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Katie Baxter

"Near-Black" Wall Paints are The Most Dramatic Way to Decorate for 2024 — Here's How Designers are Using Them

A black living room wall with niches.

Black paint has an undeservedly bad rep. Many people are quick to dismiss the shade as too oppressive and dingy for walls - more fit for a dungeon than a living room. However, in reality, when done right, black paint can be a stunning statement addition to your home. It's no wonder interior designers are so obsessed with the shade at the moment - it's a trending color that infuses any room with a refined and dramatic ambiance. 

And it might surprise you just how versatile black paint can be. Whether you decide to paint an entire room black to feel cocooned in cozy darkness or simply add a subtle splash of black paint as a crisp contrast to an otherwise light space, there are so many ways to play with the color and incorporate it tastefully into your home. We decided to showcase five of our favorite examples that clearly show why this paint color is trending. 

1. This luxe living room

(Image credit: Brian Wetzel. Design: Far Studio)

This stunning living room strikingly pairs black walls with brassy, neutral touches - the result is a space that exudes elegance. According to Brittany Hakimfar, interior designer and founder of Far Studio, black paint was the perfect complement to the delicate details in this space. 

'The paint color is Off-Black by Farrow & Balland we love the look of a black room because it comes across with some depth. We also custom-designed the drywall niches as a special feature to add a display wall with vintage artefacts. 

'The ceiling was clad in wood with original reclaimed beams. Mixing the black walls with a luxurious ochre velvet on the sofa and pillows that have a subtle stripe and pattern really make this space feel elevated and thought out.

'We love a black room and think that black walls give any space the perfect moody vibe when mixed with the right pieces.'

2. This enveloping dining room

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Design: Jessica Gersten)

Black walls serve as the perfect backdrop to the statement gold artwork and accompanying gold accents in this dining room. Black accents are threaded all throughout the first floor of this home - with standout features like a black swing and black console table contrasting beautifully with the otherwise light and airy interior. 

In this room, black paint takes centerstage - it truly makes the artwork pop and proves that it is one of the most striking colors that go with gold.

'It was a deliberate decision to pull in dark walls into the dining room and make a dramatic space,' says Jessica Gersten, interior designer and founder of Jessica Gersten Interiors. 'The walls are done in plaster which gives an earthy feeling, not a stark black.'

3. This cozy study

(Image credit: Melissa Mabey. Design: Susannah Holmberg Studios )

This study was designed to feel world's away from the rest of the home - a zen haven designed for deep focus. The atmospheric and moody wall color drowns out the outside world in this space - cultivating the perfect work environment. Susannah Holmberg, interior designer and founder of Susannah Holmberg Studios, explains that the walls in this room were carefully thought out.

'The deep color in this home office is Training Wheels from Portola Paints, known for its 'black espresso tone'. 

'I have found that we like to employ darker colors in office spaces because we find that they can inspire deep focus and thought,' she says. 

'We also wanted to make sure that this space contrasted the other spaces in the home because it was a home office. This way when the homeowner enters the cozy dark space they feel a distinct shift from when they are in the rest of the home that is lighter and brighter. Allowing them to not physically but mentally move into a new space — a space that isn't for daily living but for work.'

4. This moody living room

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Design: Corinne Mathern)

This living room looks like it was taken straight out of a 1950s Golden Age Hollywood mansion while still feeling effortlessly contemporary. Benjamin Moore Temptation has truly come into its own here - the dramatic, enveloping black shade, combined with wood finishes, gives off a truly classic and rustic feel. This room is a showstopper fit for a film star, dripping in old-school glamor. 

According to interior designer Corinne Mathern, black paint infuses this room with an atmospheric, cinematic quality. 'We wanted a moody room that felt lounge-y and appropriate for its vineyard location - perfect for a glass of the family vineyard’s estate cabernet.'

5. This tranquil home office 

(Image credit: Urbanology Designs/Matti Gresham)

Finally, this slightly blue-tinged black is a subdued alternative to its more dramatic, deeper, true black counterpart and proves that dark color trends aren't slowing down any time soon. This matte near black is a less intense shade that is a great option for those among us keen to experiment with darker wall colors - it has a subdued and serene feel to it. 

Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Designs says that a black shade with blue undertones makes for a calming and elegant addition to your home. 'Black with blue hues is beautifully displayed within this Hockaday client’s library,' she says. 'This paint is Deep River by Benjamin Moore.' 

3 near-black paints to buy now

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