Decorating 101: Why Every Room Needs a Touch of Black

Today I am diving into a decorating topic that can instantly elevate your interior decorating game. “What is it?” It’s the power of adding a touch of black to your color scheme, or if you are not a fan of black, adding accents of any dark color to a room.

Black is a classic and versatile color that can work wonders when used strategically in your decor. So, let’s unlock the secrets of incorporating this timeless hue into your living spaces.

The Magic of Black

When I was in college and taking a freshman Decorating 101 course, one of the things I learned and still remember is that every room needs a little bit of black – whether it’s a piece of furniture, a decorative accessory, or the trim around a window.

Using black has a grounding, balancing effect in a room that can help define a space. Even if the color is used in small bits in artwork, black draws your eye in providing a focus.

Tree branches in a large glass vase on a console table.

After sharing this photo of my living room decorated for fall recently, I wrote that I wasn’t happy with way the glass vase looked in the room – it had no visual punch!

I thought I would paint it with black texture paint to look like the table lamp I DIY’ed and have in my foyer. A few readers even sent me creative ideas on how to change the vase.

I was going to try one of the ideas, but then I stumbled upon a black terracotta vase online. I liked it enough to head to to get more details. I was sold after seeing the price and ordered it.

Black terracotta vase on stack of white books on a console table.

The aged black finish on the large black terracotta vase was just what I was looking for. It looks like something from Pottery Barn, but for a whole lot less.

The color, styling and size of the vase added just what the room needed – a third dark item to help add color balance and flow in the fall decorated room.

Helpful Tip:

If decorating with black accents or accessories doesn’t look or feel right to you, the use of another deep color that fits into your room’s color scheme can be used in its place.

For instance – a dark navy, dark green or dark red as well as charcoal grey or chocolate brown will achieve the same end result of adding depth and contrast to a room.

Reasons Why You Should Consider Embracing Black Accents Around a Room

Black accents or dark color accents can be added to a room any season of the year, but in the fall, the darker color can help when wanting to create a cozy feel.

Adding black accents also is a trending color right now, as is chocolate brown, so don’t be afraid to experiment with a black or a dark accent to see how it makes a room feel.

View of reclaimed wood fireplace mantel with black photos frames on top.
Using black to outline decor automatically grabs your attention.

1. Adds Depth and Contrast

Black adds depth and contrast to your color palette, making other colors pop and come to life. Even just small touches of the color.

2. Timeless Classic

Black never goes out of style. It is a timeless, classic color that can transform even the simplest room into an attractive room.

3. Versatile Color

Black works and pairs well with most colors. Whether you prefer a vibrant and eclectic style or a more muted and calming ambiance, black accents can effortlessly adapt and complement your chosen color palette.

Achieving Color Balance Using Three Black Accents In a Room

Now that we’ve established the benefits of introducing black into your decor, let’s talk about how to achieve visual balance when using the color.

Black can be an unavoidable color when decorating because you will often have a room with a TV in it – or even a fireplace – with black accents. When decorating the room you don’t want it to be the only piece of black in the room.

Adding black accent accessories can be useful for making established elements like a black TV, a black steel-framed door or window – feel visually balanced.

Black framed screen door in living room.
Having black frames on the sliding screen doors in my living room frames the best part of this room – the view of the lake.

Try to balance the color so that your eye travels from one accent to the next seamlessly. It should be about spreading the accents of the color throughout the room instead of letting it all be in one area or item.

The way to do this is by choosing small, deliberate pieces. It can be through something small, like a color in a piece of wall art, a throw blanket, black wrought iron curtain rods, or the legs of a metal table.

Mixing up the textures of the black items you place in the room- rough, shiny, etc. will add additional interest.

These are little focal points that direct your eye and point out the important elements; plus when strategically placed around a room they unify the neutral elements.

A Little Black Accent Back Story

When we first moved into the lake house, I wasn’t a fan of the black screen doors in every room. We had replacements ordered for them. When they were to be installed, they didn’t fit! No white framed doors would.

I thought about spray painting each, but that would require removing the screens first and then re-screening. Plus the paint would get chipped after time and they wouldn’t look nice.

So I learned how to make the best of them.

Black flat screen TV mounted on wall with white sideboard underneath.
My black binoculars become part of the decor.

If you have one big black item in a room like I do, I actually have three all along one wall. The wall mounted TV and 2 black screen doors. To avoid having these look out of place in the room, it’s crucial to incorporate at least two other black elements strategically in the room. You can achieve this with:

1. Furniture

Consider a black legged coffee or side table placed across from it. If you like the color, go big with a black leather sofa or chair. These larger pieces anchor the room and provide a strong foundation for the black color scheme.

A collection of textured and patterned pillows on a sofa in a fall decorated living room.

2. Decorative Accessories

Scatter smaller black accents throughout the room with items like throw pillows with the color, vases, or picture frames. These accessories add a touch of sophistication and help distribute the black evenly around the room.

White faced Roman numeral oversized clock on wall in blue and white decorated living room

3. Artwork and Wall Decor

Hanging black-framed artwork or mirrors not only adds visual interest, but also contributes to the overall color balance in a room. They create focal points and draw the eye, making the room feel cohesive.

Just as I did with my new black terracotta vase, a few years ago, I deliberately added these black accent (wall clock and pillow) across from the wall mounted TV in my living room to balance the color.

Living room wall with a 9 grid black and white photo gallery wall.

I have changed the decor in this room quite a few times, but I always like to balance the large wall mounted black TV with black accents across from it.

The Visual Flow

Incorporating black strategically also helps establish visual flow within a room. It guides the eye smoothly from one area to another, creating a harmonious atmosphere and establishes a cohesive visual journey for the eye.

Don’t be afraid to embrace even a small bit of black in your home decor. This versatile color can add depth, contrast, and timeless style to your living spaces.

Just remember to balance the color by incorporating at least three black elements strategically, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a visually engaging room.

So, what’s your take on adding a bit of black to your color scheme? Share your thoughts and decorating experiences with the color in the comments below.

After finding the black terracotta vase, I found a few other affordable decorating items for my living room and kitchen.

Decorating 101: Learn why every room needs a bit of black. Photo is of a white sofa with brown, white and black accents.

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  1. A great addition!


  2. I had no idea about the black concept in decorating. Currently out of town, but once I get home, I’m going to play around and add some black elements. Not sure what, but I do have a pair of black binoculars for starters.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Deanna – I hope you are enjoying your trip. When you do get home sweet home, enjoy playing around with adding a few black or dark accents around. They don’t have to be big.

  3. Love using black as an accent color and I really love the new vase! Isn’t it funny how some shops fall off our radar…JCPenney is one for me….haven’t thought of them as an option for years. Thank you for reminding me 😊

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lynn – Yes it is funny how certain stores fall off our radar. The JCP at the mall near me is always empty. :-( I was happy to give them business.