Now that Drew Scott, the co-host of “Property Brothers,” and his wife, Linda Phan, have settled into their newlywed home, they’ve revealed some interesting tidbits about their new life there. For instance? The doting couple painted their bedroom walls a very daring color: black.
“A lot of people say you can’t do black in the bedroom—and we wanted to prove them wrong, because in our room, there are also so many warm tones,” Scott explained to US Weekly. Phan echoed his sentiment, calling the walls “very moody and sexy, but also relaxing.”
Although Scott and Phan didn’t share an actual photo of their boudoir, it got us wondering: Are black bedrooms the next big thing?
Understandably, painting any walls black—whether in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or otherwise—can give some people pause. Going to the dark side takes nerve, so we hit up a few paint and design pros for some guidance. Here are seven ways to make black the right choice for you.
Black walls: Which rooms are best?
Black can work in just about any room, but you’ve got to be ready for it.
“Black walls have a way of reminding me of an Elvis painting on velvet when they’re not done right,” warns Debra Kling, a professional color consultant. Her advice: Use caution before you commit to a black dining room—and always put up samples first.
Alternatively, you can go slow with this trend and use black paint on an accent wall, as seen in this media room, above (the dark paint also tricks the eye, hiding the TV). Another option to consider is black wallpaper, especially the removable kind that you can take down if your enthusiasm for this non-color fades.
Take black walls to the loo
“A black powder room can work, perhaps with white wainscoting, a great antique brass mirror and brass lighting,” says Kling.
Black on the ceiling of a small room can cause the ceiling to disappear, making the room seem larger. A black home office is also possible, especially with a gallery wall of art, since dark paint allows the objects against it to stand out more definitively.
Look for balance when using black paint
A completely black room will seem like a cave—and no one will want to live there. So as you consider black paint, balance it with lighter tones and fabrics.
“Black is an anchor color that can give weight to a room that also includes soft neutrals or pastels,” notes Dee Schlotter, senior color marketing manager at the paint brand PPG.
A few ways to craft this important mix of tones: white bedding, bright throw pillows, and patterned drapes.
Find the undertone in your black paint
Nope, not all black paint is alike.
“Many homeowners are surprised to learn that there are many shades of black, and each has a unique undertone,” says Jamie Novak, an organizing professional and author of “Keep This Toss That.”
A black with navy undertones mixes well with light blues and greens, while one with brown undertones is best used with beiges.
Schlotter recommends PPG Paints’ Black Flame, which is infused with an undertone of deep indigo.
“This blend of two colors was PPG’s color of the year in 2018,” she notes. “And it’s very versatile when used on a statement wall, with a matte finish on a ceiling or with high gloss on a staircase.”
Add blues and gray to black
Some of the best accent colors to go with black, according to the pros, are spalike blues, gray, and classic white.
“Just be sure to stay away from orange and yellow, however, or you’ll accidentally end up with a Halloween-inspired space,” warns Novak.
Go for contrast
Kling recalls painting a bedroom black for a homeowner. She then turned to lots of white woodwork, wall art, and white shoji screens, in order to set off all of the darkness that they had created.
“Be prepared with white or light furnishings and accessories, which will appear to advance from a black background and add dimension to the room,” she explains.
Schlotter reports seeing a lot of all-white walls in spaces with black ceilings or a black interior door.
“Painting trim and molding black is another great option,” she says. This works well, she adds, with the trend toward black framed windows that has recently become popular with “the residential segment that loves the simplistic farmhouse look.”
Weigh matte and shine
Want to sleep well? Choose black matte paint for your bedroom walls. This quiet surface can be soothing and provide less stimulation than rooms with a lot of color, notes Novak. But if you love a more glossy finish, save it for the details.
“I shy away from shiny black for most things, except for moldings, staircase rails, newel posts, or perhaps dramatic lacquered bar cabinetry,” says Kling.