Dare to Go Dark: Designers on the Power of Black

To add glamour - or gravitas - to any room, a dash of black is all you need. Designers share why they love using the dark hue in home decor.

1. Adds Weight

"In an all-cream living room, we added three black items: a Tom Dixon screw-top table with a black base, pillows with black backs, and a life-size black horse. Those touches gave the space some weight." -Ghisliane Viñas

2. Transforms

"A black drapery rod is a classic touch that works in any room. The strong horizontal line adds volume and height to the windows, as well as a touch of masculinity and drama to the space." -Jeff Andrews

3. Grounds A Space

"The first room I ever decorated, for my 10-year-old self, had black patent-leather walls - well, super vinyl, actually - and glossy white trim. These days, black helps keep my hyper-colorful schemes from becoming too 'Good Ship Lollipop.' Art is a great way to get some black into a room. I just bought a number of black-hued paintings for clients at Art Basel. And I still love black patent!" -Jamie Drake

Related: Amazing Designer Kitchens

4. Highlights

"A tiny line of black absolute granite at the base of a wall is like the perfect eyeliner." -Lauren Rottet

5. Adds Style

"Black lacquered doors are the epitome of chic." -Ron Woodson

6. Balances Light Hues

"I like black cars, black dresses, and black pearls, but I tend to use the color very judiciously in interiors, because it can be overwhelming. Mostly, I use it to balance paler finishes. For instance, honed solid-black marble countertops can give an otherwise light-hued kitchen a hint of industrial chic." -Sandra Espinet

Plus: 10 Black-and-White Designer Rooms

7. Creates a Dramatic Look

"It's dramatic. I'm currently doing an apartment with a balance of black and white walls - the black walls recede and dissolve and create the impression that the white walls are floating." -David Mann

8. Frames a Space

"When you have a room that overlooks a gorgeous landscape, paint the window mullions black. Surprisingly, this makes the mullions recede into the background and brings the outdoors in." -Kara Mann

9. Makes a Room Young and Modern

"Some black in a traditional space can introduce a younger, more modern point of view. I recently took a gilded Louis XVI chair and upholstered it in black pony skin, a bit of a surprise on what would normally be a very classic chair." -Brian Gluckstein

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