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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 2 of 4Although this room is only about 10' x 12', it's plenty bright even with the black walls. (Photo by Tim Street-Porter)

Don't be Afraid of the Dark(2 of 4)

When designer Miles Redd ( first renovated the kitchen of his New York City apartment (featured in Rooms to Inspire by Annie Kelley), the cabinets were ebonized wood and the walls were celadon. "But then one day I walked in and decided that this room really has to be black," says Redd, so he covered the walls in high-gloss, dark, dramatic paint.

The floor is lacquered white, punctuated with a black star, and the countertops are all mirrored. Windows and French doors leading out to the garden let sunshine in during the day. And for cooking at night, Redd installed high-wattage lighting under the cabinets and range hood.

"But the truth is, I don't actually want it bright at night," he says. "I have two table lamps on the counters, and often I just leave those on with no overheads. People are always worried about painting a room black — they say 'But it's going to be so dark! ' — and I say 'yes, it will, but that's not a bad thing. Dark can be moody, dark can be elegant, dark can be very sexy."

Next Photo: Lights Out