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When it comes to pairing colors together in your home, few hues have the power to command attention and complement a variety of hues like black. Unlike white, which tends to temper bolder shades, even just a touch of black will tie together any room and make your space really sing, whether you’re redesigning an airy bedroom or a cozy bathroom.
Choosing a color that goes with black starts with knowing which shade of black you are using (yes, there are lots!). Black can fall on both the warm and cool ends of the color spectrum, depending on its undertones. While the color is best complemented with deep contrast, there are several exceptions to help you create a room full of visual interest and a bit of drama to suit anyone’s design preferences. Read on to discover the editor-approved colors that pair well with black and how to use them in a design-centric way.
Tips for Pairing Colors with Black
- Pair with lighter hues for a soothing effect: Muted neutrals like whites, beiges, or earth tones help balance out black for a calmer, cozier space.
- Pair with brighter colors for extra emphasis: On the other hand, black allows bold, vibrant palettes or jewel tones to pop even more.
- Be mindful of different shades: Just like white paints can lean warm, cool, or neutral, black also has plenty of variety — from gray-leaning charcoals and graphites to colors with subtle blue or brown tints.
- Get creative: Because of its versatility and timelessness, black can realistically style well with just about any color.
1. Black and Burgundy: Rich and Regal
Attorney and content creator Blake Gifford doesn’t shy away from black in her small-but-chic Chicago rental. Here, she pairs black printed wallpaper and a monochromatic marble table with velvet burgundy dining chairs for a timeless, elegant, and unique kitchen nook.
2. Black and Blush: Edgy Elegance
Designer, collector, and artist Darien Stokes wanted to play up his West Hollywood townhouse’s existing architecture, like black-painted wood flooring and exposed beams. The dining room specifically centers around black lighting and decor, which contrast the nude-colored walls and bookshelves. Here, both palettes work in tandem without overpowering the other.
3. Black and Black: Dramatic Statement
Consider painting your kitchen entirely black, cabinets included, like this historic home in Detroit. Homeowners Doug and Hilary share that the unexpected choice actually draws in more friends and family whenever they’re hosting, plus being in an entirely black room can feel surprisingly comforting, since it’s a respite from any sensory overload.
4. Black and Gold: Gothic Glam
Rachel Edmonds’ Victorian house, built in 1894, is rich in history and style. The homeowner and former furniture designer describes the space as “dark, gothic glam,” as seen via the black walls and furniture that come alive with added gold accents. “Small should not always be light, darker colors can open up a space,” Edmonds adds.
5. Black and Fuschia: Bold Glamour
Maximalists, this one’s for you! This elegant bedroom gets a lively pop of color from fuschia accents, which balance out black’s masculinity with a feminine touch. Designer Andrea Monath Schumacher of Andrea Schumacher Interiors says that pairing black with jewel tones makes a big statement as they dramatically “pop” off of the black in a room.
6. Black and Periwinkle: Beautifully Balanced
“While black is traditionally a high-contrast color, it can be placed with just about any color to create different looks,” says designer Betsy Wentz. “I love to pair black with a soft neutral like periwinkle or blush to complement, rather than fight with the strong black tones.”
7. Black and Parchment: Neutrally Chic
This room feels utterly sophisticated, thanks to the pairing of a powerful shade of black with creamy, barely there beige. Plus, the classical patterns and motifs used give this room a sense of Old World elegance.
“The parchment living room with black accents creates a very sophisticated space,” says Allison Padalino of Padalino Rudd Interior Design. “Oscar DeLaurentis cut velvet on the ottoman and the grosgrain ribbon design on the pillows really pops, and we created the rug design with classical motives throughout.”
8. Black and Dusty Rose: Refined Charm
Consider this pairing a slightly more adventurous alternative to classic black-and-white. A lightly tinted shade of pink has a bit more dimension than any other neutral and will warm up the darker shade. This muted shade may be a great choice for those seeking to create a soothing retreat, like in this adorable Brooklyn apartment kitchen.
9. Black and Brown: Down-to-Earth
Together, black and brown set a moody, modern aesthetic, says Decorist designer Casey Hardin. “The best way to incorporate them is to mix materials, such as a black leather sofa and brown wood accent tables, which allows you to create a textured, eclectic vibe that looks curated and collected,” says Hardin. For good measure, throw in a few lively green plants to really make the pairing pop, as shown in this Atlanta loft.
10. Black and White: High-Contrast
There are few color pairings more iconic than black and white. Teaming up the two is a foolproof way to make a statement regardless of how or where this scheme is carried out. Painting a black accent wall in an otherwise white room is a great place to try this pairing, and a built-in bookcase that doubles as an accent wall, is even better. To avoid a stark look, filter in warm metallics and rich, natural textures, like linen, for added visual interest.
11. Black and Navy: Eclectic Mix
Black and navy can feel similar in intensity and impact, so when pairing the two in an interior, it’s all about setting a moody scene. This mid-century modern living room does it just right with a blackout paint job that creates depth, while a navy velvet sofa brings charm and a little bit of texture to the equation for a well-layered space.
12. Black and Terracotta: Southwestern Charm
Consider this foolproof combo your shortcut to mastering a refined interior. Instead of a stark white, introducing unexpected, warmer hues can offset the intensity of a black backdrop as opposed to emphasizing it. Decorist designer Kate Spiro suggests using lighter browns, like beige and tan, to complement black and help it stand out in this context, and we love the use of a muted terracotta to bring a calming pop of color. Bring in accent pieces with a textural component—think a chunky knit blanket or a sculptural nightstand— to take the room to the next level.
13. Black and Stone Gray: Sophisticated Cool
If you’re going for a monochromatic look but don’t want to commit to an all-black space, introduce a series of tonal grays to create a subtle, rich finish, as displayed in this minimalist Spanish apartment. Start out with three shades, designating the lightest one for the walls and the darker two for floor coverings and smaller accent pieces. Keep things fresh by using metals, such as wrought iron or bronze, for extra texture and luster.
14. Black and Emerald Green: Lush Luxury
While you’re probably all for embracing this duo with the help of natural elements like houseplants, taking it a step further with an eye-catching textile, such as the emerald green curtain in this Buenos Aires home, works just as well. “It’s a very rich, sophisticated, and chic color combination,” says designer Amy Kartheiser. “It reminds me of Angelina Jolie at the Oscars in her black gown and emerald green earrings—a ‘wow’ statement for sure. A sofa in one color and a lamp in the other would look wonderful in a room.”
15. Black and Yellow: Electric Duo
Pulling this pairing off is all about choosing one color for bold accents and the other as the dominating hue of the space. If you’re aiming for a little bit of drama with some refinement, opt for black walls and matching furniture, as shown in this Welsh home. Then bring in bright yellow accents for a hit of color that just won’t quit. However, going too soft with a pastel or mustard shade of yellow can cause this pairing to clash. Citron and other punchy shades will work best here.
16. Black and Red-Orange: Captivating Energy
This combo is ultra-powerful and introducing it into an interior can feel intimidating. Downplay the intensity of the pairing by allowing white to serve as a buffer. Follow the lead of this bedroom in an eclectic Spanish apartment, where this trio is featured in equal doses, resulting in a dynamic scheme that feels entirely approachable.
17. Black and Purple: Bold Punch
Black and purple can be a tricky combo to adopt due to the boldness of both colors. Instead of directly layering the two, set them against a neutral backdrop and designate them for separate major elements of a room. Take a cue from this edgy living room in an Bay Area home, where a black accent wall and an oversized, purple print coexist with an effortlessly cool vibe.