High Gloss is Boss: Interiors Inspired by Jet Black

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Nothing fits quite as perfectly as black and high gloss. It may be one of my favorite combinations in interior design, especially when applied as wall color. Black rooms can be classic yet captivating, sophisticated yet seductive! Be they in a traditional or contemporary setting, black-painted walls make a statement that other colors simply can’t.

Black rooms have made a strong comeback in recent years. In fact, I used a high-gloss black just a few years ago when redesigning a retail space. The experience was exhilarating and absolutely nerve-racking. I’ll never forget the first strokes of the paint roller marking the point of no return. Gasp! But the next few hours brought shiny black walls that I simply adored. Here are some can’t-lose applications for those who are ready to take the plunge.

Say “Welcome” with a gleaming, black entry

Dramatic and transformative, black is perfect for small spaces like an entry hall or foyer. These examples pair the color with crisp, white molding and accents. For a more modern approach, paint out everything and swap ornate furnishings for something sleek. Either way, your guests will take notice.

High Gloss Black Background

Image: Branca

High Gloss Black Door

Image: House Beautiful

Create an intimate dining experience

Black dining rooms are not only sophisticated, but super intimate too, creating a cozy space for dinner conversation. This dining area uses mirror for added drama and visual space.

High Gloss Black with Gold Image: Zach DeSart, HT: Tobi Fairley

Transform the traditional library

Black, glossy built-ins can transform the most common book nook into a glamorous space for work and play. This library, once featured in Nuevo Estilo, may be one of my favorite spaces ever. With their array of colorful bindings, the black bookcases border on artistic, while the high gloss reflects incoming sunlight.

High Gloss Black BookshelvesImage: Nuevo Estilo

Here’s another example of black floor-to-ceiling bookcases painted in Farrow & Ball’s Pitch Black. I love the brass accents.

High Gloss Black BookshelvesImage: Elle

High-gloss black is definitely not for the faint of heart; but for those who dare, it can be a striking addition. Remember, as with any high-gloss paint, application is key. Hire a great painter and find the best high gloss paint you can afford. Trust me, the results will be spectacular.

Ready to take the plunge?


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Desiré is a designer, blogger, and lover of all things glamorous. Though primarily a self-taught decorator, Desiré studied at The Art Institute, where she honed a distinct aesthetic largely influenced by the Modern Glamour movement, the theme of her popular design blog, Sukio. Not only is she considered a "closet fashionista," discreetly stashing handbags and shoes whenever possible, but, as an MIT graduate, she’s also an undercover nerd. Fashion, nerdom, and several years as a Washingtonian have combined to shape her unique perspective on interior design.