The color black is being used more and more in the world of interior design. While it used to be seen in industrial, contemporary, or even art deco spaces, the dark shade has become a go-to for modern farmhouse, boho, and even traditional interiors, too. And even though covering a wall with black paint can feel like a dramatic transition, dark walls can feel beautifully decadent. However, wall paint isn't the only way to introduce the moody hue.
Sectionals, rugs, bookcases, light fixtures, window treatments, and more make for some really sophisticated decorating ideas and can actually make a big impact, especially in the living room. Beyond the specific color, the paint finish is another way to add variety and visual interest to your design.
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Whether you're looking for a high-contrast, black-and-white effect or you're longing for a moody, old-world vibe, there are countless ways to make a living room feel cozy or sexy simply by using the color black. Ready to take the plunge? Here are 25 living room ideas that will make the decision easy.
1. Use matte black paint.
Create a moody atmosphere by combining matte black walls and light-colored accents like blogger Judith from HUIZEDOP did in her living room. The dark shade transforms the space into the pinnacle of luxe — especially when matched with cool shades of gray from the drapery to the area rug. The matte finish keeps the setup from looking too flashy.
2. Pair with gray.
Let your walls act as a dramatic backdrop for your home's minimalist aesthetic. Opt for an inky shade like gray that will add depth and complement your pared-down scheme, while a few oversize accessories and a hint of greenery infuse texture. This soothing living room idea from Historiska Hem and showcased on Coco Lapine Design is the perfect example of how black walls don't need much more than a few photos to make a statement.
3. Bring in bright colors with a black gallery wall.
The color black makes the perfect background for this maximalist's love of color. Photographer and blogger Pati Robins used a gallery wall — made up of pieces flaunting vivid yellows and bright reds — to create an eclectic, almost over-the-top living space that demands attention. The dark backdrop ensures that the artwork will be the stars of the show.
4. Welcome a glamorous touch.
When selecting black paint, opt for a satin enamel or semi-gloss finish to add a little sheen to your walls. The simple choice will make your dark and moody space feel a bit brighter and a little more luxe. In this penthouse apartment by Ashlina Kaposta, reflective black walls pair beautifully with glam pieces of home decor, such as a crystal chandelier, brass accents, leopard print pillows, and a faux fur throw. Complete the swanky scene with a black area rug to make the plush white sofa and marble coffee table stand out even more.
5. Play up the contrast with a black-and-white palette.
You don't have to go with all-black-everything in order to pull off a black living room. Quite the contrary. The team over at Blackband Design balanced the dramatic hue with an equal amount of white, and the result is bold yet not overbearing. The black floor-to-ceiling, herringbone tile fireplace surround might otherwise feel heavy and weigh down the room if it weren't for the white walls and loads of natural light. The black ceiling beams, front door, coffee tables, and side tables punctuate the space and add a bit of edge, while the neutral textiles and light wood flooring add a cozy and inviting element.
6. Mix in neutral pieces.
Take notes from this comfy living room designed by Heather from Growing Spaces, and select furniture upholstered in a light-colored leather to temper down the brilliance of bold, black paint. Throw in some vintage artwork and a muted-pastel area rug to create a welcoming atmosphere.
7. Integrate lush greenery.
Lush foliage looks fabulous against a black wall, as seen in San Francisco-based photographer Jen Kay's living room. Stuff your space with every plant you've ever loved — from succulents to cacti to hanging plants and more — turning your sitting area into a boho-chic bungalow. The greenery will add a welcome dose of color and texture.
8. Add black shiplap for some dimension.
The black shiplap wall paired with elegant white drapery panels, a woven rattan lounge chair, comfy sofa, sisal area rug, and polished concrete flooring all work together to add variety to this stunning modern beach house by Villa + Villa. Follow the design team's lead and incorporate this idea around a fireplace or behind your TV.
9. Paint an exposed brick wall.
While many love the look of exposed brick — especially in an industrial loft space or home — it can limit how you decorate. But no need to worry. You can always paint over it as proven by Leanne Ford in this living room. Complete the sophisticated scene with worn black leather sofas and black slate floor tile.
10. Go all in.
If high drama is your thing when it comes to home decor, then look no further than this monochromatic living room by Rach from Rasberry Flavoured Windows. She really went for it, incorporating a variety of materials and textures from the wall paint to the sofa to the flooring, all of which showcase a rich ebony hue. But the design is far from flat; in fact, it makes quite the impression.
11. Paint the ceiling black.
When it comes to black living room ideas, the walls tend to get the lion's share of the attention. However, this inspired setup by Black Lacquer Design makes a good case for directing that focus to the ceiling for a change.
12. Hang an eye-catching chandelier overhead.
With so much attention being paid to the bold color choice, it can be easy to forget about things like the lighting, but that would be a mistake. Follow the lead of Park & Oak and give your living room the ultimate glow-up with the help of a dramatic chandelier. The right fixtures can make all the difference, especially when you're working with a dark and dramatic shade like black.
13. Add black wainscoting.
Again, there are almost countless ways to create a black living room. It does, of course, depend on your personal style and how much of the dark shade you really want to use in your space. For example, the team over at Studio McGee managed to incorporate the edgy color in this transitional design by dressing up the walls with black wainscoting. The classic paneling adds warmth and a sense of tradition, while the bold hue modernizes the look.
14. Opt for black wallpaper.
Ditch the paint cans and brushes, and splurge on wallpaper instead. The textured black design in this living room by Heidi Caillier makes an unexpected backdrop for traditional sofas upholstered in a mauve floral fabric reminiscent of a different time. The surprising combination proves that the moody hue isn't limited to contemporary interiors.
15. Integrate texture with wood slats.
In an effort to help make your black living room dreams come true, why not put your DIY skills to the test? Lindi and Russel from Love Create Celebrate did just that in this cozy setup by making a wood slat accent wall, and the finished result is oh-so-cool. The coordinating black color blocking doesn't hurt either.
16. Focus on the decor.
If covering your living room from floor to ceiling in black is giving you anxiety, focus your efforts on the furniture and decor instead. Got a white sofa? Add a black throw or a few accent pillows. Need a new floor lamp? Look for a fixture with a black finish. In this eye-catching setup, the sofa frame, throw blanket, light fixture, side table, area rug, and artwork make quite the statement.
17. Hide your television.
One of the good things about a black living room is that you can easily incorporate your TV. In this stunning space belonging to Buster + Punch founder Massimo Buster Minale, the television blends right into the custom wall of floor-to-ceiling shelving. Between the books, art, and perfectly styled decor, it's easy to overlook the functional piece of equipment.
18. Don't forget your fireplace.
Don't stop at built-in shelving — consider painting your fireplace surround as well. Designer Zoë Feldman did just that in this charming living room, resulting in a seamless uninterrupted finish. The rest of the space is light and bright, keeping the focus on the black accent wall.
19. Invest in matching bookcases.
Take the idea of a black accent wall one step further by adding black bookcases. In this living room by Raili CA Design, beautifully styled cabinets provide a layer of texture and dimension. The curated assortment of treasures plus the large window looking out onto lush greenery keep the ebony wall from feeling flat.
20. Warm things up with rust-colored hues.
The color black is often thought of as a stark hue, and while it can be, you can also achieve a warm and cozy result if you think carefully about the rest of your palette. Haneen from Haneen's Haven shows us how it's done in her gorgeous black living room. The light brown sofa, terra cotta-colored lounge chairs, and vintage-inspired area rug flaunting the same colors keep the space from feeling cold and dreary.
21. Emphasize your home's unique architecture.
You love the look of black walls, but worry the decorating idea won't look as good with the angled walls in your living room. However, the dramatic hue is actually a striking way to celebrate the unique architecture of your home. Consider following the lead of this eye-catching setup, and paint just one wall in the inky shade to really define the shape. Keep the rest of the furniture and decor neutral and minimal.
22. Anchor your room with an oversize black coffee table.
A piece of furniture in black creates an interesting focal point. Add some edge to your living room makeover with black furniture. For instance, a credenza, bookcase, or an oversize coffee table — like this dark wood-stained beauty — are quick and easy ways to integrate the bold color into your space.
23. Add a bold area rug.
Take notes from this dreamy situation crafted by Studio McGee and complement your black living room design with a bold area rug. Here, the linear pattern echoes the tongue and groove ceiling, while the blue color ties in the striking velvet sofa.
24. Pair with lustrous brass accents.
Dress up your black living room with lustrous brass accents à la this elegant space by Jenn Feldman Designs. In this setup, the saturated ebony walls pair beautifully with the warm metallic finish sprinkled throughout, from the chandelier to the mirror to the tables. The tufted velvet green sofa and sleek chairs only add to the seating area's undeniable wow factor.
25. Make it midcentury.
Midcentury modern design often leans toward neutral colors and warm wood finishes, but in their home, designers Ben and Gen Sohr prove that adding black into the mix can really take things to the next level. They added some board and batten detailing to the black walls and kept the rest of the space fairly simple and true to the classic aesthetic.