How to Create a Black Accent Wall

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What are your thoughts on using a black accent wall in your home? I’m always impressed when I see rooms with a wall like this.

Why? Because it really stands out and can add a level of drama to an otherwise boring room.

I mean, how many times have you watched your favorite show on HGTV and the designers ended up putting in an accent wall? Now I realize a black wall may sound severe, but I’m here to tell you it’s completely doable and totally worth it.

What kind of accent wall to choose

In this article I’m going to share ideas with you on how to use a black accent wall in nearly every room of your house. This includes:

  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Living rooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Home offices

In addition, I’ll suggest what kind of paint you can use to create the ultimate black accent wall. For example, if you’re going to create this kind of wall in a child’s bedroom, then it would make sense to go with a chalkboard kind of paint. It would serve multiple purposes and provide many benefits.

One, it will give you the black accent wall you achieve. Two, it provides a place for your child to get creative with chalk without taking up floor space. And, three, chalkboard paint is one of the easiest to apply and hardest to mess up. 

African-American child drawing rocket with chalk on wall in bedroom

Paint other walls first

Before I get into the specifics of how to make a black accent wall work, there’s something you need to consider first. Are the other walls in the room painted a light or lighter color?

Not surprisingly, a color like black can really darken a room. So, that’s why you want to ensure that the other walls and the ceiling in any room are painted white or light gray, like greige, before creating that feature wall with black paint. Plus, black and white or black and gray always look great together.

Now onto the ideas for making this dark-colored wall work in any room of your home.

Ideas for a black accent wall in a bedroom 

I’ve already mentioned how you can use this accent wall concept in a child’s bedroom. But chances are you arrived at this article because you’re looking to elevate another bedroom in your home. 

Maybe it is the main bedroom that needs a refresh or you’re looking to experiment in a guest bedroom. Either way a black accent wall can totally work in any situation.

Think about furniture placement in the bedroom

An important consideration about an accent wall in a bedroom: how will you be arranging the furniture? It makes the most design sense to have a bed centered on that feature wall. 

So measure ahead of time. You want to ensure that this wall you want to paint black is the one where your bed makes the most sense.

Bedroom with black wall white bed, pillows modern side table, lamp. Modern urban interior

Living room with black accent wall

A black wall in a living room will become your feature wall. You’ll have many options for how you’ll use it for designing and decorating your living room.

One, like in the bedroom, you can center your couch on the wall. 

White sofa, coffee table, metal shelf with decorations and three clocks on the grey wall in a living room interior

Two, if you have a fireplace in the room, you can use it and the dark color of the wall to make a big statement. It will really stand out if the fireplace mantle is a bright white. However, a natural wood mantle with brick painted black, too, would look fantastic. 

Three, if you like mounting your television, the black wall could be the perfect place to put it. A dark wall behind that TV will really make the picture pop.

Black accent wall in dining room

There are a couple of ways to approach a black accent wall in a dining room or a dining area of a room. For starters if, in fact, you are looking to delineate an eating area of an existing room–to create a faux dining room space–that feature wall is the perfect way to do it. 

Why? Because when you look at the space and a dining table in front of the dark colored wall, it will make perfect sense how you’re supposed to use that part of the room.

Family table and chalkboard accents

A dark wall adds elegance to a dining room

Also, one dark wall in a bona fide dining room can add a sense of elegance. It doesn’t even have to be the whole wall either.

You can paint the top two-thirds black and then have a piece of board and batten, beadboard or shiplap on the bottom one-third. Paint the boards on the bottom a bright white for contrast.

Finally, if your dining room has a magnificent chandelier over the table, a dark accent wall will really enhance it. From certain angles the light fixture itself will seem like a work of art on the wall.

The one instance where I might caution against a black accent wall is when you’re working with a small dining room. However, if you’re determined to use that dark color, perhaps paint a wall with windows on it. That way the dark color won’t be so overwhelming to the entire space.

Black accent wall in bathroom

I’ve seen lots of excellent examples of how to do a black accent wall in the bathroom. Some ideas include:

  • Wall of partial white tile, like subway tile, and the rest painted black
  • Black accent wall with a pedestal sink and mirror/mirrored medicine cabinet
  • Freestanding soaking tub with dark wall behind it
  • Black wall above bathroom vanity

Like with a small dining room, make sure that the accent wall, regardless of color, doesn’t overwhelm and darken the space. 

Interior of modern bathroom with round mirror

Also, you can tie the feature wall into the bathroom’s decor by choosing hardware that matches the paint color. So, in this case black.

Finally, if you have a vintage black and white tile floor in your bathroom, a black accent wall will really make the black in the floor pop.

Kitchen with an accent wall

I love the idea of making a black kitchen accent wall an oversized chalkboard for a family to use. Just like in the child’s bedroom mentioned earlier, you can buy chalkboard paint for that feature wall. Then, it can become a communal message board or double as a menu for home entertaining.

Another way to do a black feature wall in a kitchen is to make it partial. That is, if you have an island, you can paint the side facing out black. It won’t have as dramatic an effect as a whole wall painted black, but nonetheless it can look really chic. This will work well if the granite or countertops you’ve chosen have hints of black in them, too.

Modern contrast color kitchen

Home office with black accent wall

Are you regularly participating in Zoom calls from your home office? Guess what. A black wall behind you would work really well on camera.

The black won’t reflect light as much as a lighter color might, thus avoiding any sort of halo effect around your head. In addition, the dark color looks much more professional than a more playful color.

Finally, if you don’t like the idea of sitting in front of a dark feature wall, you can always make it adjacent to your desk. This would work if it’s directly across from a window. That way your home office doesn’t end up too dark.

Comfortable workplace with computer near wooden wall in stylish room interior. Home office design

How to decorate a black accent wall

So, how to decorate a black accent wall? Well, overall, you want to keep it simple. 

In and of itself, a black feature wall can feel really overwhelming in certain spaces. So, when in doubt, go for fewer pieces to decorate the wall.

For example, you could try one big painting or a few smaller framed prints. Like the other walls of the room, you want to make sure the decor you use is lighter in color. Not only will it complement the dark color but it will stand out more than something that’s a darker hue.

Beautiful paintings of leaves on black wall in living room interior

If this feature wall is in a family or living room, you can decorate it simply with a mounted TV. Really, that’s it. I’m confident it will look modern and sleek.

How to paint a black accent wall

By this point, you’ve gotten the sense I’m a big fan of chalkboard paint. I am.

So, where can you buy it? At your local Ace or True Value Hardware store, or big box stores like Lowe’s and The Home Depot.

In addition, to try out different shades of black, non-chalkboard paint–yes, there is more than one way for black to come across in paint–I would recommend ordering sample “stickers” from Samplize.

These Samplize paint sample stickers are 9 inches by 14.75 inches. This larger size sample gives you a better sense of what the colors look like beyond the paint tabs you might pick up at a home improvement store.

Samplize stocks sample stickers from the major paint manufacturers, including Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, PPG and Farrow & Ball.

Final thoughts on black accent walls

Have I convinced you to give a feature wall painted black a try? Did I answer all of the questions you came to this blog post looking to resolve? If not, post a comment and let me know how else I can help you.

Finally, if you’re looking to sell your home and want to amp up the cool factor, painting a feature wall could definitely achieve that effect. 

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