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How to Incorporate Black Accents in Your Home

February 23, 2022
Black and white bedroom in Residence 4 at Broadway at Boulevard in Dublin, CA

While home design trends change year to year, there are certain elements that will always remain classic and timeless. One of those elements is the use of the color black. While many are concerned the color may be too dark and gloomy for their home, black is a popular and versatile tone that can fit any number of interior styles. Whether you prefer ultra-modern, rustic farmhouse, or casual vintage, black can both add a pop of color and ground a space at the same time. Much like the little black dress, it’s a color that can be both casual or elegant depending on the accessories.

Let’s explore how to incorporate black accents in your home.

Black grid mirror detail in Residence 1 at Marigold at New Haven in Ontario Ranch, CA

1. Furniture and artwork

Perhaps the easiest way to incorporate black without too much commitment is through the use of furniture. Choose how big of a step you want to take – start small with an ottoman or accent table, go a bit bigger with a sleek entry table or wood buffet, or take a big leap with a luxurious couch. Opt for pieces that have high texture as they will catch the light differently and create more visual interest. Added bonus? Varying textures are less likely to show dirt and dust so if you’re a bit of a clean freak, you won’t always be reaching for the furniture polish.

Another great way to add a bold statement without too much commitment is through black framed photography and artwork. Black and white photographs are timeless and when displayed in a gallery wall create a beautiful conversation piece in your home. The clean lines of a black frame draw your eye so guests will naturally be drawn to your display.

Primary bathroom with black accents in Prescott at Dowdens Station in Clarksburg, MD

2. Hardware and plumbing fixtures

An inexpensive and easy way to incorporate black is by swapping out your hardware and plumbing fixtures. Black curtain rods always feel timeless in a space and there’s a visual elegance to a crisp black line breaking up the softness of drapery. Black doorknobs and hinges provide a bright black and white contrast against an ivory door. In the bathroom, cabinet hardware, mirror frames, and plumbing fixtures such as showerheads and sink faucets in matte black help to punctuate the space. Continue the black hardware into the kitchen cabinet pulls and sink faucet for a cohesive look throughout your home.

Stylish black and white kitchen at The Village of Castle Pines in Denver, CO

3. Lighting fixtures

Black elements have a modern look that is sleek and minimalistic so incorporating black lighting fixtures is the perfect way to illuminate a space without distracting from other design elements in the room. Not to say all black lighting fixtures are subtle; there are plenty of fixtures that make a statement in any room. That’s the joy of using a color that is so versatile – from industrial to modern to rustic, there are plenty of selections perfectly suited to your taste.

Elegant modern bathroom with mirror on black wall

4. Accent wall

Black is a classic color that is now finding its way onto the walls. If you treat it as a neutral color, your design options become almost limitless – choose to create visual silence or use it as a backdrop to allow artwork or furniture to take center stage. Try painting the wall behind your headboard to help the room feel cozier at night. Add visual interest with a wood trim in a geometric pattern or using shiplap to take your accent wall to the next level. 

Exterior view of Hadleigh at Waterford Manor in Leesburg, VA

5. Exterior shutters

Black exterior shutters have been around for centuries and continue to complement various design styles, colors, and textures. When thinking about contrast, the default is often black with a light neutral, but a darker colored home can look just as bold and striking. Incorporating some white on the trim can accentuate the darker tones and help make them pop. If your home has a brick or stone exterior, shutters can add an additional layer of texture to create a dynamic design. Exterior shutters come in a variety of sizes and designs so you’re sure to find a set that perfectly complements your home.

Entry at Arroyo Divide at Rough Hollow in Lakeway, TX by Brookfield Residential

6. Stair railings

Stair railings are an under-the-radar design element that often doesn’t get much consideration when you’re thinking about the look and feel of your home. Accenting your stair railings makes for an impressive entrance that can create the perfect balance between inviting and formal. Depending on your budget and how willing you are to commit to black, you can paint, stain, or completely re-do your railing for a dramatic result. Add depth and luxury by going two-tone – choose a dark paint or stain for the treads and handrails and go for a crisp white on the spindles and risers. Swap out your wood spindles for some iron ones. There are plenty of stylish options and if you’re feeling handy you can make this a DIY project.

Black built ins in a living room with teal walls

7. Bookshelves and built-ins

Adding color is the easiest way to put our personal style into a room. Seen less often is the use of color on built-ins since they tend to be a pricier element to install into a home. If your living room or office has built-ins, painting them black almost creates the illusion of a free-standing piece and becomes a neutral tone in the space. If painting the entire piece seems too risky, try applying the color selectively. If your built-ins have glass doors, paint the exterior and leave the interior a lighter color. Bookshelves are a wonderful item to paint black as they help to break up the expanse of color not only found in your books but decorative items you may have on the shelves. Decorating against a black backdrop will help those pieces pop giving your more special trinkets the attention they deserve.

A luxury kitchen with black cabinets and tile backsplash

8. Kitchen cabinets or backsplash

Deciding how to incorporate black into your kitchen will be based on how much light the space receives. If your kitchen doesn’t get a ton of natural light, incorporating black to your kitchen island or lower cabinets only is a great way to add a pop without making the space feel overwhelmingly dark. If your kitchen is full of big beautiful windows that let in tons of light, black kitchen cabinets are a great way to make a bold statement while grounding the space. Adding a black backsplash can create a striking contrast if you have white cabinets and don’t want to paint or reface them. Choose a pattern or texture to create extra visual interest or go ultra-shiny to reflect the light.

Window detail of a home in the Lumen Portfolio by Brookfield Residential in Colorado

9. Windows

A trend that has been popping up more and more over the last few years are black windows and trim. Much like white trim draws attention to the architectural details, black trim offers that same effect in a different, bold way. The most common execution is in modern farmhouse designs, but can be used in almost any home style. Much like the home design trends of 2022, there’s an increasing demand for styles with classic and traditional roots. Since black windows date back to the 19th century, it’s easy to see why they fit perfectly into today’s trends. From suburban single-family homes to modern loft condominiums, black windows are a stylish and eye-catching design choice.

Black and white flooring in the ensuite of Passive Haus at Symons Gate in Calgary, AB

10. Flooring

Perhaps the biggest commitment you can make to incorporate black into your home is in your flooring. Whether concrete, ceramic tiles, or painted wood, black flooring brings the drama and makes a statement. Since your flooring is a huge part of your home, it can be intimidating to make such a daring choice. Smaller uses like in your entryway or bathroom are a great way to try something unique. It’s not just the color but also the material of the floor that will help set the tone – wood fits for a more traditional farmhouse while polished stone feels more contemporary and modern. Mixing black and white remains a timeless, elegant color scheme for a bathroom and can be executed in a wide variety of patterned tiles.

Exterior of the Lumen home in Denver, CO by Brookfield Residential

Black never seems to go out of style, especially in the home. Its versatility offers an unlimited selection of uses to fit your own individual style. Whether you incorporate subtle accents or go bold and dramatic, anything can be infused with black and look great. If you’re looking for more design advice, homebuying insights, or moving tips and tricks, the Brookfield Residential blog covers it all. Be sure to follow along for more!