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Room with wood vinyl flooring with only black and white coloured items including a couch, cushions, table and shelves.

10 Mar 2017

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It’s fair to say that the Rolling Stones weren’t thinking about home décor when they penned their classic hit, “Paint it Black.” Still, just like the musical legends, a drop of black paint can bring class and mystery to any room.

Black paint is the sort of extreme option that was favoured by angry teens or underage goths but it’s now finding favour with mainstream stylists. So what can an inspired use of black paint do for your home?

1. Go big in small spaces

The conventional wisdom is that small rooms require bright colours but this isn’t necessarily the case. A small bathroom space can be given some additional presence with black walls to offer a contrast to the fixtures. It’s a bold way to inject drama to what could otherwise be a nondescript room.

2. Be an exterior rebel

Black timber frame houses may be popular in Iceland but it’s not something you generally come across in Ireland. Black paint is traditionally a bit of a no-no for exterior walls but a few non-conformists have started to break with convention in recent years.

One of the benefits of black is that it focuses the eye on the design of the house so it can really enhance a stylish exterior or feature. If you think that an all-black exterior is a step too far, you can break it up with some white highlighting or trim.

If your house has some exposed brickwork or other materials, black paint can also provide a striking contrast that really makes it stand out.

3. Get into the black and white era

White walls are a timeless classic. They may be a fool proof option but they can sometimes lack impact. One simple way to add contrast and make your rooms really pop is to combine white walls with a black trim.

Painting your skirting boards, mouldings or beams black will have an immediate impact and convert your home into a black and white vision. However, it’s a pretty dramatic look so be sparing with it. You don’t want to transform your dining room into a giant chessboard as this can be overbearing in bedrooms or more relaxed areas.

4. Hit the roof

Ask most people what colour their ceilings should be and the chances are they’ll say white. What if we told you that black is not just an alternative but a look that can transform your room?

If your room has a lot of black objects or elements, a black ceiling can tie the whole thing together. If you have a particularly attractive white trim or mouldings on your roof, a black background will make it really stand out.

If you have very high ceilings, it can make the room feel cosier. Painting a section of the roof black can also make it stand out as a social or dining area and help to define an area in an open plan layout.

5. Darken your doors

It may not be a conventional option but black doors are undeniably stylish. Plus, they bring an obvious gravitas and sophistication to a room. They can also add emphasis to a doorway, making it stand out or turning it into a feature.

Like white, black is also a neutral colour so it can help to accentuate other tones or colours in a room. Unlike white, it’s a lot easier to hide smudge marks or dirty fingerprints. That’s something to keep in mind if you have a young family.

6. Update your furniture

Painted furniture has come back into its own in recent years as people update mid-century pieces with a fresh lick of paint. Black should be used sparingly but one or two key pieces can set off a room.

It’s also an option if you want to give your kitchen cabinets a more sophisticated look. It’s a break from the more conventional colours but it gives your kitchen a timeless look.

You need to have plenty of natural light in a kitchen to get away with this look. One solution is to introduce more light-reflecting surfaces like stainless steel appliances. Alternatively, you can paint upper cabinets in lighter tones.

7. Paint your fireplace

The fireplace is an obvious feature in a living room but it can easily get lost in a room if it’s a pale colour or a washed out wood surface. Painting it black makes it stand out and gives it a much needed facelift. The other benefit is that it opens up your options in terms of furniture as black works with almost everything.

The main thing to remember is moderation. Avoid overusing black paint around your house if you want to side-step drifting into the angry teen school of home decoration. It’s often a case of less is more – though a few small touches can help to reinvent a room.

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The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.

EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

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