The Right Way to Paint a Room Black

black dining room
Oh, how I love the black dining room of Victoria Smith from sfgirlbybay, as seen in her San Francisco apartment featured in the inaugural issue of Rue magazine. The room is so perfectly balanced and beautiful.

Decorating with black and doing it well is no simple task. So let's talk about what Victoria did right with her dining room design, which as far as I'm concerned is everything!


I think if you're going to do something "design extreme" like paint the walls of your dining room matte chalkboard black, then you have to keep balance in mind to pull it off. Balance of materials, balance of textures, balances of light and dark. It doesn't have to be 50/50 balance on all counts, but one element should not overpower another.

Victoria has two gorgeous wood pieces in the room -- her large hand-me-down antique farm table and the simple side buffet. Without the woody warmth of these two large pieces of furniture and the lovely pattern and color warmth of the wood floor, this black and white room could look cold and stark.

The white ceiling, moulding, and faux fireplace mantel bring in light, and the flokati shag wool rug and the greenery soften the geometric lines. Even the curve of the mismatched chairs softens the hard lines where black meets white. Love that rich pop of green floral in the seat cushions, too. The perfect little bit of happy.

What's really wonderful about the black is that all of Victoria's decorative choices stand out boldly against it. It's perfect for showing off her neat little finds.

See the rest of Victoria's crazy-cute, modern-meets-vintage apartment in Issue #1 of Rue.

What do you think? Ready to take the black paint to your dining room walls?


Image via Tiny Water Photography (via Rue)

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