How to use it

Living Etc - - AGENDA / TREND -

It’s not true that small rooms must be painted white to make the space look big­ger: a sim­i­lar im­pact can be cre­ated with black, which gives the space more depth as the colour sub­tly changes through­out the day. Paint ex­pert An­nie Sloan ex­plains: ‘Pale colours will em­pha­sise the light in the room, but dark colours will blur the cor­ners and edges, cre­at­ing the il­lu­sion of space.’

Use dark colours on the walls but en­sure floor­ing and fur­nish­ings are

lighter. This will draw the eye to the fore­ground and al­low the walls to act as a back­drop. Also, the greater the con­trast be­tween the black and any com­ple­men­tary colours, the more strik­ing the scheme will be,’ says He­len Shaw from Ben­jamin Moore UK. ‘If you want a strong vis­ual im­pact, choose lighter tones or for some­thing more sooth­ing, pair your black with other mid and dark tones.’

North-fac­ing rooms can be no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult to dec­o­rate as they’re of­ten darker spa­ces with a cool light. This is where black comes into its own. ‘In­stead of com­pet­ing with the lim­ited light, bring in dark paint colours such as black to cre­ate a co­coon­ing, com­fort­able feel,’ says Cathryn Helsby, colour ex­pert at Earth­born.

When teamed with

white, black can be used any­where. How­ever, it’s cru­cial to choose the right shades of both, ac­cord­ing to Tri­cia Guild, founder and cre­ative di­rec­tor of De­sign­ers Guild. ‘A sharp clear white and black feels pow­er­ful, time­less and strong, whereas a softer white and char­coal is a gen­tler in­car­na­tion of mono­chrome.’

Black works re­ally well with strong, jewel

colours – orange, fuch­sia, turquoise, lime – but it doesn’t al­ways need to be paired with stand­out shades. ‘It’s equally a won­der­ful con­trast with the new soft neu­trals which we’ve loved in re­cent months: the blush pinks and sage greens,’ says He­len Har­low, colour ex­pert at Paint­box.

Best for a dra­matic back­drop Graphite wall paint, £39.95 for 2.5L, An­nie Sloan Best for pair­ing with muted shades Al­bany Soot Print vinyl matt, £30.48 for 2.5L, Brew­ers Best for cre­at­ing a co­coon­ing in­te­rior Paean Black es­tate emul­sion, £45 for 2.5L, Far­row & Ball Best for ab­so­lute pitch black Jack Black ab­so­lute matt emul­sion, £43.50 for 2.5L, Lit­tle Greene Best for eco lovers Hidey-hole clay­paint, £40 for 2.5L, Earth­born Best for a softer take on a stark black Black Cab matt emul­sion, £38 for 2.5L, Gra­ham & Brown

Best for teal un­der­tones Mid­night regal flat, £20.50 for 0.4L, Ben­jamin Moore

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