How to use black accents in interiors

What do you conjure up with the word black?  For me it signifies elegance and sophistication.  I wouldn't be without a little black dress in my wardrobe and the same is true for me with interiors.  I would generally choose a black lampshade over a white one or a black picture frame before a timber style.  Faced with a dated round timber dining table, my first thought was to paint it black, which I absolutely love.  I don't like lots of it and I'm not a fan of black leather at all, but just that accent here and there, for me, really defines a room.  Read further to see how to use black accents in interiors.

Even if you live in a bright and airy coastal home, minor black accents, perhaps in door furniture or tapware, bring a touch of style.

How to introduce black accents into interiors
Image: Meir – Three Birds Renovations, tiles from Amber

The reasons that I like to use just a touch of black in interiors are:

  • Dark colours recede and are not as bright and obvious as light tones. I tend to like understated interiors so this is a plus for me.
  • Black goes with everything.  It can change the look and feel of a room or an object, but it would rarely clash.
  • Although there are underlying colours in some black finishes, they are not as tricky to work with as whites which when mixed can be very problematic.
  • A touch of black in an interior adds an understated elegance – even if it is just for handles on joinery.

I am not a fan however of lots of black in interiors.  I don't like black sofas and armchairs or cushions and throws.  However, a cushion with a black trim or a chair with some black piping is another matter.  I certainly wouldn't recommend black flooring as it just shows up too  many marks and I don't like black rugs.  I do love a black trim on a natural floor rug though.  These can look absolutely stunning on a hall or stair runner.

I would never select black curtains but white sheers or simple linen drapes on a black metal rod look fantastic.  Do you see where I'm coming from?  It is my usual mantra of less is more.  With such a heavy colour as black, you must use it judiciously.

How to add a touch of black to your inteiors
Image: Mustard Made

When can you use more than just an accent of black?

  • Kitchens and mud rooms look fabulous with black joinery.  As black, like all dark tones, recedes, cabinetry in this colour is restful and doesn't take over in a space.  I tend to avoid black in laundries as I feel this room should always be bright and fresh.
  • Dining tables look great in black, particularly if they are partnered with chairs that are either rattan, leather, or a combination with some black elements.
How to use black accents in interiors
Image: Satara

Related: How to use black for kitchen cabinetry

I have some images to show you where black is just an accent.

How to use black accents in interiors
Image: Corinthian Doors

I particularly like a touch of black with greige walls.  Note the accents here are small; a mirror and the straps on the basket, but with great effect.

How to use black accents in interiors
Image: Beacon Lighting
How to use black accents in interiors
Image: Norsu

Black hardware and track system on this barn door looks amazing.

How to use black accents in interiors
Image: James Lane

Some minimal black touches here in the cupboard handles and the metal in the chair work well to tie in the darker tones in the artwork.

How to use black accents in interiors
Image: James Lane

The black occasional chair looks fabulous with the artwork.

How to introduce black accents into interiors

A simple black curtain rod looks great next to linen sheers.

How to introduce black accents into an interior
Image: Globe West

A simple black hallway bench is a nice way to link the dramatic black windows.

Have I convinced you that a touch of black could work well in your interior scheme?  Would love to hear from you in the comments below.

How to use black accents in interiors


2 thoughts on “How to use black accents in interiors

  1. Penny Stone says:

    Hi Samantha, I have been an avid follower of your blog since I discovered it and always value your advice. My partner and I are building our retirement home on the Redcliffe peninsular. We have decided on gloss white kitchen cabinets with black handles and Caesarstone Nougat (looks like marble chips) for the bench-tops with timber look flooring. Would love to hear what you think about black glass for the splashback. Too much???

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Penny lovely to hear that you have been an avid follower of my blog! I think this will look good but be mindful that black glass can be difficult to maintain as it shows every splatter! Perhaps look at a smoked glass mirror to get a similar effect but with not such a strong tone? Hope this helps Samantha

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