When designing a new space we have, over the years, used neutrals to enhance a little or a lot of the home. White and beige were the old standbys for so long that many of us really tired of them. There are some folk who will gravitate to white no matter what. There are others who are unsure and have fallen back on beige for decades…even ugly yellow or pink undertone beige. What a shame. For the past decade elegant greys have won us over and grey is still going strong. But now, perhaps due to our yen for farmhouse chic, some of us are using black as the new neutral. 

funky and dramatic loft condo with liberal use of black paint colour and furnishings

Country, you say? How can a stylish element like black be associated with country style? It’s true. When old style country was updated there was a lot of black used. Black looks wonderful with old pine, as well as other woods.

A formal dining room with black walls looks wonderful. The sparkle of the chandelier and the gleam of the cutlery are set off by the richness of the black walls. Artwork also looks wonderful on black walls. In a formal room the substantial moldings and trim can carry off the intensity of the black. Perhaps there is even an coffered ceiling. on the other hand, black can also handle a little rusticity. Say perhaps reclaimed wood in wainscotting or furnishings. 

Black lends elegance as well as a bit of class to a room, whether it is a dining room, a kitchen, or even a laundry room. Colour specialist, Marguerite Roberts, say one of her guest rooms as well as her laundry room is black. The deep colour is balanced by lighter cabinetry and the rooms are in no way oppressive. In fact, they are upbeat and creative spaces. In a bedroom, black is restful and lends a sense of elegance. 

elegant and dramatic bedroom with faux fur throw and black semi-sheer custom draperies

Surprisingly, black actually makes a room seem larger. This goes against the long held myth that smaller spaces must be kept light and bright in order to make them seem larger. The opposite is actually the case since with darker colours we do not see clearly into the corners and there is more of a feeling of endless space. 

Traditionally, white was used to finish cabinetry and shelving. For some, that may seem a little tired. For others, white will always be the go-to choice. Dark shelving flanking the fireplace and television can make the television less of a feature. The overall cabinetry and fireplace with black shelving can instead become a calming and cozy and more grounded feature of the room design. Rather than a television above the fireplace, a large artwork, abstract or traditional could be showcased. 

Dark colours accented with hot accent colours add pizzaz to a room. A kitchen with black cabinetry and hot, lime yellow above has an ambiance of energy and positivity, as well as fun. Even a child’s nursery would be beautiful in black. Black with accents of pale pink with white moldings perhaps. Something to consider!

Black moldings throughout the home accompanied in some spaces by graphic wall coverings are elegant and upbeat. How about carrying the black up onto the crown moldings as well? Stunning! White moldings with black doors have been a nice trend for quite some time now. 

Yes, this is statement decorating and just not for everyone. That’s the beauty of making our own choices in our homes. Good lighting in any space is important, whether the palette is light or dark. A poorly lit room painted beige is just plain sad. What a shame when it could become so much more interesting with better lighting and an interesting colour!

Since 1993 Mulberry Interiors, interior design consultants have been assisting clients in Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Brampton, Milton, Georgetown, Etobicoke, western Toronto, and Vaughan. We specialize in residential interior design and decorating and are at our most creative when we use colour as our theme. We offer a full range of interior design services such as choosing paint colours, space planning, furniture sourcing, custom draperies and soft furnishings, flooring selection and accessories. Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.


Colour Consultations a Specialty

Full Décor Service

Window Coverings including Draperies and Blinds



Space Planning

Accessories and Wall Art