Photo Gallery: Black Rooms
Browse dark and dramatic interiors.
Use black granite flooring to ground a light, ephemeral space.
Nature is undeniably at the heart of this ultra-contemporary living area by Toronto architectural firm gh3. The low-rise furniture keeps the focus on the view, and the polished black granite floor echoes the rocky terrain surrounding the house.
Use track lighting to subtly pinpoint pieces of art.
Against the crisp contrast of dark floors and white walls, the simple placement of The Bay CEO Bonnie Brooks’ baby grand piano and an old model sailboat poised on a sleek 35′-long steel cabinet gives the eye calm places to rest amid startling art.
See Lynda Reeves chat with Bonnie Brooks in our Online TV segment.
Use glossy surfaces to create intriguing reflections.
With the ethos that less is more when designing her own modern kitchen, designer Julie Charbonneau stepped back many times to judiciously examine each item. “I usually put stuff all over, but this space looks much better if it stays empty,” says Charbonneau. Against the clean, white kitchen, the large, dark-wood dining table takes centre stage under a showstopping light fixture.
Mix and match black, white and grey floor tiles for a classic bistro flavour.
Designer Emma Kenley created an informal family dining space with an eclectic array of furniture: vintage-style metal dining chairs, a high back sofa, an eagle-motif mirror and a contemporary chandelier. The floor tiles were sourced at two different stores in order to get the right colours, and for a look that can’t be found in any other home.
When faced with odd angles, keep the walls bare.
Symmetry is key in homeowner Tanya Linton’s contemporary principal bedroom. To keep the space interesting, Tanya mixed prints and textures while keeping with the black-and-white scheme. Raw wood side tables and benches are casual and warm.
See more of this house in our Stylish Family Home Makeover gallery.
Pair black paint with dark floors for a daring look.
The dining room’s ebony-hued wall emphasizes the silhouette of a sculptural lamp. The purple rug links the space to the adjacent multicoloured family room.
See more of this house in our Stylish Family Home Makeover gallery.
Install dimmers on over-island lighting.
Homeowner Christine Woolner wanted a functional kitchen with a vintage black and white look, which design firm McIntyre Bills achieved with Shaker cabinetry, granite counters and traditional hardware. “Install dimmer switches on your lighting,” advises Ronald Bills of McIntyre Bills. “Whether for ceiling fixtures or lamps, they’re essential.” Especially for lights over an island, dimmers allow for low lighting while entertaining around the island and brighter lighting while cooking.
See more designs from McIntyre Bills in our photo gallery.
For more lighting options, see our Statement Lighting photo gallery.
Keep a black and white palette interesting with a variety of shades and textures.
Designer Celerie Kemble created a rich backdrop in this entrance with a densely printed black and white wallpaper. The simple tabletop vignette takes advantage of the symmetrical layout, keeping the look clean and polished.
See more interiors from Celerie Kemble’s book Black & White in our photo gallery.
Highlight select cabinet doors with contrasting paint.
Sleek stainless steel detailing on the range hood puts a contemporary spin on traditional style. In this kitchen designed by Jennifer Worts, a symmetrical layout enhances the timeless appeal of Shaker-style cabinetry. Glass pendants hang like jewels over the large Calacatta marble-topped island, granting a clear view to the backsplash.
See more traditional kitchens in our photo gallery.
Mix modern and traditional to keep the look current.
Interior designer Scott Yetman believes that every room should have black in it, and there isn’t a room without it in the Knowlton, Quebec holiday home he shares with his partner Jean Michel Lavoie. In the dining room, a contemporary light fixture combines with a Regency-style table and retro white chairs upholstered with black leather and blue gingham fabric. A mix of modern and traditional keeps the look current.
See more of the best homes of 2011 in our photo gallery.
Black bookcases and grey walls create an ultra-cosy space.
Yetman and his partner, Jean Michel Lavoie, call this Ralph Lauren–inspired room their "winter room." Scott designed the sofa and had it covered in a nubby charcoal linen. The chair is upholstered in distressed leather with a mohair seat.
Use light-coloured accents to soften dark walls.
In this luxe library, HGTV star and Toronto designer Tommy Smythe covered the backs of the shelves with a neutral grasscloth wallpaper to balance the shiny black walls. Placing the furniture in front of a bookcase creates a cosy, layered effect.
Mix inexpensive butcherblock with bold black cabinets for a town-and-country feel.
The combination of brass pulls, soft wood and gentle blues create a friendly Euro-farmhouse flavour in H&H executive editor Beth Hitchcock’s renovated kitchen.
Watch Suzanne Dimma tour this kitchen in our Online TV segment.
Use paver tiles to evoke the charm of a cobblestone street.
Decked out with the latest stainless steel appliances, the kitchen of the 2010 Princess Margaret Hospital Showhome is any homeowner’s dream. Marble countertops and a white beadboard ceiling balance cool grey walls and cabinets. Crystal lamps and a hanging lantern add a decorative layer and sparkle. A rustic farmhouse table replaces the ubiquitous island and the floor’s Bluestone pavers evoke the charm of a cobblestone street.
For more island inspiration, see our Kitchen Tables As Islands photo gallery.
Use French door-style windows for high-end appeal.
Matte black paint on panelled walls, paired with a black clawfoot tub, is an unexpectedly elegant and refreshing change from predictable, white marble bathrooms.
Use a bold wallpaper to make statement in a small space.
An ornate gilded frame — homeowner Michelle Kosoy’s grandmother’s — is updated with white lacquer to partner with the large-print wallpaper. A floating marble shelf is handy but unobtrusive.
Deep colour creates a regal look.
A tall black-framed mirror and forsythia bushes emphasize the height of this small space. DIY panel moulding and vintage finds transformed the basic-condo foyer into a restrained, traditional space.
Watch a tour of this condo, plus see more brightly-hued spaces in our Colourful Rooms Gallery.
Create a tailored look with black and white palette and pendant lights.
Designer Brian Gluckstein advises homeowners to keep it simple when it comes to cupboards, flooring and countertops, since those materials are expensive to replace if you get bored of them. “Don’t go over the top on anything that can’t be changed easily. If you order electric blue cabinets, you better really like the colour — you’ll be stuck with it for a while,” he says. In this family-friendly kitchen, he chose practical honed granite countertops to hide fingerprints, and installed brackets under the breakfast bar to help define spaces for stools. The panelling-covered fridge is a luxe touch.
Browse the Brian Gluckstein Interiors gallery for more of his style.
Create a bold accent wall with black chalkboard paint, so kids can “redecorate” their room.
Black shelves disappear against the dark backdrop, making their contents appear to float. Conversely, bright colours pop: a red vintage store display has tiers of rotating shelves for keeping the floor clear of gear. Save space with multifunctional furniture: the bed frame has four built-in drawers below and the headboard hides shelves on both sides.
Get more decorating inspiration in our Trendy Kids’ Bedroom Ideas photo gallery.