Black Accent Walls: Should You Do It, Best Colors, and Inspiration

The black accent wall in our Chicago bedroom in 2017. Forgive some of my style choices back then.

In 2017, when we were living in Chicago, I decided on a whim our bedroom needed a black accent wall. I went out to the Lowe’s down the street, bought three paint samples, and tested them on the walls while my son napped.

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I chose one, bought the paint, and by the end of the next day’s naptime, the black accent wall in my bedroom was done.

That’s one of the things I love about accent walls. They’re SO easy to do, since you’re only painting one wall. It’s literally the entry-level DIY project anyone can do.

The fact that they’re so easy to do also makes them easy to re-do, which brings me to the second reason I love accent walls. They’re low-commitment.

All of this brings me to my point that, if you can’t stop thinking about black accent walls or adding a touch of contrast in your own home: go for it. It’ll take a couple hours and $35 worth of paint, and it can completely transform your space.

If you need some more convincing, here’s a look at some of the black accent walls I love.

8 Black Accent Walls in Bedrooms, Living Rooms, and More

1. A black dining room accent wall

Image via The Smitten Collective
Image via The Smitten Collective

I remember seeing an Instagram reel where the blogger from The Smitten Collective showed the before and after of this space and it’s remarkable what a little black paint can do. It gives the whole space an anchor and a focal point that makes the room.

2. Black office built ins

Image via Honey Bear Lane

First of all, picture these built-ins white. Just OK, right? It would feel like a nice space, but nothing special. The black color makes the room feel so much more interesting and intentionally styled.

3. A black statement wall

Image via Handy Man Filipe
Image via Handy Man Filipe

Here’s another example of the power of the black accent wall. It turns a large, empty expanse of beige into a statement. One of the other things to note with the before-and-after photos here is how much more modern a black wall looks that the beige. Black has a way of making spaces instantly feel more up-to-date.

4. A black entryway statement wall

Image via At Home in the Desert

Got a bump-out wall that feels awkward? Turn it into an intentional focal point in a room by painting it black, a la At Home in The Desert, above.

5. A black fireplace accent wall

Image via Alison Victoria Interiors

I have to say that black built ins and/or black fireplace walls are one of my favorite use-cases for a black accent wall. It really just emphasizes the area as the center-point of a room, and adds plenty of drama.

6. A black nursery accent wall

Image by @ModernbyMiles

Who says you can’t use black in a nursery? The room above proves that a black accent wall can feel hip and cozy at the same time. The color above is Witching Hour by Benjamin Moore.

7. A black backdrop

Image via Craftberry Bush

This might be my favorite example of a black accent wall on this list. For one, it proves that black works for more contemporary spaces, but that’s it’s also a great way to give a modern touch to traditional or even rustic leaning spaces. I also love how the black makes the neutral shelf decor pop.

8. A bedroom focal point

Image via Clare Paints

Like I mentioned, black is a great way to make any room feel more intentionally styled. It turns “nice” spaces into memorable ones, a la this South Carolina guest bedroom I spotted on the Clare paints blog. In case you’re curious, the color is Clare paints Blackish.

Where to use black accent walls

Before you bust out your paint brush, it’s important to fully consider where your black accent wall will be. The color can work in almost any space as long as it’s placed in the right spot.

Most notably, a black accent wall will become the focal point in your room, so you’ll want to choose the wall you’ll orient the rest of the room around. If it’s in a bedroom, choose the wall the bed will be on, for example. In a living space, the fireplace or TV wall make the most sense. In a small bathroom, it should be the wall where the vanity is.

Best colors for a black accent wall

I’ve tried a number of black paint colors in my own home, and I always go back to a few. My go-to black paint colors are:

  • Benjamin Moore Onyx – This is my all-time favorite black paint color. It’s neutral and rich.
  • Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron – This is a slightly softer black, more like a very deep charcoal, if you’re looking for something less stark and with a bit more depth.
  • Farrow & Ball Pitch Black – Looking for a true black? Try F&B Pitch Black. It feels timeless and elegant.

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