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Black Living Room Ideas

Black Living Room Ideas

It’s time to move past the stigma of black being a controversial colour

Linda Holmes
By Linda Holmes, Interiors Director

These black living room ideas might provide you with the necessary confidence boost to take the plunge, step away from the grey and white paint tins on the shelf, and see black for what it really is. A colour that’s not so much sombre, but sultry, less overpowering and more empowering, and rather than saturating your scheme, enhancing it.

How to Decorate your Living Room with Black

Before you pick up a paintbrush or start pawing fabric samples, the first step in decorating with black is to move past the stigma of it being a controversial colour. Darker shades are often more daunting to use (black especially so), but black is actually a neutral colour tone and is, surprisingly, easier to work with than many pigmented ones, like navy or deep green colour schemes.

Black Living Room Ideas _ Greg Natale _ Black and Gold Living Room _ Read more in the Style Guide
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Much like in fashion where black is heralded as being the hue that everything goes with, the same is true for your home. Black’s a colour to trust, to fall back on, to know that it’s going to look good with every finish, every fabric and every other colour in your room. And it goes with every style of interior too.

Pair it with metallic accents and mirrored furniture for a decidedly Art Deco feel, or with polished finishes and plush fabrics if you’d like to bring out black’s glamorous side. Matte black, contemporary artwork and sculptures and leather upholstery will also lead you in the direction of a contemporary living room too. Ultimately, black’s a colour to embrace as a low-maintenance option for your living room’s palette and it’s this mindset that’s important when decorating your living room – or indeed any room – with black.

But should you go all-black? Or use black as an accent that cuts through lighter or coloured schemes? Let the degree of natural light in the room guide you here. If your sitting room doesn’t have a large window and light is on the sparse side, this can be, contrary to popular belief, the perfect foil for a black palette.

Relying on colour to make a room feel lighter is rarely successful; the colours instead feel muddied and shadowed. Follow nature’s cue instead and use dark colours in dark spaces as these give rise to the most convincingly cosy and luxuriously cocooning nooks.

Even if your living room is flooded with light, maybe there’s an alcove area that’s recessed, calling out for a black treatment. A similar mindset applies for using black to make your living room feel larger. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need other colours to break up the blackness and stop your room from feeling small.

A black sofa against a black wall for example means that they melt into one another and the available floor space appears greater. Similarly, if painting with black, leaving the skirting boards and coving in white will actually make the ceiling height feel lower because the white breaks up the black. Instead, continue the black paintwork the whole way through and your ceiling will appear further away.

Emillio Chair
Emillio Chair
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Black and Grey living rooms

Black and grey living rooms represent a more contemporary colour palette. Choose a dark grey to stand alongside black and you’ll see that the difference between the two is minimal, which feels sharp and confident. This is all the more true when you choose dark grey on the walls and black for the furniture, as they appear more like silhouettes within the room.

Other black and grey living room colour ideas however can involve far paler greys, which has a softer, safer result. A grey, black and white living room brings a third colour to the mix, which all complement one another and portrays the link the three colours share – how it is black and white that combine to produce greys of varying strength. If black still feels too bold for you, consider grey colour schemes, which can offer more subtlety.

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Black and White living rooms

Monochromatic living rooms are one of the most classic and striking. They’re two colours that go hand in hand and what makes them so impactful is that they sit, quite literally, at opposite ends of the spectrum. It’s the ultimate contrast.

Much like with a grey scheme, you can turn this into a black, white and grey living room if you like the notion of a more blended palette. There’s one crucial ‘rule’ though that will prevent your scheme from being predictable or contrived. Go big on texture. It means that each use of black or white feels distinct from the next.

Black and white living room ideas could include polished black granite flooring against dark-veined white marble furniture, panelled white walls and ceilings to create subtle shadow lines and references to black, and grain-rich ebony floors against deep-pile velvet or suede padded sofas and berber rugs. It’s classic meets contemporary, defined.

Black and Red living rooms

A red and black living room is one of the most confident of all of the black palettes. They’re two colours that together, have a seductive message, so lean towards red that are more burnished than bright. Burgundy reds, rusted reds and a few hints of crimson and scarlet are more tasteful than cherry red or pillar box red.

Try to space out the two colours rather than having red overplayed onto black for a more elegant result. This is where you’ll need to bring in other colours to widen the palette, such as dark grey or even tan leather.

So, instead of a black sofa with red cushions, choose a tan-coloured sofa with an assortment of cushion colours and perhaps a red accent chair close by and black accessories around the room.

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Black and Silver living rooms

Because of hearing the whisper of ‘silver’, you might think a black and silver living room would be a bolder scheme, but it’s in fact a more understated contrast, Silver, chrome and stainless steel all reflect the light in a greater way than most metallics so that your eye reads them as light-giving rather than as a dominant colour.

If you use metallic furniture and accessories with slim profiles, the silver shade will remain a whisper. Other black and silver living room ideas include incorporating silvered greys on centrepiece rugs, lustrous silver fabrics on cushions or upholstery – silk and velvet work especially well as they capture silver’s inherent luminescence.

Black Living Room Ideas _ Greg Natale _ Black and Gold Living Room _ Read more in the Style Guide
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Black and Gold living rooms

After monochrome, a black and gold living room is the most popular and effortless to combine. Try to mix a combination of gold finishes, such as polished gold lamp bases, mirrored gold bases on coffee and console tables, antiqued gold on sculptures or the frames of pieces of art, and even hints of a matte gold finish on items as small as decorative objects or light switches.

From here, pick up on the golden tones through your fabric choices. The weave of a rug or a touch of gold in the weave of a cushion will help to bring the whole colour palette together.

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Black Living Room Furniture

Conversations around colour have a tendency to focus your mind on paint. But you could decide on having any shade on the walls and still maintain a black scheme by using predominantly black living room furniture.

A black sofa in a living room will be one of our greatest statements. It’s the key item of furniture in the room and the one that you will use and look at most of all. If you have more than one sofa, consider having one in black and the other in a dark grey to avoid your living room from feeling too put-together.

Black gloss living room furniture elsewhere in the room is an opportunity to introduce another texture and another finish that will provide lift. A polished black console table is a compelling way to draw the eye to another feature in the room or a black-tinted glass coffee table that will achieve light-reflection and an element of luxury.

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Black Living Room Accessories

The best colour schemes are those that are carried through to every aspect of the room. To be sure that you carve out a few spaces in your room to reference your colour palette, be mindful of just a few black living room accessories. If you have black on too many accessories, it will again appear very staged and formal.

Black-framed pictures for a living room will help you to bring black from floors to walls. Or, keep your black frames to be displayed on surfaces like mantels and accent tables and select black and white prints for your living room walls instead.

Other accessories that carry black well are vases as you can fill them with colour or simply greenery if you want to keep your scheme fairly neutral, and candle vessels in black glass or ornaments provide your living room with the smallest pops of black that punctuate the entire look.

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