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Elevate The Color Black from Accent to Neutral Starting with Black Heat Registers

May 4, 2021


Dark Neutrals Trending Now in Home Renovation

Though most people generally use the color black as an accent in design, have you ever considered black as a neutral that you can apply more broadly? It has the ability to set the stage for other players in the design and blend into the background with the best of the neutrals. Though bold, black may be just the neutral you’re looking for.

Your black heat registers (for heating and cooling) can be the starting point for the introduction of a much more generous use of black in your design. Here are a few ways to elevate black from an occasional accent to a main player without overwhelming your design.

Matte vs. Gloss Black Paint

The finish of the paint you choose can have a huge impact on how black colors interact in your space. A bit of science can help explain.

According to physics, black absorbs all lightwaves. White reflects lightwaves. Because of this, black can tend to make things look smaller (why we love so much to wear it). It also can tend to make things seem darker. Both of these are pretty good reasons not to paint your entire living room black. But these aren’t necessarily reasons to shy away from it either.

If you select a matte black paint, it has a softening effect that makes black less in-your-face and more neutral, which will help a space feel less enclosed. A gloss or satin paint reflects more light combatting the light inhibiting tendencies of black.

High-Contrast Design

Adding white is a classic move to incorporate the color black. As the exact opposite of black, white opens spaces up, makes it feel more bright, and is a neutral that can disappear. All the things white does, makes it easier for black to do its thing.

Use black and white in equal parts or turn traditional design on it’s head and let white be the accent and black the main player. Either way, white makes black more at home in your design.

Light on Dark

In a similar way, a lighter neutral like beige or gray balances black. You don’t have to use much of the lighter color to get the effect. Use it on trims and frames, columns, or other architectural features that draw the eye and trick the brain into focusing on them instead of on the black.

Try layering lighter shades of black into your color palette to soften straight-up black. Our eyes look for differences and focus on them. When you draw focus away from a generous use of black, it becomes a neutral.

The Rule of Three

Have you ever heard of the rule of three in interior design? The rule states that grouping design items into odd-numbered sets makes them more memorable and appealing. Use the same concept for the color black in your design. Most of the time, people apply the rule of three to the color black for small-time accents. But why not go bold?

Picking larger items in black lets the bold color take center stage and stand out in the design. Try a black sofa, black end tables, a black rug, imposing black floor lamp. It never hurts to have a few smaller items as well: throw pillows, blankets, chandeliers, frames on art/photos, etc..

A Ceiling of a Different Color

Painting your ceiling a different color than your walls is on-trend. Consider black for this endeavor and add some drama. Black on the ceiling is perfect if you worry about feeling overwhelmed by the bold color. It’s not something you have to stare at constantly but still has the desired effect.

This is an especially good idea if you have a tray ceiling or other architectural feature on your ceiling like crown molding. These essentially have a framing effect that gives you the dramatic effect you want.

Big Stripes & Shapes

You don’t have to paint the entire wall to get a dramatic effect. A little black paint can go a long way. Make one wide stripe in the center of the wall either horizontally or vertically. Or paint the bottom half of the wall and add a chair rail.

Painting large shapes or color blocking on a wall is a huge trend now and is an excellent way to add some bolder neutral to the color scheme. Put a large, black half-circle behind the bed in lieu of a headboard. Create separation in an open plan with large squares or rectangles. Add a little bold geometry to the mix.

The Color Black in Nature

Though it seems contradictory, black is a more natural color than white in nature. A house with a black exterior blends better into a landscape than a white or even brown house. You can use the same concept inside your house to make outdoor views more noteworthy.

Paint a wall with multiple windows or large windows black and the greenery outside will shine through. The black creates less of a visual barrier and practically brings those views inside. Window frames and trims in black do the same.

Monochrome Feature Wall

The feature wall isn’t a new idea, but you can give it a refresh by taking it in a new direction: monochrome black. Not only do you paint the wall black, but everything on the wall or against the wall is black too. Black wall, black bookcases, black furniture.

Different textures in a single color creates depth in the space. It is no longer a static black wall, but a wall that makes a statement in a bold color.

Another take on the feature wall is to paint odd walls black (odd walls being those strange spaces that don’t do much functionally and are just begging to become a design feature, like the wall with the staircase or the wall in the foyer.

Black Heat Registers

Our selection of black heat registers (for both cooling and heating systems) comes in steel or aluminum and in plenty of sizes. The stand-out designs add a measure of elegant drama that enhances the effect of the color black.

Start with our visualizer, which shows you how our black heat register covers look against different types of surfaces so you can start planning to give your space a refresh with the hottest new neutral, black.

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