i’ve gone to the dark side.

it’s time for me to share a little bit more of what i’ve been doing to decorate my new house. this weekend i just wasn’t feeling the dining room. it felt kinda blah, without any distinct personality. so i called up my favorite painter and asked him for more chalkboard black walls! i’ll admit it, i’m kind of addicted to this look, and the sunroom is definitely one of my favorite places to hang out, and guests seem to feel cozy in there, too.

so, now, i’ve got some really dramatic, dark walls with pretty white crown molding. i love it! this is two coats of rust oleum’s black chalkboard paint (the best price i’ve found to date is at home depot). i’m still afraid to actually to take chalk to it, and i still need to accessorize, figure out the artwork situation, and locate a great chandelier, but here’s how the dining room is looking thus far.

96 Responses to “i’ve gone to the dark side.”
  1. kayla says:

    I LOVE it! The contrast is fantastic and it looks so nice and cozy, but still has a nice, light feeling. GREAT job!

  2. casey says:

    dramatic and understated at the same time. pure gorgeousness.

  3. i am crazy about this room victoria. just lovely!

  4. It looks AMAZING! I’m trying to decide if I should paint my apartment myself or hire someone. Do you love your painter? I’d love a rec :)

  5. nichole says:

    Gorgeous! I love our chalkboard paint wall. It’s one of my favorites in the house. It does looks so dramatic and polished.

    Looking great!

  6. mina says:

    Come to the dark side, we have cookies! :)

    Love the dark side.

  7. Kathleen says:

    I LOVE it! Especially the natural textures of the dark brown wood table, light wood floors and white fur with the black walls as a backdrop. Amazing. Also, that mirror above the mantle is to die for.

  8. Angela says:

    I LOVE it!! A dining room is the perfect place to play around with daring colors (in my opinion).

  9. victoria says:

    wow!! thanks for the nice response guys! i love it, i must say!

    caitlin – i have an awesome, and very inexpensive painter! email me and i’ll send you his number.

  10. karey m. says:

    had to tell you…jealous. i nearly closed my eyes and pretended this was MY room.

    now that’s bad.

    miss you. xoxo.

  11. i looks fantastic! i would love to do this somewhere in my place. just have to convince hubby :)

  12. This looks gorgeous! It’s so elegant, doesn’t seem dark at all! Just beautiful!!! xo

  13. victoria says:

    thank you – i agree – what’s a dining room without a little drama, right? ;)

    hi karey! i miss you too! xo

  14. It looks amazing, Victoria. I love it.

  15. Kari says:

    I love your apartment. That paint looks fab!

  16. Alicia Bock says:

    I couldn’t love it more. Gorgeous!

  17. victoria says:

    thanks girls! i’m so glad you like it! it was bold, but worth it!

  18. Debra says:

    Mr. Suave looks right at home on that dark wall. Way cool.

  19. I love it! It’s a bold move and pays off!

  20. The room looks large does the color make the room feel cold or small? I am coming to san gram June 2 to an art show would love to meet u.

  21. victoria says:

    hi jordan – that would be great! and nope, it actually warmed up the room. it was kind of cold and blah before the paint. :)

  22. Tory says:

    Wow! There are so many things in that room I am drooling over….the wall, the moldings, the table, the accessories. Love!

  23. Loving the dark ( and your blog ). Perfect backdrop for that amazing portrait and all the silvery goodness !! XO lisa

  24. jodi says:

    so dramatic!! looks great!

  25. chrissa says:

    I love it, V! Such a great use of black. Really wonderful.

  26. Cajeta says:

    It looks fantastic! I love the dark wood, the patina on the accessories, the black & white chairs, and of course the black paint! WOW

  27. kathy says:

    looks great. enjoy!

    and thanks for sharing. it’s fun to see!

  28. It looks great! How much fun would it be to write a giant menu on the walls for a dinner party? Love the black walls, and I love it even more that it’s chalkboard paint!

  29. geri says:

    WOW! you have some serious decorating skills girl….my daughter has a black bathroom and i thought that was cool, but i must admit that your dining room is oh so dramatic, yet so classic! love it!!!!

  30. jennifer in sf says:

    I love how it’s looking. With a chandelier and some more art it’s going to be totally awesome.

    Would you share the name of your painter? I kind of want to re-paint my whole studio and I’m not sure I can face it myself!

  31. Lisette says:

    Gorgeous!! Love the black walls, accessories and general vibe – well done to go for this look!

  32. jennifer in sf says:

    Ooo. I just saw your comment above. I’m totally emailing you about this painter!

    And I wanted to add that I love the bentwood chairs in black. Seriously.

  33. Caroline says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t like this? It reminds me of a house I stayed at in India, which also had a black dining room. It always felt so stiff and cold– I get chills just thinking about it now.

  34. Olivia says:

    ooo I’ve been wanting to paint my walls gray in my living room for a long time! I love this look. Thanks for sharing.

  35. Tanya says:

    I adore your walls. I am kinda in love with chalkboard black

  36. Carly Smith says:

    looks amazing! makes me want to get more gutsy with chalkboard paint :)

  37. kelly says:

    love it! I so want to paint our apt. shades of gray but I’m pretty sure our landlord would lose it.

  38. liane says:

    it look reeeeaaalllllly good, v. gawd. im gonna have to paint something black around these parts..

  39. Hannah says:

    I’m so inspired! I would never have the nerve to paint walls so dark, but after seeing that room, I just might… Thanks, Victoria!

  40. Tricia Rose says:

    Absolutely brilliant!

  41. Courtney says:

    Okay, I have an idea! Have you seen http://www.designaglow.com ‘s latest product? It’s a chalkboard-style-thing for photos, but what I was thinking that some of the designs they’ve drawn around photos would look SO COOL translated onto a wall!

  42. Julie Blinston says:

    gorgeous! I wish we could do something like that in our house but have these dumb textured walls. Argh.

  43. nick klaus says:

    ooh! love the effect. It’s cozy without being cavelike. And even without the artwork, the room looks stunning. I wonder if a chalk pattern on the wall could substitute for some art

  44. victoria says:

    thanks again y’all! :)

    i have ordered these amazing wall decals from shanna murray, now i just need to get up the courage to apply them. and some chalk!


  45. Dana G. says:

    I thought you were a little cuckoo when you mentioned that you were thinking about painting the dining room with chalkboard paint, but I admit that I love it. The painting goes perfectly with the color of the walls and the white molding and fireplace keeps the room from getting too dark. very cool. personally, I’d have a hard time using chalk on the walls too.

  46. cecelia says:

    G O R G E O U S. one of these fixtures from brand van egmond would be ridiculous in this space…


  47. victoria says:

    gorgeous, indeed, but so not in my pocketbook!! ;)

  48. victoria says:

    dana – well, i am a little cuckoo. ;)

    and i added the mantel, btw. it’s a faux victorian fireplace mantel i found at ohmega salvage yard in berkeley.


  49. Jenny M says:

    That is just brilliant!!! I am way to chicken to try something like that. I canĀ“t wait to see more pictures as you keep decorating it. It looks awsome already though. :)
    Thanks for sharing.

  50. Ashley says:

    It feels so much more grown up than the all-white you had in your old place, not that that wasn’t lovely :)

    RE: the chalk walls … chalk pinstripe!! it can always be erased / repainted!

  51. victoria says:

    ashley – i like the pinstripe idea – fun!

    that was subtle, marisa. lol!!

  52. nicolle says:

    love love LOVE it!!!!

  53. Deb says:

    Wow – this looks really fantastic – i love the contrasts. very inspiring!

  54. That is beautiful–love it!
    I, too, am going to email you for the painter’s number/info. I don’t know if the bf can handle all the painting jobs I have this summer!

  55. Karina says:

    This is brilliant! I love your dark side!

  56. looks fantastic! i love that you’re not afraid to go big and bold.

  57. cathiehong says:

    wow, your space looks gorgeous. the dark walls look super against the wood & white molding.

  58. wow, that is sensational, and just what i needed to see. Have been contemplating painting a wall behind my bed black – this gave me confidnce to do it.

    v.cool victoria – love it!

  59. kelly ann says:

    ooohhhh, i love!

  60. kyna getsinger says:

    love it victoria! sounds like you are having a wonderful time decorating your new place! did you reupholster your chairs yourself? I have some saarinen chairs that desperately need something new and don’t want to buy new cushions. xo

  61. victoria says:

    you guys are all too kind! thank you so much!

    hi kyna – and thanks! i did make these cushions, but trust me, you don’t want to look at them up-close. they’re pretty bad. but, they do the trick for now! :)

  62. cammie says:

    I painted a wall in our kitchen/dining/living room chalkboard and love love love it. all of our art looks so dramatic against it and you can’t be afraid to draw on it. you could draw legs on that handsome fella’s portrait! try an out of the way corner first if you like, but a damp rag takes it all off although I really like the smokey patina of erased white chalk.

  63. ash says:

    it looks absolutely amazing, victoria. love it! xo

  64. honeydonthink says:

    Mr Suave looks so at home! Beautiful walls and contrast with white woodwork – inspiring. I love the fireplace and the fact that you brought it w/you. I can see your silver vases and lab beakers on mantlepiece or sideboard filled with bougainvillea or other bright pink flowers. Only thing I’m not 100% sure about is shaggy carpet under dining table with people sliding chairs in and out or eating over it. That’s just me being overly practical perhaps.

  65. cecelia says:

    definitely not the most wallet friendly but a girl can dream right? :)

  66. Kathy says:

    Wow, wow, wow! I love this room! Please tell what color is on your ceiling? Pale grey? Really beautiful job!

  67. victoria says:

    me too, cammie!

    thanks, ash! you will see it soon! :)

    honeydontthink – so far, no mishaps, and i had this rug under the table at the old place.

    cecelia – only if i decide to change it!

    kathy – the ceiling is just a flat white. :)

  68. Love that black. It looks like there is a tint of blue in it. I think that’s the trick. Thank you for the paint name. If you use the Tord Boontje Garland Light in white, it would stand out well against the black wall. And it’s not too expensive. I love that painting you have – being small on that large wall. It seems to float on a sea of calmness.

  69. Brandi says:

    It’s just gorgeous. And doesn’t at all look too dark (like I thought black walls would make a room look). It’s so dramatic. Perfect.

  70. Love the new look! My dining room is very dark brown (Ben Moore Minc) and I love it too! Very cozy…the only dark room in my house. Can’t wait to continue the tour of your new casa!

  71. Karyn says:

    Hi, Can you give me the contact info of your painter? I’m in SF and looking to fix up my kitchen. Thanks!!

  72. Michelle says:

    So gorgeous! It looks perfect!

  73. Chloe Daley says:

    Such fantastic walls. The chairs just complete it.

  74. so marvelous! you must enjoy it so much :)

  75. EBrown says:

    Victoria, this is so beautiful I want to jump up and paint my littlest room all black. You rock, girlfriend!

  76. This is wonderful..I love the dark walls

  77. Nashvilledeb says:

    Very brave of you, but it works. And I would kill for your table!

  78. Cajeta says:

    hi, I’m curious as to how u decided on chalkboard paint. Did you try out other black paint? Is the finish different from other matte paint, such as clay or milk paint?

  79. victoria says:

    nashvilledeb – thank you – my mother gave me this table. :)

    cajeta – i wanted the option of being able to actually draw on the walls, and i love the look of the chalky gray when you’ve erased something. just a little different, i guess!

  80. brandeye says:

    wow, looks amazing!

  81. Jutta says:

    I l-o-v-e it! And your sunroom is too perfect for words, in case I forgot to comment it before :)

  82. mrs. french says:

    black!!!! oh no…i have been so obsessed with white, i have neglected its counterpart. i cannot tell you how much i love this, genius my friend! xo t

  83. Kara says:

    I absolutely love your dining room. The black walls look amazing!!

    I think you might have to chalk your walls before writing on them the very first time. Janell at Isabella and Max’s room did a study in her house. Check it out.


  84. Hilary says:


    A) LOVE your blog – have been daily dedicated reader since 2008 – keep the brilliance coming!!!

    B) Incredible room. I was recently turned onto black chalkboard paint by a friend and I wonder now how I ever lived so long without. Live in a CA mid century bungalow with thick framed screens. Painted all the interior frames with the chalkboard paint and now beautiful contrast to white walls during day and the windows melt into the dark sky at night. So little paint – massively wonderful effect!

    QUESTION: Did you paint the bentwood chair the gloss black or came that way? If painted, did you spray, if so may I ask your recommendation on paint?Just inspired me about what to do with awful Louis style desk inherited that has great bones shape but in current walnut, lets just say SOOOO does not go with my aesthetic. Perhaps with some black gloss paint it can be resuscitated afterall …

  85. Anna @ D16 says:

    OMFG! I’m just getting caught up on posts right now, and WOW WOW WOW it looks amazing!!!

    I really think I might have to do some repainting…

    Let’s just copy each other forever, okay? :D

  86. Oh wow. Love the look that the black wall give. I’m inspired to rethink the wall colors in our home! Have a lovely week!

  87. victoria says:

    hillary – thank you so much! and yes, i painted the bentwood chairs with rust-oleum’s black lacquer spray paint. it was kinda stinky, so i did it in the backyard and set up a plastic sheeting around the chairs, and wore a mask! ;)

    anna – thanks so much! it means a lot that you like it, since i’m the one always copying your inspiration! yeah – copycats forever! :)

  88. mav says:

    looks amazing!!!!!!

  89. vee says:

    this looks fantastic victoria!

  90. Black walls are the shit! Looks great.

  91. victoria says:

    thanks you guys!

    thank you morgan – as a huge fan of your home, that’s so awesome to hear!

  92. maja says:

    wow-loving the combination of wood, black, white, textures and materials.

  93. Aron says:

    That looks terrific. The table goes with the look so well!

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