on over to the dark side. haha! 😉
Love the walls! They are so dramatic. It’s amazing how the accessories help everything balanced and not too heavy. So glad I visited from Sunday Features link up.
Wow, I can’t imagine painting a room black but you certainly pulled it off. Looks great. Thanks for sharing your wonderful posts at Over The Moon Party.
See you next week.
Thanks so much, Beverly!
I’ve never tried to paint walls black, but I love the pops of colors you used in your room.
Thanks so much, Erlene! Gotta have some pops of color in there!
Pam S says
But on the other hand….LOL ~ that was just too easy!! Your black walls are to die for! And you nailed it here…supporting actor 🙂
I knew you’d get that song reference, Pam! 😉
I had dark currant walls and was temped to go dark navy or black but, decided our home was too dark already an lightened up the room with a tri color combo with a yellow. I love the glam look of this room. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party.
Oooo, those currant walls sound dreamy. 🙂