black is the new bedroom?
by victoria comment

1/7/11

so, the other evening on twitter, anna from door sixteen was asking some decorating advice, and i, in turn asked her and martha mcquade of uniform natural what they thought about painting my bedroom wall black. martha, quite quickly rendered up this photoshop version of exactly what i was envisioning!

so, dear readers — i’d like your advice! what do you think about the idea of painting the wall behind my bed black? do you like it? do you think the room should be left white, or maybe a pale shade of gray? inquiring decorators want to know!

133 responses to “black is the new bedroom?”

  1. hi victoria! i really like the black accent wall. i think it really compliments your decor and there is enough natural light in your room to not let it feel too overwhelming. your headboard/bedframe really do stand out along with your framed photo. i don’t think the color gray is strong enough to achieve the same appeal as the black. :) maybe a chalkboard black/gray? :)

  2. I know I’m no help, but I think both work really well. I’ve painted accent walls black and have never disliked the outcome. If you’re craving something different I say go for it!

  3. I’m not a fan of the single dark accent wall, I think it creates too much contrast in the bedroom, maybe an office or kitchen would be better (esp. with chalkboard paint). I’d go with an allover rich gray and accent it with white accessories, white trim for a little *pop*.

  4. I’d say stick with white – its so lovely and open. I painted one wall in our bedroom a very dark blue a couple of months ago and want to change it already – Its going to be a pain to paint over too. Love the idea by bozena too x

  5. black might be a bit harsh…but a dark gray chalkboard paint could create the same effect and you could jot down inspiration in the middle of the night ;)

  6. I like the black wall with your black dresser and mirror I think it looks great, you also get plenty of light in your room that It doesn’t feel drab, it feels bold and fun. Go for it!

  7. casting my vote for a deep grey or midnite blue! it’s softer and more lite reflective but gives the punch you’re looking for. happy painting! can’t wait to see the new look!

  8. my entire home is off white with black accent walls! go for it! you can pair it with just about any accent colour for the accessories.

  9. i like the black wall, but honestly i think you will ‘oversee’ it. meaning you will have enough of it for it is such a statement in colour. i long planed to paint on wall in my bedroom in a rich chocolate brown. i put a sample on the wall and after a couple of weeks it doesn’t feel right anymore. so i choosed a warm grey colour instead. and i still love it. maybe you try just the space behind you bedend? so you have a more or less small stripe and can actually ‘feel’ how you respond to that?

  10. too harsh, and unless this room is huge, it seems like it would make it feel small. Perhaps something warmer like…dark blue, plum or brown?

  11. I like it a lot! it helps balance out the dark dresser on the other side of the room. my only hesitation would be that you have a few other black walls in your place and maybe you might want something a little different- like a rich charcoal.

  12. Usually black on walls makes me think of troubled teens, but since your bedroom is so light I think that black accent wall looks super chic! Go for it!

  13. Maybe not pure black but a shade lighter. I did my bedroom (all the walls, not just one) in Sherwin Williams ‘Black Fox’ and I’m glad I took the risk. It looks great with white curtains and bedspread.

  14. It’s a bedroom why not go black, I think it looks great. It seems like there is lots of natural light so it would not be too dark in the room. It’s only paint, if you get bored with it you’ll just paint again. I say go for the drama!!!

  15. I love high contrast, but I think black & white would be too energizing in the bedroom for me. Maybe a graphite grey or something like Cinder from Benjamin Moore to temper the effect & make it more restful? I’m thinking you could take inspiration from a b&w photo – you already have the black dresser/mirror, white ceilings/curtains/wall, now you need some grey tones.

  16. I have painted a wall that was grey into black and totally love it, I really like the contrast, plus there is plenty of light coming in and space, I would give it a go, u can always repainted back into any color!!

  17. Truthfully – the whole wall being black will make your room smaller and it would need a lot of light to over come that feeling.

    Have you thought about maybe doing Horizontal black stripes on that wall? Not small stripes but big graphic stripes …I think that would make a beautifully amazing statement.

  18. feels too unbalanced and makes the room feel so much smaller with the black wall. I much prefer the white walls.

    just curious….can you also show a mock up version with grey?

  19. Great Room!! If you want some black how about painting the window frame black? Dramatic but not overwhelming. I do not like the black wall…it looks to be ‘in your face’ claustrophobic, like the wall is coming at you.

  20. I saw another great post on black/charcoal walls on Apt Therapy this week – I like it! You could put a nice little pair of antlers up, or some cute vintage silhouettes – it would look awesome!

  21. PS – Just another thought. The headboard could be covered in textured black fabric or print – along with the black window trim might give the drama you desire.

  22. You might consider painting the ceiling – rather than the wall – in a very dark pewter/charcoal. That truly gives the illusion of endless space – quite the opposite of what you would expect. Or, re-frame the artwork over the bed with a very large frame – and black matting…. just another thought.

  23. light gray would be wonderful and tranquil. I think black would suck up all the beautiful natural light you have in your bedroom and make the room appear smaller. I went from dark walls to light gray in my bedroom and I couldn’t be happier!

  24. I would suggest that a soft grey be used instead of the black, how about Revere Pewter or Pashmina from Benjamin Moore. Also, a beautiful solid flawless finish in the Aura Matte would be perfect.

  25. I think a black accent wall would be stunning, especially in a matte finish. I really like The Old fashioned Milk Paint Company http://www.milkpaint.com/prod_safe.html. They have a product called Safepaint, which is an interior paint that can be used on non-porous surfaces like walls. I think the Pitch Black shade because of the flat velvety finish would be really beautiful and distinctive.

  26. Its all in how you live with the color! Re-designing my home office (slash) room, and I am literally taping off the wall which will be painted black! Great minds, right! Also, I am in a wicked vintage Rolling Stones mood so paint it black seems like the coolest idea eva! My ? is when we get sick of it, how hard will it be to break the color down? How much primer, in gallons, are we expecting? This could be like making out with that hot special someone and finding out the truth! Yowza!

  27. I much prefer white walls. The room just looks/feels more airy and fresh with white walls. If I were to go with a darker shade I’d go for a grey/blue tone.

  28. Wow, it looks so good! Either black or dark grey would look nice, better than white I think as it makes everything else in the room pop out and adds an interesting element.

    Wishing we had a good spot in the house for an accent wall…

  29. I LOVE the black (also like the idea of an ‘off black, so the starkness is not so severe) – maybe it could be on that wall behind the bed with a 12″ border of the white left all around. like a black rectangle within the larger rectangle of white. I haven’t read all 79 comments before posting mine, so someone might already have suggested this. No matter. Whatever you decide will be ‘parfait’. Of this I am certain. I LOVE your blog, V!

  30. I say go for it… I painted the wall behind my TV black, and our living room isn’t all that big. It helps the giant black entertainment armoire and mess of speakers disappear, and the colors on the TV really pop. It gets a ton of compliments, too.

    I do love the way the black looks in the mock-up. It seems to help balance the room, and you have enough natural light to keep it from becoming a cave. After seeing the black, the white wall makes the room look plain.

  31. Came across your site on my twitter feed. Love it! And I want to chime in on this one. Keep the black wall – it shows you have gumption. It also gives your tiny above the headboard photograph a dramatic frame. Suddenly I can see it. Maybe consider changing the curtain rod to black and raise it up as high as you can above the window for some long, dramatic curtains. Swap the curtains out for a bold black and white pattern. The will make the adjacent wall feel less stark beside the black wall.
    I hope that helps. Best of luck and remember, it’s just paint.

  32. I would go for (dark)gray; the black seems a bit to harsh to me, also given the light (as far as I can see on the picture). Farrow & Ball has got lovely grays.

  33. Looks a bit heavy to me, and I wouldn’t want black in my bedroom. It’s so light and airy, I say keep the lightness with white or a nice light grey.

  34. I like the black, but for this room I think gray would be better. You could do pale gray, medium gray, charcoal gray…There are so many possibilities with gray. It’s my favorite neutral!

  35. Definitely, go for gray in that space. I love black walls and have them in my home, too, but it is too much contrast for that lovely bedding and your soft details! Besides, you already have black walls to enjoy in your dining room and that darling plant nook!

  36. It needs color, but in my opinion, I would not go in that direction. With that said – I applaud your boldness. If it feels good to you, then go for it.

  37. in my humble opinion, don’t paint it black….unless the girl with the dragron tattoo is planning to move in….

    i like the white wall…it’s “safe” as milk

  38. Your bedroom is so clean. That’s the first thing I thought of upon seeing both images.
    But, in my opinion, I like the ideas of going for a good gray hue like the Bedford Grey someone mentioned.

  39. Honestly, it looks so much more inviting. the black makes the bed pop as if with a com-hither look & wink, it was saying, “come to me”. :) x

  40. I personally think the black is a bit harsh, but I think a medium to dark gray would look awesome. I’m partial to martha stewart’s Cement Gray. Can’t wait to see what you end up doing!

  41. Love black walls…and unless you are planning on lacquering it, it will actually look quite soft. :)And if you do not like it…such an easy fix!

  42. holy cow, you guys! i thought this would be ignored, and i can’t believe your amazing response. you rock! i feel like i need to create a matrix just to figure out all your fab suggestions. thank you so much!
    v.

  43. I’m an interior designer from Melbourne, Australia – I loved your blog, I found it very inspiring. This is all new to me but I have just set up my own blog
    scrapbook-melissah.blogspot.com
    You may like to check it out because I had so much fun doing it.
    Thanks for providing me with such great entertainment!
    Cheers
    Melissah

  44. Your bedroom is lovely! If you like the black-white contrast I say go for it! I would have painted all walls black (or greysih nearly black),and pop in some more colours.
    But it certainly is lovely as it is :)

  45. I just painted my entire guest room black, all four walls, and absolutely love it; however our GBR is small, doesn’t have a lot of natural light, and no architectural detail to speak of. Your room has beautiful natural light and may benefit from a color just shy of black… We painted the wall behind out bed BM Iron Mountain, and it was perfect…Good luck!

  46. I like it a lot. You have a lot of natural light so I think your bedroom won’t become darker. The furniture pops out in the black wall.
    And if you get bored you can always paint it in other color, right?

  47. i agree with Heather A. (and maybe some others) that the black will really dampen the beautiful light you have in the room and make the room look smaller. with just one window and the black on the largest wall it will really cast a darkness on all the light surfaces. an allover dove grey would bring depth to the walls without overwhelming or darkening the space and the black dresser and other furnishings would stand out nicely.

  48. I don’t like the black. I think it’s harsh and makes the room look smaller. I would want something more peaceful for a sleeping space. How about that torquise you recently highlighted from another source, was it Lonny? I’m over the black walls in general. So 2010 ; )

  49. Dark gray. I think if you choose black, other objects may not be able to hold-up to the strength of the color, such as the petit bedside lamps. Swap the painting on your bedside table with the photograph over your bed, and if the room is big enough, I would increase the size of the ceiling light “chandelier,” otherwise, it feels insignificant with a very dark wall.

  50. Love the idea! I’m looking for a wall to paint black myself. Anyway, I think you should stick w the white walls and maybe put a string of lights in the corner where black and white meet.
    /Ylva

  51. I’m a fan of the black wall. It makes a bold statement. All the walls in my bedroom are an almost black colour (I kept the ceiling white). It took a bit of getting used to but I love how cosy it makes the room feel. I agree with Cami about hanging a larger frame above the bed or a cluster of framed pictures to up the impact. It’s a lovely space to play with – look forward to seeing the real after pic!

  52. I like the boldness of the black but not the stark contrast of the other white walls. I would do them in a shade of dove gray, I think. I used to have a black bedroom and I bored of it sooner than the white room, I have had now for 4 years. I love the whites. Change is fun, and now you don’t what to do anymore than you did before!

  53. I don’t know. I’m in an anti-accent wall phase right now. At least in rooms that have four walls to show for themselves.

    If anything, I’d vote for four gray walls. Either dark or light gray would work well in this space. But the white you have in there is also quite lovely. It really depends on the feel you’re going for, I think. Personally, I dig serene bedrooms, but everyone has their own bias in that regard. It seems you may looking for drama, and if that’s the case, a black wall is an easy way to get it.

  54. I have this same duvet from Anthropolgie, and just recently changed out my coordinating sheets to a lovely warm medium gray and love the pairing. With that in mind, I think a gorgeous gray tone would be lovely and would help to draw attention to your cute white headboard. (While the black does this, I agree with others that it feels a bit too jarring.)

  55. I LOVE it and I say just throw it all in and go for black! But, I have painted strong colors before and the edges (in the corners) are never quite straight and (as a perfectionist) it drive me CRAZY! So, I would grab some corner crown moulding and run that up the two corners. Pre-paint the corner molding white (if you buy the pre-primed version one version of hi-gloss designer white should do the trick) and then just nail it up in the corners. A little white wood putty and touching up over the nail heads and you’ve got it done… PERFECTLY!! :) Good luck!

  56. I LOVE it. it’s actually quite refreshing in
    that it’s an “out of normal” move without to many consequences. it’s just paint afterall! for those of us that don’t have the option or the gall to follow in your creativity, please for god sakes just go for it! :)

  57. I love it…I had a black and white living room with neon posters of big cats in it and it turned out very well. You just have to have the right colour on the right walls. My room had lots of angles in it so I balanced it out. Looked gorgeous! I have moved since then and Im planning to do my bedroom black silver and white so I suggest going for it – if you feel the black is too much why not stay with white and get a black and white picture for the centre of the wall or paint half the wall black and half white or even quarter it up and do each block alternate black and white? There’s so many combos you can experiemnt with! Im also doing my living room black and a warm white with stunning turquoise rugs and pictures of horses running in the sea and dramatic roses on black blackgrounds, set off with dark silver lighting. would be interesting to see what you eventually do! Good luck :)

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