Dark and dreary no more, black is coming to your home in a big, bold way. Trade shows right now are full of black-and-white wallpaper, black accent walls and matte black hardware proving that black is once again sharp, sophisticated, and statement-making.
Confirming the trend is PPG Paints' choice of Black Flame for its upcoming 2018 color of the year. “Black Flame acts like a dark curtain, allowing your other décor elements to take center stage," says Dee Schlotter, PPG senior color marketing manager. “A mix of black and indigo; the black represents our continued quest for privacy and silence in a very unsettled and disruptive world; the indigo, a deep hopefulness. The versatile hue can also provide strength and a modern-luxe vibe to spaces with a lot of whites, blush pinks, and soft pastels."
Glidden and Olympic paint companies also got on board, naming Deep Onyx and Black Magic as their respective colors of the year for 2018. As Misty Yeomans, color marketing manager for Glidden paints explains, “Using a black color like Deep Onyx on your walls or in your décor may feel intimidating at first, but it's actually one of the easiest colors to use to create the low-key, easygoing style that's trending for 2018." It's a solid background against which metallics, natural woods, and fun patterns can take center stage.
Why black? Why now? In its research, PPG found that what homeowners want most right now is privacy. “Black is the new meditation color," Schlotter explains. “It helps you recharge." When brands track shopping habits online, texts constantly come through on phones, and emails flood inboxes 24/7—one gets the impression that we're never alone. Stare into black and you stare into infinity, letting overtaxed minds rest.
A surprisingly nice place to use black is the bathroom. “There's always going to be that rebelliousness quality that is associated with black," Schlotter says. “But in the bath, that goes away and the color becomes a mix of classic and modern. … Black is definitely a commitment, but there's an edge to it that people are ready for it."
Here's how to use it well.
1. Paint the Walls
Get adventurous and paint some walls. In a big room, a black accent wall under a vaulted ceiling would ground the space. In a small room, such as a powder room, painting all four walls would make the space feel like a jewel-box—especially with metallic bathroom fixtures that would sparkle in any light. Either way, make sure to choose a matte finish—if the paint is 100 percent acrylic, it will be washable enough.
2. Paint the Trim
Another option is to paint the trim and the door black, especially if you have wide trim. This is a nice look with farmhouse colors on the walls, or thin pinks, blues and greens, which “are always stabilized by a dark black or brown," Schlotter says. If you have wainscoting, try painting that a glossy black with white walls. Add some black-framed art and on your way to an elegant look.
3. Choose Three Black Accents
Lisa Puchalla, an interior designer and owner of LilyMae Design in Washington, D.C., loves using black but advises homeowners to practice restraint. Choose only three places to use it, for example: black industrial windowpane, black-and-white pattern floor and a black back of the bathroom door. Wallpaper, too, is a nice option, as is lighting fixtures—just make sure to stick to three. “Using whatever components you want to showcase the black color, but don't overdo it, because black absorbs the light and becomes too dark," Puchalla says.
4. Think About Hard Goods and Hardware
Another place to add black is with countertops, cabinets, fixtures and hardware. “What we're seeing coming in 2018 is the darkening of walls and material surfaces," Schlotter says. “Granite, quartz. Cabinets ready-mixed in matte black. Of course, faucets." Puchalla even likes a claw foot tub that's painted black on the outside, especially in a traditional home.
Whether your home is modern, farmhouse, urban chic, traditional or retro, black just looks ... right. “Black looks great with so many different finishes," Puchalla says. “It works with so many different looks." The beauty of black is that it is as versatile, as, yes, a little black dress.