If you think all the important hues appear on the color wheel, you’d be wrong. Black, which technically doesn’t qualify as a color, is one of the most important parts of the home decorating palette. That’s true for both exterior and interior painting, as well as home décor.
Black has been used effectively on home exteriors for centuries. If you want to peer into the past, visit colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, where black shutters, doors, trim, and wrought iron are commonplace, especially in combination with bright white paint. The look is timeless. As proof, homes all across America still employ the basic black-and-white color scheme. It’s crisp, clean, and classic.
But black needn’t always be paired with white. Its inherent high contrast is a handsome complement to many other siding colors, including almost any light tint or pastel, as well as mid- or even dark tones of barn red, brown, taupe, blue, and a variety of greens.
Not as well recognized are the ways that black paint can be used inside the home. But that’s the fun in using black – it’s unexpected.
While it’s unlikely anyone would want to paint an entire wall in black paint, what about painting part of a wall? Using black paint below the chair rail in a formal dining room, for example, gives the impression that the wall is expensive painted wainscoting. The effect can be striking.
Another idea that can be employed in country homes, cottages, cabins, and even some contemporary residences is to paint the baseboards black. This technique was originally used in colonial homes, but it offers today’s homeowner a distinctly modern advantage: concealing the scuff marks that inevitably appear on baseboards from too much contact with the vacuum cleaner!
Beyond painting the walls or baseboards, almost any room benefits from dramatic splashes of black. To incorporate these highlights into a color scheme, think about painting a favorite furniture item black, then add a couple of black accents – picture frames, porcelain, or pillows, for example. Done tastefully and with restraint, the bold notes of contrast will make a room look sleek and stylish.