POLL: Would you go black?

Luke Buckle
March 1, 2017

The decision to paint the walls in a room black is perhaps the boldest home design choice of them all. (If not, it's certainly up there with going without walls, or putting a toilet in your garden.

Yet look at the result in this glorious room below - the ample sunlight, contrasting white woodwork and ornate ceilings all help make the choice seem a classical and inspired choice.

This would not be the case in many homes, but many have tried and succeeded.


Rothesay St, Remuera · More Info


So, given the right room, would you ever paint it black?


YES! Love!
NO - that's crazy talk
Other (please explain below)
Comments (32)
  • PRO
    HughVF

    The only way I would ever paint a wall black is if it was a feature wall in a child's bedroom and it would be special black board paint you could draw on with chalk as a novelty.

  • Betty Weaver

    Wow what a great idea Hugh. I like it in the photo you have attached but I think you really need to nail the type of black you use.

  • PRO
    PMG Design

    As long as the walls are broken up with windows, doors, artwork - absolutely!

  • junipergirl

    I did not like the idea of painting walls black simply to do with creepy crawlies and me not being able to see them! I am warming up to the idea of black though. I think it looks super in a really light filled room, so yeah, I would probably do that.

  • Nicole Parker

    LOVE IT!

  • PRO
    Jane McKay

    We have a black tile wall in our lounge room!


    Luke Buckle thanked Jane McKay
  • PRO
    PMG Design

    That looks awesome Jane!

  • PRO
    Jane McKay

    Thanks PMG Design, we love it!

  • Iris Spittle

    We have painted a feature wall not a dense black but definitely black, (behind the bedhead in the master suite), matches our beautiful matt black & gold ensuite tiles. All linen will be white including a gorgeous bronze studded white velvet headboard.

  • ruthfay
    In the process of painting two walls in new kitchen/family room with Dulux Black Caviar. White cabinetry, black appliances, quite a substantial amount of natural light through bifold window and very large stacker doors. Not sure what colour to use for the remaining walls? Trying to avoid using anything that is too creamy or might throw any hint of blue.
  • chrisandjanelle

    Love your artwork ruthfay

  • sslorach
    It can look fabulous, but it's not practical in a tropical area - black retains heat.
  • ruthfay

    Thanks chrisandjanelle, amazing piece by local artist Luke Beazley.

  • annb1997

    I remember my dad painted the library/study walls and shelving black, and the floors red. There was one medium sized window in one wall and three smaller stained glass windows in another. It was bold for the times (1973) but suited the room perfectly.

  • wendan26

    Absolutely LOVE black, 40 years ago my husbands work was all night work, he had trouble sleeping during the day so I painted our bedroom walls black, dyed and lined large sheets black for the windows, we both loved it, black was definitely not in at the time, our friends were not too sure but eventually liked it as it was different. I have had black in each home since then, our ensuite right now is tiled floor to ceiling in black with a black double vanity, our main bedroom, kitchen, meals and family is black and cream with touches of burgundy, it is standout colouring, after nearly 9 years here we still get excellent comments on our colouring.

  • Lynley Jenness

    We have just painted our living room Resenes eternity. This is a dark black with a hint of green. It has lots of light with doors and windows which have natural wood frames. I am struggling to choose curtains to match though. Ideas?

  • helendyjak

    Iiiiiiiiiiiiiii-delicate dusty pink with black in a large room would look good! ask the shopkeeper to give U a cut of a 1/2 metre and take it home!good luck

  • Iris Spittle

    Sounds delish!

  • siriuskey

    absolutely, suits all styles, love it






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  • helendyjak

    pic #4-kitchen I would only do 1 wall with that colour-the clock wall! both walls as it is enclose the kitchen too much even if it's large-this is my opinion!!

    Luke Buckle thanked helendyjak
  • Iris Spittle
    Also painting all our internal doors black, we have black aluminium trims on windows & shower toiletries recess, taps, shower heads, towel rails, it's looking great! Lots of colour in our art works/pieces and a gorgeous big wall in dark turquoise in living space.
    Luke Buckle thanked Iris Spittle
  • atcomas

    I painted one 10m long x 3m high wall in our office a dark grey with door trims in black gloss. The only natural light is through the double width glass front doors. The opposite wall is white, ceiling is white, and floor tiles grey. I would never have painted the wall grey but as it is a rental property I used the cheapest priced paint I could buy. The local Dulux shop were selling a mis-mixed 10L tin for just $30. It was a bold choice but looks great and "warms" the office. It is a feature wall now. So, yes, I would consider black now. Keep in mind that with the opposite wall and ceiling white, there is a lot of reflective light so the actual paint colour grades in intensity from the front door to the back door. You could have 50 shades of black!

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  • Lynley Jenness

    Thanks Helendyjak. I was wondering if sort of terracotta orange would work too as I saw some velvet in that colour.

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  • juliechisholm

    I adore black! Particularly if it is paired with crisp white. I painted a spare room in my previous home gloss black on the lower part of the wall and white on the upper part. I painted the old floor boards white (my family thought it was sacriligious!!) to keep it light and loved it!

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  • ruthfay

    A splash of orange with black is pretty good.

  • PRO
    Fusion Landscape Design Limited

    I have had my kitchen walls painted very dark charcoal for the last 11 years. I am about to do major kitchen renovations and yes the walls will be exactly the same colour again. Luv it.

    Luke Buckle thanked Fusion Landscape Design Limited
  • Karen McLeod

    We stayed in a hotel 3 years ago, & all of the corridor walls, ceiling, carpets, doors & trims were black. The room was black & stainless steel/silver & the beds & pillows were like concrete. I'm sure they thought it was fabulous, but it most certainly wasn't

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  • helendyjak

    ljjjjjj-I call it "burnt orange"-good colour and it is in as well!!!

  • PRO
    The House Doctor

    I love using dark colours in the right places and in truth, there really isn't a colour that is true black - that would be a none colour and one that can only be truly matched and equalled by its exact equal and opposite (white) for balance and a striking visual effect - like in this kitchen where plenty of natural light streamed in. When I design my colour palettes using "black" there is always an undertone of another colour to contrast or blend (like in the picture you featured here of the formal room at Rothesay). At Rothesay I used a prominent magenta and blue base amongst 8 other pigments which is why it appears to have a rich depth and acts to highlight the ornate ceiling that we painted in Aalto Gallery white. The trims give it contrast but the complexity of colour reflects and absorbs the red accents in the room. In Feng Shui "black" represents water and can be used in the South area of your home (on this side of the hemisphere) - this can be a particularly soothing effect. I used a near black with a brown/aubergine undertone in this bedroom that was once the place of non sleep and now definitely the opposite is in effect. I love using a base colour in my blacks to punctuate bright colours and jewel like tones - it feeds the soul! After all no adventure can be had by playing it safe - right?


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  • ducks43
    Depends on other factors beside light, for example surface texture, floor, ceiling height, and choice of paint - matt, satin, pearl. I like the idea but see too many obstacles to actually do it myself. Can't get rid of a mental picture of black walls speckled with household dust and shiny fingerprints. Guess I'm too old to be that brave, even though I once painted every surface of a panelled room in Hollywood Red.
    Luke Buckle thanked ducks43
  • Good Taste

    One problem would be that it increases the contrast between the brightness of light from windows and the interior of the room. So, if glare was an issue before, you will make it much worse. It maybe that that problem could be overcome with tinting windows, but that would make the room darker. I agree that dark walls look fab in magazines, but I don't know how to do it in real life. I think that the solution is to do it in rooms that don't actually have much wall to paint.

  • juliechisholm

    apennameandthata - simple solution for glare is to hang soft white voile curtains or white venetian blinds on windows - the voile softens the light beautifully and blinds are directional, so when glare is at its strongest, close them. The blinds can be opened again when the sun moves off the window.

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