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Dramatic and Sexy Black Decorating Ideas

Not just for trim, painting with black can be a smart, stylish choice for an entire wall. See how these designers use the paint color to a room's advantage.

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Photo 1 of 4Just as a great black dress shows off exquisite jewelry, the black wall in this high-rise condo in Century City, Calif., highlights the cream-colored pendant light fixture. (Photo by Michael McCreary)

Chalk it up to Experience(1 of 4)

Every manufacturer offers black paint, but it's typically used for the front doors of Colonial-style houses, or for trim in old Victorian homes. But black can be much more than just an accent color. Cover one wall — or even a whole room — in black, and the result can be daring, dramatic and definitely sexy.

"The paint is actually chalkboard paint from Home Depot and can be used for scribbling memos and notes," says designer Nicole Sassaman (, who lived in the space before selling it to a Hollywood producer. "When we saw it finished, though, it was so pretty that we decided to leave the wall blank."

Part of what makes this color work in the area is its subtle, matte finish, and the fact that it's absolutely black. "Many black paints have a lot of blue in them," says Sassaman, "but this one is true black."

The shade and finish of black that's just right for a given room will vary greatly with the light, says Sassaman. So, just as you would with any other color, try paint samples on the wall and examine them at various times throughout the day.

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