Black living room ideas – 10 inspiring ways to decorate with this dark and dramatic color

These black living room ideas can completely alter the feel of a room – but getting the balance right is key

Black living room ideas with yellow furniture and soft furnishings and large windows.
(Image credit: Future / Lisa Cohen)

Daring and decadent, black living room ideas can be difficult to get right, but once mastered, they can add an elegant confidence to your space like no other color.

A black decorating scheme is a brave choice, as it requires careful editing and a strong design eye. 

Darker living room paint ideas can also appear ‘flat’ if you don’t introduce texture and subtle tonal variety. But put together carefully, black schemes are a great way to add drama and style.

Black living room ideas

Whether you're keen to make a stylish statement or you simply want to add a touch of drama to enhance your space, we've gathered the best black living room ideas for you.

1. Wow with a black and white wallpaper

A black living room with monochrome architectural print wallpaper, open shelving and a wooden chair.

(Image credit: Lisa Cohen / Future)

Wallpaper is a wonderful way to add color, pattern and interest to your interiors. Whether you have a snug, or a tiny home with a smaller, darker living room, you can add serious impact with the right wallpaper ideas.

When selecting a wallpaper for a living room, it’s important to consider how often you will be in the space. You don’t want a pattern that will overwhelm, or a color that you will get quickly tired of. This is where black and white living room color schemes can really come into their own. Opt for a pretty pictorial print to make a real style statement.

2. Take it to the floor

A gray painted living room with black floor, white fireplace and bright red boudoir chair.

(Image credit: Paul Raeside / Future)

Recreate the refined elegance of grand Parisian apartments by combining muted gray living room ideas with white accents and black flooring.

Walls painted a soft grey provide a sophisticated backdrop for this scheme, which artfully balances the black floorboards and white fireplace surround. Blocks of bold color, in the form of an armchair and artwork, add interest and personality to the modern look.

3. Get the balance right in a black living room

A black living room with white walls, colorful furniture, black floorboards, door and window frames.

(Image credit: James Merrell / Future)

When deciding on your living room paint colors, go for a neutral base. Treat black as an accent color in a white living room, for example, to add definition, structure and a sophisticated edge to your space. Stick to black flooring, lighting and accessories only to stop it feeling too dominant. 

'If painting your walls feels a step too far, consider painting all your woodwork, including doors, architraves, and windows in black instead, says Patrick O’Donnell, Farrow & Ball's brand ambassador. 'Dark woodwork will frame walls beautifully and is an incredibly sophisticated compromise.'

4. Use black to create a cocooning scheme

A rich, black living room with velvet sofa and rustic wooden floorboards.

(Image credit: Neptune)

Be brave and use black on all four walls – even the skirting. Including the woodwork will elongate your wall height and draw less attention than the sharp contrast of a traditional white trim. 

'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, then a deep blue living room color scheme will have a similar effect.

5. Go for an all-over black – even on the ceiling

A black living room with built-in alcove bookcases either side of a black fireplace pink and a mid-century pink sofa.

(Image credit: Frenchie Cristogatin / Future)

Decorating with an all-over black decorating scheme requires an element of bravery, but get it right and your space will reward you. Painting your living room (including the ceiling) black is a brilliant way to create a cocooning space that is sharp yet cozy.

By incorporate contrasting colors – such as vivid pink and acid green – a dark living room will look all the more striking.

6. Layer a black living room with texture

A back living room with brown leather sofa, fluffy white rug and vase of flowers.

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

A black and white decorating scheme is a brave choice, as it requires a strong design eye. Take inspiration from Scandinavian design philosophy by introducing layers of textural elements. 

Tone and texture are vital components in getting this look right – remember that the most successful monochrome interiors combine movement and depth with tactile pieces to create an interesting narrative. 

7. Contrast classic with contemporary

A black living room by Studio McGee with statement gold ceiling light.

(Image credit: Studio McGee)

Monochrome interiors can work especially well in period homes, where a one-tone canvas serves to highlight and complement original features. A contemporary combination of walls and black paintwork, mixed with traditional fixtures and furniture means this predominantly black living room by Studio McGee has a clean, up-to-date feel that will continue to look stylish for years to come. 

8. Keep the room simple and symmetrical 

A soft black living room with symmetrical leather sofas and coffee table.

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

A black or gray color palette works best when you keep the room simple – and the arrangements orderly. Symmetry is an interior design trick used to create smart-looking rooms, and it's especially useful when looking for small living room ideas

Get symmetry right in a black living room and you can create a sense of harmony – and make your space feel bigger and tidier.

9. Punctuate a black living room with yellow

A black living room with pendant lighting, a yellow window seat and yellow armchair.

(Image credit: Future / Lisa Cohen)

Yellow’s reputation as a fresh and lively sunny color means it is often overlooked in living rooms, but when paired with black it is a combination that really sings out in a contemporary setting.

Yellow living room ideas inspire optimism, creating a summery feel; team it with charcoal and black for modern look. This color is fantastic when mixed with crisp white or warm wood furniture: this spectrum of sunny shades look great with an additional contrast color such as gray, black or duck egg blue.

10. Create a serene Scandinavian feel

A Scandi inspired dark gray-black living room with black wooden chair and artwork.

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

'Black can be an incredibly glamorous and sophisticated choice for a living room,' says Patrick O’Donnell, Farrow & Ball's brand ambassador. 'Something as dark as this can create a cozy and intimate space through to full-blown elegance. 

'It is ideal if your room is starved of natural light, as it will lend itself to the disadvantages of aspect.'

If an all-black scheme is too daunting, then incorporating neutral living room ideas such as blonde wood is a brilliant way to stop a black-and-white scheme from looking too clinical – and in fact, can create that serene Scandinavian finish that is so enduringly popular.

What colors go with a black living room?

The beautiful of a black living room color scheme is that it will go with just about any other color. Decorating with black gives you the blank canvas you need to add in either splashes of bright color, warmth with natural materials, such as wood, or texture in rugs, throws and other textiles. 

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

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.