The suggestion to use black for an exterior or interior paint job may seem a little off-the-wall at first, but black can actually be a stylish and appropriate choice for your home. If you use it well, black can make a beautiful statement inside and out, and its ability to bring out other colors can provide you with creative options you might not have thought about before. Let’s take a look at basic black paint and what it does for all sorts of design schemes, from traditional to more modern.

Black on the Outside….

Black was a popular color and stain treatment for many colonial house exteriors, and many historic houses have a burnt umber or black color, like Hawthorne’s famous House of the Seven Gables.

The House of Seven Gables, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s eponymous 1851 novel, with a stunning black exterior | Image Attrib.: wikipedia

The House of Seven Gables, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s eponymous 1851 novel, with a stunning black exterior | Image Attrib.: wikipedia

When used with other colors on the trim or doors, black can be the perfect choice. Nothing makes the brightness of a red door, for instance, stand out more than black exterior walls surrounding it, and white trim against black siding can cut a clean and elegant profile. When it’s used all by itself, it can look somber and give the house an unusually monolithic look, but when you combine a black exterior paint with white or brightly-colored shutters, flowerboxes, trim, and other accessories, it can create a lively and dynamic look.

Red windows and green trim against a black exterior | Image Attrib.: Flickr user kayugee

Red windows and green trim against a black exterior | Image Attrib.: Flickr user kayugee

Black is also a color that works well with natural surroundings of all kinds, sitting gracefully in the landscape and playing with the colors of the changing seasons. The contrast between a muted black exterior and the fiery foliage in Pennsylvania in the fall can be stunning. Black also looks startling and beautiful in the snow: just picture the depth and power of the color rising out of the soft whites of winter. Of course, black also works well if you have an abundance of great shade trees. The old growth trees lining many of the streets in the Pennsylvania suburbs serve as protection from the summer heat often absorbed by a black exterior.

Black can be a beautiful contrast to surrounding greenery | Image Attrib.: Flickr user seier + seier

Black can be a beautiful contrast to surrounding greenery | Image Attrib.: Flickr user seier + seier

Black siding can also look stunning and powerful in the snow | Image Attrib.: Flickr user Pentax K-x Connecticut Man

Black siding can also look stunning and powerful in the snow | Image Attrib.: Flickr user Pentax K-x Connecticut Man

…and Black on the Inside

Black interiors give you a chance to make bold and dramatic statements inside your house as much as on the outside. Much like white, black lets other colors take the center stage, and this allows you to showcase different elements of the house for an effect that surprises just as it compliments.

The rustic look of old floors seen in many classic or historic interiors can mesh well with black walls, particularly with white or cream-colored gloss-finish moldings. High contrast color schemes using black walls and white classical moldings are striking and elegant all at the same time, particularly for a bedroom or living room.

Black walls surrounding a rustic hardwood floor contrasted by a bright white and grey daybed and cream moldings | Image Attrib.: Flickr user Boa-Franc

Black walls surrounding a rustic hardwood floor contrasted by a bright white and grey daybed and cream moldings | Image Attrib.: Flickr user Boa-Franc

With the freedom of an eclectic approach, you can mix the use of black with both classical and contemporary touches in furniture and accessories. Black (or black and white) walls with bold black and white textile patterns can unify an arrangement of elements from different eras. When you have an eclectic combination of brightly colored accessories and highly mixed furniture, it’s the black wall that sets the perfect backdrop and ties it all together. Black is neutral enough to let the individual colors shine, but strong enough not to let them overpower the room or seem chaotic.

Black walls can tie together varied pieces of decor | Image Attrib.: Flickr user Paragon Apartments

Black walls can tie together varied pieces of decor | Image Attrib.: Flickr user Paragon Apartments

Black and white palettes are particularly prevalent in the interiors of modern architecture throughout the twentieth century, when monochromatic color palettes were common, often to set off a few very well chosen accents of one color. For instance, black reflective floors can be used to contrast white walls, and ultra modern kitchens often incorporate black into walls, cabinets, floors, and/or accessories, set against a single, bright color for a heightened effect.

A black accent wall and black countertops highlight a green backsplash | Image Attrib.: Flickr user shizzi

A black accent wall and black countertops highlight a green backsplash | Image Attrib.: Flickr user shizzi

However, say you don’t necessarily want to paint a whole wall black. Another, mostly monochromatic, option is to set black trim and casework against white walls, which creates a comfortable yet crisp, sharp space, especially when combined with white furniture and other white accessories. Black doors against a lighter wall are another subtle way to incorporate the color into the room.

Black doors with white trim set against a beige wall | Image Attrib.: Flickr user Urbane Apartments

Black doors with white trim set against a beige wall | Image Attrib.: Flickr user Urbane Apartments

Black can be an exciting and daring choice – and not necessarily as out-there as you might think. There are a host of great ways to use it, whether you’re considering black for an exterior that stands out as a dignified figure in the neighborhood, or you’re planning for unexpected drama and color with black as the bold backdrop for your decorating ideas.

Give your friends and neighbors a pleasant surprise with black paint. But no matter what color or color schemes you have in mind, Nolan Painting is the premier painting service in the Main Line and beyond, with a broad range of support and specialty services ready to help you with any painting project you have in mind. With our customer-service focus, we give our attention to customer satisfaction. If you need surface repairs and finishing before the paint job, or specialty finishes and specialty painting services, Nolan is ready to hear about your ideas and carry them out professionally and efficiently. We offer a free estimate, so why not fill out our convenient online form to get your next project started?