Black is back—in the bathroom, that is. This dramatic trend of decorating with a primarily black color palette in your powder room is having a major moment. Some say it’s an outgrowth of the designs seen in commercial venues, like sleek restaurants and nightclubs, while others call it a direct reaction to the fad of all-white interiors. Either way, there’s no denying the chic, modern impact it can have in your home.
“We love a black bathroom in a residential space for its moody, romantic feel,” says Stephanie Thornton Plymale, president and CEO of Heritage School of Interior Design.
Ready to go to the dark side? Here are five design tips that will help you achieve harmony in your black bathroom.
1. Play with finishes
Photo by Burmeister Woodwork
The fixtures and finishes you incorporate into a black bathroom’s design should be varied to add visual interest to the monochromatic look.
“Try a matte tile on the floor and then a glossy finish on the shower walls,” says Plymale. You might also consider different depths of black such as dark gray for variety in the space.
“Large-scale black hexagon tiles with gray or even white grout will pop here,” she adds.
Other finishes like black and white penny tiles “are now considered sweetly vintage and salvageable,” says Darla DeMorrow, author of “Organizing Your Home With SORT and SUCCEED.”
You can also try the black trend with faucets and other accents.
“Instead of traditional stainless steel or brass trim on a glass shower door, think about doing it in black with a black door handle,” says Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP. Black taps and drawer pulls can also be a part of the scheme.
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2. Combine paint and paper
Photo by Studio Gild
A powder room is one of the best places in your home to experiment with wallpaper, and Plymale recommends trying a primarily black graphic print.
If you’re not one for patterns, she suggests a matte black wall paint with warm undertones to keep the room intimate and cozy.
Gray-Plaisted says black-painted walls look especially nice with white sinks, toilet, tub, and subway tile. The balance of black and white can help you pull off the look—and if you’re tired of it after two years, just repaint, she says.
3. Light it right
Photo by dSPACE Studio Ltd, AIA
Lighting is the key to pulling off a black bathroom. A poorly lit powder can make guests feel uncomfortable, but as long as there’s ample lighting, they’ll never feel like they’ve stepped into a cave.
Overhead lights and wall sconces are especially important if the surfaces you’ve chosen are matte or nonreflective, say DeMorrow.
Plymale suggests bulbs with a warm glow in a black bath so as not to create stark shadows.
4. Bring in texture
Photo by BLAINE architects
Gray-Plaisted also loves the combination of natural wood cabinets with greenery like succulents in a black space. To add texture, use accessories like a seagrass hamper, rattan baskets for towels, and a simple woven mat under foot.
5. Mix in metals
Photo by Aspen Leaf Kitchens
Metals including those on faucets and handles, a soap dish, wall sconces, and waste cans will add a luxe look to any black bathroom.
Plymale says that gold finishes, for example, will bring in some warmth and offset the coldness of black surfaces. Pewter, gunmetal, and copper accents are the other hot metal tones of the moment.