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Black is the New Black

Forget what you thought you knew about black and hold on to your butts. I am about to blow your mind.

Contrary to popular belief, black is not a lack of color, but rather a conglomerate of many hues together. An amalgamation of pigments. The absorption of the entire spectrum of light! It sounds like something a mad scientist (or small child) came up with, doesn’t it? Black can have cooler or warmer tones, bold and impactful dramatic shades, or sofer versions that don’t have that crisp, modern feel. Using black in unexpected places is one of my favorite tricks for interior accents. It can hide an unsightly tv on the wall and create depth at the same time (can you say it also hides dirt marks?!).

Whether you want Zen, minimalist, modern, or farmhouse, this underestimated hue needs to become your new best friend. I’ll let you in on a couple of my favorite tricks as long as you promise not to tell anyone. Just between us and our new best friend: use it for the front door, fireplaces, built-ins, or a bedroom to create a cozy, oh-so-sexy feeling. Welcome to the dark side, my friends. You sexy things.  

Did you know that black was one of the first colors used in art as far back as 30,000 years ago? It’s one of the most interesting hues, as it’s full of contradictions: it can evoke power, elegance, and sophistication (think tuxedos & that little black dress), but to others, it can mean evil, fear, or sadness. It can mean new beginnings as well as endings. Like I said, full of contradictions. Now you know.

These black hues get the JG Stamp of Approval

(It’s a major award!)

Honorable Mentions:

Iron Ore SW 7069 by Sherwin Williams
Grounding natural hints of brown make this brown-black reliable and comforting.

Mysterious AF 565 by Ben Moore
A tinge of deep blue truly makes this black mysterious.

Paean Black No. 294 by Farrow and Ball
This red-based black is perfect for creating intimacy in your space while keeping it distinguished.

Let me dispel an old wives’ tale for you really quickly: painting a room in a dark color does not make it look smaller. I repeat: dark walls do not automatically equal a shrunken, suffocating room.

Whether or not a room feels smaller largely depends on what you do with the ceiling and trim in addition to the walls, the sheen you choose to use, and what kind of lighting is incorporated, so don’t worry about all that business. (That’s what designers are for. Wink wink.) I only mention this because I don’t want you to be afraid of dark hues because your grandmother told you that dark walls will make your home look like a cave and you are certainly not a troll who lives in a cave. Not in this family!

Photo cred to rengusuk.com

If a dark interior is just a little too much for you to wrap your head around right now, that’s okay! There are plenty of other ways to incorporate your new bestie (besides your wardrobe, obviously).

Bring it Outside

I also mentioned that one of my absolute favorite places to put black is right smack dab on the front door. No matter what style your home, a black door is classy and welcoming, pairs well with seriously every exterior color your imagination could ever conjure up, and is a hella good idea according to the rules of Feng Shui (especially if that door faces North!). If you’re less into Feng Shui and more into cold, hard cash, painting your front door black can actually add a couple of grand onto the resale value of your home. Ca-ching!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Your exterior doesn’t have to be traditional or boring. Incorporating blacks into your exterior design subtly, or going all out and painting the whole body of your home or business black really highlights your kick-ass landscaping. I mean, look at those greens! Hubba, hubba, come to mama! Grab yourself some agave plants and make your neighbors drool.

Another plus to having a moody exterior is the increased possibility of your neighbors thinking that you’re a vampire, or a witch, or some other ethereal, mystical being. Which is capital R-A-D. Now all you need is a dramatic cloak and a murder of crows to flock around you as you walk to the grocery store and you’ve solidified your place in neighborhood lore.

But remember, black doesn’t have to be moody! If you need help making your new best color friend feel modern or minimalist, want to incorporate it into a Zen space, or just need some general direction on how to get to know the dark side a little better, run over to our Virtual Services page and snag a design session. We’ll show you the ways!