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Every Room Needs A Little Black (Agree or Disagree?)

I finished painting my front door black yesterday.  I love how it looks.

Black front door, interior door

Now I need to get the door casing prepped, primed, and painted.  And then add the wainscoting to the walls.  (That antique white color on the lower part of the walls around the door is the original color of the room.)  But those will have to wait for another day.  For now, I just wanted to paint my door black.

I used Behr paint in a satin finish for my door.  (I just really don’t like semi-gloss paint.)  And the color is actually just black.  If you want pure black, you don’t have to select a black-ish color with a fancy name and a complicated formula from one of the paint cards and try to guess which one is the purest black.  Nope.  If you want pure black, just go up to the desk and ask for it.  This black is as true black as it gets.  It’s not gray-black.  It’s not a super dark charcoal.  It’s not an off-black.  It’s not black with blue undertones when you look at it in the can.  It’s just pure, deep, jet black.  It’s my favorite.

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Black interior doors seem to have become a trend, but I was painting interior doors black back in 2010.

To me, they’re classic and gorgeous.  And hopefully very soon, all of my interior doors will be painted black.

I’m always so amazed at the way that adding black to a room really ups the level of sophistication and elegance of that room.  It somehow makes the room feel more grounded.  It makes a room have more depth.  And I wish to goodness I could articulate what I mean by that statement, but I really can’t.  That’s just the feeling I get when I add black to a room.  More depth.

I’ve heard it said many times that every room needs a little black.  I think I agree with that statement, at least for my own house.  My entryway now has black in it.  I added black to my living room.

And I’ll soon be adding a bit of black to my kitchen in the form of artwork on my tile wall.

In my opinion, there really are no rooms that are immune from the power of black.  Even used in rooms where you wouldn’t really expect it, like a baby girl’s room, it really makes a difference.  And I don’t think it takes away from the girlish, feminine look of the room at all.

a little bit of black - baby girl room with black patterned rug and black artwork by Jessica McIntyre Interiors, via HouzzEclectic Kids by Arlington Interior Designers & Decorators Jessica McIntyre Interiors

One of my favorite uses of black in a house is on a staircase. This one even has black risers. It’s a bit unusual, but I think it looks beautiful!

a little bit of black in a room - stairway with black risers by Stacy Jacobi, via HouzzTraditional Staircase by Knoxville Interior Designers & Decorators Stacy Jacobi

More often, the risers are painted white, which looks really beautiful with either stained or black steps, and a black handrail.

a little bit of black - stairway with black steps and hand rail by Northworks Architects and Planners, via HouzzTraditional Staircase by Chicago Architects & Building Designers Northworks Architects and Planners

The concept even works for exteriors.

a little bit of black - porch and exterior mouldings, from Carla Aston Interior Designs, via HouzzTraditional Exterior by The Woodlands Interior Designers & Decorators Carla Aston | Interior Designer

That house would have been very pretty painted yellow and white. But there’s something about the addition of black that takes it from “very pretty” to “WOW!” And it doesn’t take much black at all. Just a little will do.

So what do you think of the “every room needs a little black” concept?  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Is this something you try to do in your own home?  I’m definitely going to start making a conscious effort to add at least a little bit to all of my rooms.  I just love what it does to a room.



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56 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kim
    September 4, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I agree 100%! Black grounds all of the other colors going on in the room.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Chris
    September 4, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I think even a dark brown would work as opposed to black. Just thinking that some color palettes really lend themselves more towards the brown than black. But that could also be my feeling as I tend to gravitate towards adding dark browns more often than not.

    The black is gorgeous, though.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jessiqa
    September 4, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Every room does need a little black (or very dark brown), and it doesn’t take much. A picture frame, a lamp shade, or a small decorative figurine with a black gloss finish (I used to have a vintage Breyer toy horse on display and loved it) is all it takes to give a well decorated room that extra “something” that makes it awesome!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Angie King
    September 4, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Love it! We are building a new home so fortunately (maybe not 🙂 ) I won’t have projects being that we were able to make our own design choices . . . . however, I do intend to take on painting all of the interior doors in my home black. It is just so rich and sophisticated. It’s the color that goes with every other color and compliments all colors so well. No other color can do that 🙂 IMHO 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kathy
    September 4, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I LOVE black! And, I LOVE your black door! Yes, I do add a little black in every room, and I think you described it well, why you should. Really makes a world of difference!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Trace
    September 4, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I love the black door….what’s it look like form the outside? Are you keeping both front doors?

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lisa S.
    September 4, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I totally agree with you – when I added molding to my interior doors and painted them all black, it transformed my home. I don’t know if I can describe it, but it pleases my eye! Nice work!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Alta
    September 4, 2014 at 10:12 am

    The black door against the white trim looks very elegant. What did you do on the outside? Is there any reason you can’t paint it a different color if you want to?

  • Reply To This Comment
    angela
    September 4, 2014 at 10:19 am

    i think black, brown or white and having one, two or all three makes a room. like a cherry on a sundae.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Annette
    September 4, 2014 at 10:21 am

    I love the nightstands with the skirts. I’ll ask a silly question: did you make them?

  • Reply To This Comment
    Naomi Williams
    September 4, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Disagree. I’ve seen a few room embellishments that would have looked much better if they had gone with a medium to dark brown instead of black.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Linda K
    September 4, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I agree! My brother (a designer, though fashion not décor) told me that and since I’ve always tried to have a little bit of black in every room! I love fabrics with black backgrounds!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Guerrina
    September 4, 2014 at 10:57 am

    I like accent of black here and there…the exterior of my front door is black and totally changed the look! I wouldn’t make a blanket statement that it’s for everyone/every room, but it works for me!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Beverly
    September 4, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Agree. I like black furniture particularly.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sharon Garvey
    September 4, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I love black! We installed a new front door and painted it black (inside and out) it’s classic and very regal looking. I don’t think we have a room without black in it whether it’s furniture or artwork it adds a punctuation to a room. Even browns can use a hit of black!
    And thank you for showing us how beautiful a kitchen can look with colour!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Becky
    September 4, 2014 at 11:07 am

    I agree completely! A friend told me this over 20 yrs ago and I’ve tried to practice it ever since.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jane
    September 4, 2014 at 11:08 am

    I’m with ya 100% on black! I believe every room should have it. I painted the front door on my Florida home black and now I live in New Orleans. We are getting ready to paint our front door black here too. I’m just waiting for the temperatures to drop below the 90’s!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Tracy2
    September 4, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Yes! Mom always said every room needs black and I totally agree. By the way, that bedroom is so beautiful. My master is next on my list and I’ve been looking for inspiration- thanx!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Brenda Pawloski
    September 4, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Edward Walker said this on Trading Spaces and when his rooms were done they perfectly illustrated this principle. Absolutely agree!

  • Reply To This Comment
    debbie
    September 4, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I totally agree. It is classic and you can never go wrong with it….just like the lbd for your wardrobe.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Laura
    September 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    While I love seeing black in some rooms (in your home and rooms, its gorgeous), I can’t see it working with my color palette. I have a lot of earthy colors, (green, blue, gold, etc) that are paired with dark brown and I’m thinking that adding black would make things too dark or that it just wouldn’t fit. Maybe I’m wrong but I just can’t see it in my home.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jeanne
    September 4, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I think exterior black is so sharp. I love black shudders and doors 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Laura
    September 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I’d love to do the trim around my doors just as you have but I am stumped with regards to the small horizontal pieces you’ve used. What are they called so I may have a chance of finding it at the big box store?

    Thanks,

    Laura

  • Reply To This Comment
    Mae
    September 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I love black, my doors and trim are black in every room of my house. I believe that black gives your eyes a place to pause and rest. Try it, you’ll notice that your eyes do pause.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kim in Houston
    September 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I like the use of black. I don’t think I’d do a black wall, trim or a door because I’m not that brave, but I use black picture frames in all the art in my downstairs. We have a pretty open concept floor plan and it seems to tie everything together nicely.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Barbara @DIY Home Staging Tips
    September 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Oh, yes, a little black, and also a little sparkle (glass, crystal, mirror…).

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lynda
    September 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I agree Kristi. I love black in a room. Your door looks great!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Heather
    September 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I will have to consider black. I just redid my bath/laundry which is white, aqua(ish) and yellow. No black. I don’t know where I’d put it? Also, honestly- I’m having a hard time getting into black doors. But, then, I’m the girl who still likes brushed nickle (gasp!) 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Suzan
    September 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    This is the first house I’ve lived in where I didn’t paint the interor doors black ! ( I painted the kitchen one but I’ve done them all in previous homes )
    One of my homes ( at least 10 years ago ) had 8 doors in the hallway – all of them black – against white walls – it looked beautiful !
    Love your door – it turned out great !
    And yes – every room needs a little black in my humble opinion !
    xoxo

  • Reply To This Comment
    designdreamer
    September 4, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Crazy, but YES!! I DEFINITELY agree with you about the black. WOW! That’s quite illuminating! (not sure the hubs would agree though, sigh)
    SO, SO, sorry about the doors and drawers problem. Gosh, that’s a bummer. I hope that they come soon without anymore hitches. And GEEZE Pottery Barn, get with the “customer service” program!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jan Fusco
    September 4, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Yes. Every room needs a little black. Gives your eyes a place to rest.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Rhonda Madison
    September 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I LOVE black in a kitchen…..I want to use black, pale yellow and red in my kitchen. My desire is to paint my kitchen cabinets in a satin black…..I like the black speckled chickens and the colors in a country rooster with a French flair!

    • Reply To This Comment
      Jane
      September 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      I have wallpaper with a black background in my kitchen. It sounds strange, but is very striking!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Michelle
    September 4, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I have a black front door too! I had to ask permission from our HOA to paint it black. At first they said no. ALL the doors in our neighborhood have wood doors that are stained. I emailed them various pictures of black front doors from the web, and they finally relented. You would’ve thought I wanted to paint it neon green or something. Ha. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Dawn
    September 4, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    love your black door!!!!! I have lots of black throughout my house….I also had my builder (spray) paint my front door and shutters black for my pale yellow house. (Have a bkackish roof also). He thought I was crazy, but when he attached the door and shutters he was shocked how well it “popped.”. I also spraypainted the white outside lights black. The white just faded away into the house…..

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sue
    September 4, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Since you asked for our opinion I will give it to you and hope that it doesn’t upset you. While I do agree that black in each room does ground it. I just took a walk around our home, I found a bit of black in every room but the computer room (don’t think the keyboard counts) and bathroom. And you’re right – it does make other colors stand out. However, I’m not crazy about the black interior doors. I think its just a personal preference, not a decorating choice that I think everyone should follow. Its just me. I did love the staircase with the black railing and the black steps with white risers – very classic and pretty. Have a great day and I’m curious about your kitchen artwork – as is your usual m.o. its probably SPECTACULAR!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Becky
    September 4, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I love black, but what I really wanted to comment on is satin paint vs. semi gloss or gloss paint. I agree with you. I love satin, it seems so much more classy. Everytime I go to a house with glossy trim, I just think “why?” So after pondering it for a long time I think I have come to this conclusion. I think originally people did glossy paint because it’s more durable and easy to wash. Maybe? But I used sherwin williams proclassic in satin on all my trim and I have four kids and I have scrubbed and washed and scrubbed and washed and it holds up really well. So I would like to tell the world, you don’t have to use glossy paint people….unless you like it, then more power to you.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Krikit
    September 4, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I agree, Black is in! Always!! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jane
    September 4, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Love the black door. My mother always told me that black was a neutral color and a touch of black should be added to every room. You are on the right track. Love those staircases too!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Rose L
    September 4, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Can’t say that I agree entirely with the “a little black in each room” thought. It totally depends on your personal style of decorating, age and architecture of your home, the mood you are trying to set and a lot of other factors in my opinion. Traditional home in a modern city, okay maybe. Farmhouse in rural America, probably not so much. See what I mean? I love design/decor and I follow lots of designers and their work just because I love it so much. I can’t think of any who follow this adage off the top of my head so I think it’s really just a personal choice, not anything more. I believe Betsy Spreet says it well…if you love it, use it, even if it’s gone out of style. Your home should reflect that which makes you happy. And that is the bottom line for me in my home!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Natalia
    September 4, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I like the black trim on the yellow house, otherwise it’s a trend I don’t care for.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ro
    September 4, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I have black in white floors in my kitchen and baths. Also entry door into the garage is black. I think some
    black is great in my rooms . It is really up to how one wants to go. My home is a 50,s house so trying to make it look like that.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Nancy
    September 4, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I love black accents in rooms, it is rich. However, I would never have thought to paint interior doors, but now after following you, and reading/seeing all this, I like it and am game to try! My front door (with oval glass insert) has stained trim and stained door for the 17 years I have lived in this house. All other trim and doors throughout are painted white. I am now going to enhance the upper trim, paint the trim white, and paint the door black! I can’t wait to give this a go!! Can’t believe I never gave this door a thought all these years. Love all you do and share! Thank you!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sandy
    September 4, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    I love it and want to do the same thing! Please excuse the simplistic questions but did you remove the door and do it flat and did you have to strip and sand ?

    Thank you
    Sandy

  • Reply To This Comment
    daphnne
    September 4, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    love the black!!!!! so are you thinking of doing all your doors black ? I want to do the same but i have some wood ,original doors that are nice and heavy, i would hate to paint those,what would you do? black is so timeless!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Karen
    September 4, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Love the black door. Had my house built last year and all of my interior doors are black. I love them! And all the trim is white. I was working with an interior designer on my paint colors for the walls.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Karen
    September 4, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Sorry, I dint get to finish my post. Anyway, the interior designer was. Skeptical when I told her I was having all the door painted black. After, she agreed it looked great!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Rhea Dawn
    September 4, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Love the look of your black doors! We are in the process of remodeling some property we bought and I have been thinking black interior doors. For the exterior we decided on Charcoal Grey siding with white trim and black shutters, with graphite metal roof. I am thinking a black front door would get lost?? Or go with a deep red? Love your kitchen and all the energy you have, can you bottle that and share? Look forward to reading your blog everyday:)

  • Reply To This Comment
    TinaG
    September 4, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I like black, but I don’t think it looks right with every type of decor.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Karen
    September 5, 2014 at 4:00 am

    thanks for this inspiration! I’ve been trying to decide which colour our front door will be painted and meant it to be really dark blue, but I think you’ve changed my mind – black is a classic, and we already have lots of small and not so small details in black around the house, so why add another colour that is not tied in to anything else? Btw, I love the yellow and white exterior exactly because of the black detail, otherwise that colour scheme would be overpowering to me!

  • Reply To This Comment
    lynne
    September 5, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Can I just say – ALL my doors in my new remodel aare going to be black! With white trim – #shamelesslycopying

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jaybird
    September 5, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I’m in the yes camp!!! There is nothing as snappy as a black accent….in home décor or dress!!
    Your door looks great!!
    Thank you for the paint tip…I need to get in gear and repaint our doors and shutters….if it ever cools off :^)
    Blessings to you,
    J

  • Reply To This Comment
    JoanneS
    September 6, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Yes, a touch of black in every room at my house! Your black door with white trim looks gorgeous!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ann
    September 7, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Yes, a little bit of black just adds that punch and gives the room a deeper dimension.

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