Inspiring Interiors

Black walls (again!).

A friend of mine asked me recently if I think that black walls are overdone at this point, having been featured in every décor magazine and interiors blog around the world for several years now. My answer was a resounding NO: I love a good black wall (I wrote about them a while back, too) and I’m not afraid to say it!

This is the black wall in my office. That’s not paint, of course, it’s Fir Tree wallpaper from Ferm Living.

From Scandinavian Style.


Photo by Heather McDonald. I love how the deep gray Mañana Lamp blends into the wall color.

At the Moormann Berge hotel in Germany (via Remodelista). PERFECT. Now, will someone please take the time to make that branch chandelier for me?

Black kitchen and bath at Harts Lane.

From LivingEtc. I wish I were brave enough to have an acid-green door in my life. Maybe in the apartment. Hmmm.

From LivingEtc. Will I ever get over the wonder that is Jenna Lyons’ house? No, I won’t.

L: Interior architecture and design by Philippe Harden; R: Home of Laura Aviva (via Design*Sponge).

Photo by Aaron Able at Apartment Therapy. Black paneling at Studio Aalto, Alvar Aalto’s design office in Helsinki.

L: Source unknown (sorry!); R: From Sköna Hem.

From LivingEtc.

L: Interior by Rose Uniacke, photo by Andreas von Einsiedel (via Remodelista); R: Photo by Keller & Keller. That’s actually a tall cabinet painted black on the left, but it reads as a full wall.

L: Ruthie Sommers’ kitchen, from Domino magazine; R: Interior by Ilse Crawford.

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  • Reply jenna/sweet fine day December 26, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    me too. I love my 2 black walls. and yeah, ditto on jenna lyon’s house. sheesh.

  • Reply ethanollie December 26, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    i have been trying to incorporate a black wall for ages, but can’t seem to find the right place…

  • Reply Adam December 26, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    I think I am going to be doing my downstairs office in blsck.

  • Reply Josh (in Wonderland) December 27, 2009 at 1:37 am

    i love the black wall in my bedroom. the other three walls are very light grey—almost white—and that fourth one is black chalkboard. i was worried at first, but there’s no regrets at all, now.

  • Reply cathinca December 27, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    great! i love the black walls! especially the moormann berge – which is located in the south of germany (and not in denmark, as written). best from berlin cathinca

  • Reply Kay* December 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Oooh I love a good black wall! I painted the backsplash & above the cabinets in my kitchen black and smile every time I look at it. Totally adds interest to my tiny un-interesting rental kitchen.

    All of these pics are great-I have a few in my inspiration file too!

  • Reply Live a Colorful Life December 27, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Right before I read your post, I read one by Rambling Renovators and there was a picture of a black-walled game room with polar bear art. Of course I thought of you immediately!

  • Reply alex sunday December 27, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    ooh, some lovely shots here. i’m trying to find a wall in our house to turn black. i’m very tempted to go with your fir tree wallpaper. so pretty!

  • Reply Rachel December 27, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    I am so not over black walls, mine are here to stay.Plus my husband loves that it gives our living room a movie theatre effect when he watches tv, so it’s a total win-win.

  • Reply anne chu December 27, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    I think your apartment will be the perfect place to try an acid-green door so I just want to give a token of support towards your bit of courage to go for it!

  • Reply Avant-Gardenist December 28, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Black walls. If they’re good enough for Anna and Alvar, they’re good enough for me.

  • Reply Sheryl J December 28, 2009 at 5:39 am

    Hello, I’m fairly new to your blog. Found you via YHL. Love your simple yet AWESOME style. Just wanted to give you another inspirational website called They have wonderful pictures you could use.

  • Reply Bonnie December 28, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Black wall, red chair, red fridge, old theatre chairs… perfect. Lovely collection of inspiration, thanks!

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  • Reply Erin @ SYL: Slipcover Your Life December 28, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I couldn’t agree more! Dark wall colors is not going anywhere!

  • Reply nkp December 28, 2009 at 11:12 am

    I’m with you, I’ll never tire of this look. Deep, rich, soulful…stunning in its simplicity and yet so much alluring drama. Pretty much a winning combination. I think black walls are “in” for the long run.

    Thanks for sharing this gorgeous round-up!

  • Reply Herr M December 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Just a little correction. The Hotel “Berge” of Mr. Moormann is in Upper Bavaria, Germany, not in Denmark.
    He is a salesman in furniture design (cool, modern and puristic) and has transformed an old stable into this very special hotel. In the other part of his house, on can see all the designs he is selling.
    Kind regards
    Herr M

  • Reply dewi December 28, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Good design is never “done” and that includes the black walls.

  • Reply dewi December 28, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    I heart and dream of that chartreuse door.
    I can’t figure out how to make that work in my apt. ;(

    You have a clean slate with the new apt.

  • Reply Lori December 28, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Love the black walls. Unfortunately, they would only be one huge chalkboard for my boys to draw on… :) I am also loving the tree branch chandelier!!

  • Reply Elise December 28, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Totally off subject: Now, after having and probably using your KeepCup a bunch, what do you think? I have been in the market (who is ever in the market for a to-go coffee cup? Haha-but I am) and was about to buy one online but wanted to check with you first. I read your post when you first got it and wanted to see if you could give me an quick update. My concerns are: does it stain with coffee that is left in it for a bit? Does it truly keep coffee hot? Does it ever leak? Ok, I’m done being needy. Thanks! -elise

  • Reply Anna at D16 December 28, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    cathinca & Herr: Thank you! I will make the correction. :)

    Elise: I answered these questions (and others) in the comments on the Keep Cup post, but briefly:
    1. No staining at all from coffee, but I did forget it in my bag over the weekend with a teabag inside, and that left a stain. I haven’t attempted to remove it, but I’m sure it will come off with a little baking soda.
    2. The Keep Cup is not meant to insulate. It is really just a replacement for a paper coffee cup like you would get at Starbucks or another takeout place.
    3. Again, this is not a thermos — I’ve never had any problems with leaking or dripping, but I wouldn’t toss it in my bag filled with coffee. Just think of it like a replacement for a takeout paper cup. :)

  • Reply Tuesday December 28, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    I wish I had another bedroom so that I could paint the walls black, or a very dark charcoal. I just painted my bedroom two tones of light grey, which I like a lot also… but there’s always that question of whether to go light or dark. Both are good.
    Come see my bedroom progress on my blog :)

  • Reply Urban Flea December 29, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    i too love a good black wall, make and also would love someone to make that branch chandelier for me. i can’t wait to see what you do with your new apartment! i’m sure it will be gorgeous!

    xo katherine aka. urban flea :)

  • Reply peggy December 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    I love black walls too. And gray too. I’ve been writing about them quite a bit lately. I wish someone would build me the chandelier AND the table from the German hotel.

    I can’t wait to see how you decorate your new place. That is so exciting! I always wanted to have a house and a small place in New York. Turns out my primary (and only) residence is a 400 square foot studio. I am so looking forward to seeing how you decorate. You can do the more daring things (like the green door) in your apartment that you wouldn’t do in your home.

    Happy Holidays!

  • Reply Julie January 2, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I was just looking at that Ferm Living wallpaper last night on their website. Good to see it in context. Wonder if it would be too much behind a black leather bed..hmmm?

  • Reply Sue January 2, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Two years ago we moved into a bungalow with black tile walls in the kitchen. All four of them! You have made me feel so much better about them!

  • Reply 31everything January 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    omg! I now want a black wall in my house really bad! I love this post!

  • Reply Sarah January 4, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Thank you! I want to paint our guest bedroom, which is this terrible shade of dark purple from the previous renters, black and needed proof for my husband that black walls don’t have to be sombre or gothy.

  • Reply sapphire January 4, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Sköna Hem is a great site!

  • Reply BHB January 4, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Hi — just found your blog and have spent many hours going through the archives — DIG your style

    We have been looking for floor lamp that would work in our living room and love the green one in your office (saw it first on remodelista this am)

    can u tell me where u found it?


  • Reply Christine January 6, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    I too love the black walls, thanks for featuring all these photos! I’ve bookmarked for future inspiration. Now I just have to convince my boyfriend!

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  • Reply XOJY January 14, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    We LOVE living with our dark, venetian plastered walls.

  • Reply emily at thirtyeight March 1, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I just painted a black accent wall in my living room over the weekend. We used chalkboard paint, but we love the effect so much that we may not ever draw on it! (Well, until we have kids someday I’m sure.) Even if it were/is out of vogue, I don’t care. It’s our house and we love it, ya know?

    Here are photos of the freshly painted space if anyone is interested:

  • Reply twin xl April 5, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Absolutely LOVE the a-frame-ish room with the white tufted chaise :)

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