Design Recipes: Go bold with black

PHOTO CREDIT: Tribune News Service

When is it appropriate to use black in home decor?

Once considered harsh, black is now more popular than ever and often is the go-to color for those looking for an elegant, upscale vibe.

Black offers the opportunity to infuse a bold and luxurious look into nearly any space. When using black, there are some top tips to keep in mind:


1. Do use black in social areas such as living rooms, family rooms and dining spaces.

2. Do pair black with other neutral colors such as cream, blue and brown.

3. Do incorporate black as an element to help ground spaces that might be overly bright.

4. Do use black as a cabinetry choice. Black cabinets are a popular designer choice for both kitchens and bathrooms.

5. Do use black on large areas such as upholstery, artwork and area rugs.


1. Don’t be afraid to use black in unexpected areas such as children’s bedrooms or small spaces such as bathrooms.

2. Don’t be afraid to be daring. Look for ways to use black in bold, unexpected ways.

3. Don’t worry about pairing black with other dark colors such as indigo blue or deep chocolate brown.

4. Don’t avoid using black as an accent color. Black makes a great accent when looking to create a sense of contrast.

5. Don’t overlook the opportunity to use black on architectural elements such as baseboards, moldings and banisters.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C.

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