Meg Ryan's dining room goes back to black – adding sophistication and drama in a masterful way

For lashings of decadence and drama, you can't beat dabbling on the dark side

Meg Ryan
(Image credit: Getty Images / Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor)

Decorating with black is a bold and inspiring way to add extra dramatism to your dining room, and Meg Ryan's interior designer Monique Gibson certainly knows how to master the art of using strong colors to make a statement.

There is something magical about painting and decorating with black. 'The delicious and decadent contrast between lighting objects against a dark background emphasizes unique qualities in materials and finer details you might have missed in a light-filled colorful space, says Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux. 

And even if you're not ready for floor-to-ceiling black, small accents can add definition and drama. Picking out a door frame, or piece of furniture, or painting the ceiling in black makes a space come to life.

No longer the preserve of your bedroom during that teenage gothic phase, when used the right way black is chic, sophisticated and elegant, and makes the perfect partner for white, as Meg Ryan's dining room beautifully demonstrates. 

Far from binary, the aesthetic associations of black and white are rich and varied. Symbolizing balance and equilibrium, the pairing can also be used to isolate, capture attention and confuse; they are artists’ fundamental tools for capturing volume and form, and for architects to create rhythm and order.

Quite often it pays to simply 'just go for it' when it comes to choosing a dining room color scheme. Be brave and use black on all four walls – even the flooring. The trick is to identify the undertones that define one black from another. Source samples of fabric and wallpaper and compare these to your paint swatches, so you can see which shade feels harmonious and which feels wrong.

'Whilst dark colors tend to advance (close in), black has the magical quality of infinity, which means you are less aware of room proportions,' explains O’Donnell. 

If going for an all-over black color scheme is just too daunting for you, then a deep blue dining room color scheme will have a similar effect. Whatever you do, don't scrimp on the quality of your paint. Dark colors are notorious for showing up roller and paint brush marks, scuffs, and imperfections.

Shop the black dining room edit

 A strong, robust shade, black is guaranteed to bring impact to interiors and is becoming increasingly popular. However, if painting your entire dining room in black is just too much of a commitment, then try furnishing with black, instead.

Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.