If you've ever used a color wheel to assist in the complex process of selecting the perfect palette, you may have noticed the absence of black. That's because black is actually not considered a color at all — in fact, it's the absorption of all colors, making it a multitasking hue that pairs well with virtually all other shades.
The color black is symbolic of mystery, power, elegance, and sophistication, so it's no wonder that it's a go-to hue for many when it comes to home decor. It adds visual weight and depth to lofty spaces, makes small rooms feel more spacious, and imparts a welcome moody vibe. Even in small doses it adds drama and contrast and can emphasize architectural features. When paired with equally saturated tones such as purple, red, and yellow, the look achieved is bold and daring, but when used in conjunction with paler hues, the result is more subtle.
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Here are 20 different color pairings that will tempt you to embrace the dark side.
20 Black Color Combinations
1. Black, White, and Gray
Keep the look classic with a low contrast neutral color palette of gray and black. Since the two shades complement one other, the pair creates tonal interest that isn't visually jarring. In this cottage kitchen, charcoal gray trim and door paint add warmth to checkerboard floors and black cabinetry.
2. Black and Cyan
Make a bold statement with a high-energy pairing like cyan and black. This retro kitchen sports the unique color combo on cabinets and in a zigzag floor pattern, creating an eye-catching cook space full of life and personality.
3. Black and Burgundy
Burgundy is a rich hue that marries red with purple. The result is a soulful and romantic shade that looks particularly elegant against a backdrop of black, as seen in this dining room styled by Emma Hos. The wine-colored chairs by Fritz Hansen add the perfect hint of color to this elegant display made up of more sobering hues.
4. Black and Red
Cherry red, like the shade Jennifer Boomer used on the kitchen cabinets in this cook space, is an eye-catching hue that stands up to black without getting overwhelmed. The energetic color can breathe life into high-traffic rooms like the kitchen and dining room.
5. Black and Olive Green
Green is an enduring color that brings a sense of calm to interiors. It works in just about any room and has the ability to beautifully soften black, as demonstrated by this striking dining room from Homme Boys. The inky wall color coupled with verdant velvet drapery and lush plant life gives the words fine dining a new meaning.
6. Black, Gray, and Mustard Yellow
Counter the more serious nature of black by punctuating it with a sunny shade of yellow. The cheerful hue can make a big impact even when used in small doses — just check out the mustard yellow headboard in this bedroom by Katie Rosenfeld. The light gray wallpaper, with a billowy cloud pattern, bridges the heaviness of black accents and stark white bedding.
7. Black and Burnt Orange
Love the look of black, but interested in diminishing its heaviness? Take notes from interior designer Jean Stoffer, who blanketed the ceiling in this stylish sunroom with high gloss ebony paint, introducing sheen and a welcome reflective quality that results in a feeling of lightness. A pair of velvet burnt orange club chairs are a jewel-toned counterpoint that balances the weight from above.
It might go against conventional thinking, but small rooms often benefit the most from a dark color scheme, which can give the illusion of more space. For example, this alluring bathroom by Heidi Caillier employs a timeless combo of navy blue, black, and white for a high-drama look. Floor-to-ceiling tile creates continuity from the ground up, visually expanding the footprint, while a black and white floor adds a bit of pattern.
9. Black and Purple
Make a real visual statement, like Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day did in this bedroom, by juxtaposing black with an equally dramatic hue like purple. Matte black walls and eggplant-colored bedding carry the broad strokes throughout the space, while a gray area rug on top of light wood floors brighten the room from below.
10. Black and Taupe
If you're feeling a bit hesitant to commit to black as your primary paint color, use the dark shade sparingly. In this taupe living room, Studio Life/Style successfully uses the dramatic hue to punctuate an otherwise neutral space. This way, notable elements such as the grand piano and marble fireplace surround are allowed to pop.
11. Black, Rust, and Wood
Introduce warmth and sophistication into spaces with an unlikely combination: black, rust, and wood. Midcentury, bohemian, and vintage-inspired spaces are the perfect opportunities to flaunt the earthy color scheme that's effortlessly pulled off in this bedroom. Pair with an assortment of potted plants to complete the look.
12. Black and Orange
We know what you are thinking ... black and orange? But before you dismiss the combo, this minimal kitchen by Katie Martinez proves the two can appear together without bringing to mind pumpkins, ghosts, and goblins. The warmth of the light wood floor and ceiling paired with the orange dining chairs balances the potential coldness of the black metal cabinets and appliances. The result is a pared-down and sophisticated space that's clean and bright, yet approachable and welcoming.
13. Black and Periwinkle
A perfect marriage of blue and violet, periwinkle allows black to take center stage while subduing its bold edge a bit. In this tween bedroom by Meghan Carter, black leaf wall decals add pattern and visual interest while lighter colors such as white, yellow, and blush accents keep the look jovial and bright.
14. Black and Copper
The pink-tinged undertone of copper metal sparkles against a black backdrop, making the pairing elegant and striking. And a little of the lustrous finish goes a long way: In this sitting room, a lone copper accent table elevates the overall feel and commands attention.
15. Black and Pink
If you're partial to pink, but worry it'll come off as juvenile or saccharine, couple it with black à la this swanky bar designed by Leanne Ford for actress Shay Mitchell. The moody floral wallpaper acts as a nice visual interruption between the black ceiling, walls, doors, built-ins, trim, and drapery. The brass bar and the high-gloss finish on the ceiling do a nice job of reflecting the light.
16. Black and White
Whether you reside in a minimalist abode or favor farmhouse living, black and white is a high-contrast match-up that will stand the test of time. This timeless black and white kitchen, for instance, is picture-perfect proof of the duo's staying power.
17. Black and Emerald Green
This moody powder room eschews a high-contrast color scheme and still achieves a dramatic look by pairing black with emerald green backsplash tile. The reflective surface creates shine and serves as a focal point even in the low-lit space; the wood accents add texture and warmth.
18. Black, White, and Gold
The color black lets gold hardware sing, adding glamour to even the smallest of spaces. Malcolm Simmons included flashes of the glinty metal finish in this black and white bathroom, lending a sense of luxury to a workhorse space.
19. Black and Fuchsia
Black is used deftly in this lively living room by Jessica Helgerson to accentuate key details — like exposed beams, ceiling-height windows, a large bookcase, and a floating fireplace. Pairing the ebony hue with an intense shade like fuchsia creates a welcome tension that keeps the look elevated rather than kitschy — especially when used sparingly, say, as a rug or an unusual piece of furniture. The addition of plenty of wood, camel-colored leather, and white breaks up the saturated look.
20. Black and Brown
If you're concerned a jet black wall color will overwhelm your bedroom, opt for a matte finish as showcased by Tali Roth Designs in this dreamy setup. Even though the inky hue is quite powerful, the brown bedding and wood flooring temper the impact, resulting in a relaxed and down-to-earth vibe perfect for catching a few zzz's.
Best Colors to Pair With Black
In broad strokes, or small doses, black is timeless and chic, elevating any room it is used in, regardless of the design style. It goes with a myriad of colors including classic pairings such as white and cream as well as boundary-pushing shades like purple and red, so you really can't go wrong. But just to recap, here are a few of our faves:
- Mustard Yellow
- Olive Green
- Emerald Green