How to Use Black Paint Inside Your Home


Black is sophisticated color to add to your interior design palate. However, it can be a bit intimidating if you are a new DIY interior decorator. It takes a good eye and a little know-how to choose the right type of black, and to know how to use it without creating cave-like spaces, or winding up with an undesirable interior design that is more oppressive than stylish.

Here are some tips about how to use black paint inside your house to add drama, accent and perhaps even an element of surprise.

Use Black Paint on the Ceiling to Visually Alter a Room’s Dimensions

This one may seem counterintuitive since one of the main tenets of interior design seems to be, “Keep ceilings light to make a space seem bigger…”. But, there are times when we don’t want a room to seem bigger; in fact, we want to shrink it a little. This can be true of a dining room, bedroom, study or library. Sometimes, too-high ceilings can make the furnishings feel lost or dwarfed, which is not the feeling you want to create in a space that is known for intimate, cozy gatherings or conversation. A black ceiling can be used to take it down a notch, and make a room feel more anchored.

Another great use of black paint on a ceiling is to highlight a fantastic chandelier. Look at how the black ceiling makes this light fixture seem to float in the ethereal plane. At night, the ceiling virtually disappears, creating the ultimate, infinite dreamscape.

A Black Accent Wall Can Make All The Difference

In most cases, an accent wall is about adding a splash of color to a room. In this case, a black accent wall is usually implemented to spotlight a particular furnishing or work of art. For example, in this modern San Francisco living room, we used a black wall to serve as the background for two stunning, colorful works of art. While the white walls work to feature the rest of the interior design elements, the paintings could never have had the same impact on a white background. The simple addition of black paint on a single wall makes a statement, don’t you think?

Frame Your Space Using Black Accent Trim or Moulding

Speaking of dramatic impacts, consider using black paint for your crown moulding and base. You can also use it for your window and door trim. It will help these feature to stand out and will create more dramatic lines for the eye to follow. This technique can be especially helpful in rooms with really high ceilings. Adding a perimeter trim about 8-feet or so up the wall, and painting it black, will help to anchor those spaces you want to feel more welcoming and intimate such as a foyer or living room. Of course, black trim, or black walls with white trim, will also help to highlight any unique architectural features you may have in your home.

Black Lacquer Paint is an Instant Furnishing Facelift

If you rent your space, or don’t feel confident about painting an entire surface of your home in black, then look to your furnishings and accent pieces. It’s amazing what a coat of black lacquer or a high-gloss paint can do for an old or beat-up antique or vintage piece. It makes it look brand new and ultra-fashionable.

Would you like to explore the idea of using black paint in your interior design? Give me a call at Kristina Wolf Design (510) 848-8773, or contact me online. I would love to help you.


8 Different Ways to Use Wallpaper


For a while there, wallpaper took a back burner, but now we are seeing it again in full-force. Between textured wall paper and beautiful fabric options, there are a range of ways to use wall coverings to decorate your interior spaces. If you’re stuck deliberating between paint or wallpaper, we say use both!

Here are 8 ways you can use wallpaper in a room to add a little color, pattern or texture. Get creative because, really, anything goes.

  1. Traditional. Traditional wallpapering means slapping that print up on all four walls. While this approach isn’t used as often in bedrooms and living spaces – although it can be – it’s especially effective in smaller spaces, like a powder room. You can take a bold print that might be overkill in a living room and create use it as the basis for an interesting theme, accented by the vanity, sink and fixtures you select to finish the space.
  2. Accent wall. If you are itching to go bold, an accent wall is a great way to do that. However, you can also use very subtle and delicate prints or colors to make a statement. Be very careful before choosing which wall to use as an accent. Observe how the light changes in the room and select a wall – or rearrange your furnishings – so it features or highlights a furnishing, art piece, architectural feature, etc.
  3. Wallpaper a niche. Do you have a built-in china cabinet or bookcase? How about a unique niche or wall recess? Adding wallpaper to the interior surfaces of a niche can add a pop of color and visual interest without taking over a room’s design. Try to play up the items you will display there. For example, you pewter collection will look great against a backdrop that has a similar metallic accent.
  4. Just a few feet. This could be the “accent space”, rather than the accent wall. Applying wallpaper to just a few feet of wall can make a beautiful impact. Areas that come to mind include the space above your fireplace mantle, a section of wall behind a buffet in the dining room or a small area of wall space framing a lovely furniture piece.
  5. On the ceiling. I am a huge fan of including the ceiling space in your interior design. So often, the ceiling is left a blank, white canvas. Instead, use wallpaper to dress it up. You can wallpaper the entire ceiling or you can cut a complementary shape and apply it around a light fixture to help draw attention, especially if you have a unique chandelier or lighting fixtures that deserve a little extra celebration.
  6. Half-wall. Another way to use wallpaper more sparingly is to paint one half of the wall and paper the remaining half. This combination creates the opportunity to add a nice chair rail trim or moulding piece to separate the two halves.
  7. In the kitchen. We’re not used to seeing wallpaper in the kitchen these days. However, a light and open kitchen can accommodate fun prints or unique patterns that create a foundation for your design theme. The wallpaper will give you all kinds of fun colors to play with using kitchen accents.
  8. Frame it. Can’t afford that favorite work of art just yet? Find a wallpaper print you love and frame it. This technique is a great way to dress up an empty section of wall, and you don’t have to invest the time and labor involved in traditional wallpapering.

Looking to revamp your interior style with wallpaper? Schedule a consultation with a professional interior designer.