How to pull off a black bath­room

Go over to the dark side with a room that’s glam­orous, not goth


A black bath­room de­liv­ers loads of drama and so­phis­ti­ca­tion, but it’s got to be done right so it doesn’t feel like you’re show­er­ing in a dun­geon.

We put to­gether some tips that’ll make your bath­room the most stylish room in the house. Mix and match dark and light colours

If you’re con­sid­er­ing mak­ing black the main colour in a bath­room, bal­ance is key. That means be­ing strate­gic and not choos­ing black for ev­ery wall and wash­cloth.

“Com­bine black with lighter colours,” says in­te­rior de­signer Ka­tia Bates, owner and cre­ative di­rec­tor of In­no­va­tive Cre­ations, in Fort Laud­erdale, FL.

“For ex­am­ple, if the walls are black, you could do the shower and floor in a light mar­ble with grey vein­ing.”

Add pops of other hues and tex­tures like a brushed nickel towel bar and fluffy white tow­els.

Pick the right shade of paint

If you’re paint­ing the walls, To use black most ef­fec­tively, find ways to bring in light, whether nat­u­ral or re­flected. you can’t just go into a store and ask for a cou­ple of cans of black paint. (Ben­jamin Moore, for ex­am­ple, of­fers more than 50 dif­fer­ent shades, from Gravel Gray to Deep Caviar.)

Some black paints have cho­co­late un­der­tones, which cre­ate a sense of warmth; oth­ers have grey un­der­tones, which ex­ude a cool am­bi­ence.

Avoid jet black, which will look heavy and dull. When buy­ing paint, get a glossy fin­ish rather than matte — it’s an­other way to help light bounce around the room, says Bates.

When paint­ing walls, make sure they’re per­fectly smooth be­cause any bump or paint drip will be more pro­nounced when re­flected light hits it.

Con­sider tile or wall­pa­per

Be­sides paint and mar­ble, other tex­tiles work well in a black bath­room. Tile, the clas­sic bath­room ma­te­rial, and wall­pa­per, which is a very hot these days, each guar­an­tees the walls won’t look flat and dull. You can tile or wall­pa­per ev­ery wall or do a com­bi­na­tion of wall­pa­per and tile, or paint and wall­pa­per, or tile and paint.

Brighten things up

To use black most ef­fec­tively, find ways to bring in light, whether nat­u­ral or re­flected. If the bath­room has a win­dow, sun­light will do a good job of bright­en­ing up the space.

For fix­tures like faucets and van­ity han­dles, pick a highly re­flec­tive metal that will bounce off the dark colour and pro­vide ad­di­tional light.

“Any metal will work very well,” says Bates, “ex­cept wrought iron, which is too dark. You could do one metal like brass, which warms up the room, or do a com­bi­na­tion such as brass and pol­ished brass, or go with pol­ished nickel or stain­less steel.”

Put on a light show

Re­place a dated light fix­ture with some­thing more mod­ern, such as a clear crys­tal chan­de­lier with bright bulbs. Or in­stall sconces, which Bates likes for the way they en­hance the beauty of a room in sub­tle way.


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