Why I Love Black Bedrooms, Even for Small Spaces

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In the last couple of years, the black bedroom has definitely had a moment. Let’s be real, I probably got the idea from Pinterest. I still liked the trend enough to have black bedrooms in the last two places I’ve lived. I’m a fan of moody interiors, although I kind of go back and forth between loving really clean, neutral, bright interiors and moody, dark ones. Somehow the moody, dark ones always call to me the loudest. I’m a maximalist at heart. 

The nightstand and chenille headboard were great finds from Urban Outfitters. I like how a simple, modern-looking lamp to offset the eclectic decor.

When I was in junior high, I had a friend who lived in this incredible, old Queen Anne style Victorian. It was so much fun to play hide and go seek there (When you have a truly excellent setting, 11 is definitely not too old to play hide and seek!) She had entire rooms, floors even, that were unused, where these dusty, white sheets had been draped over the furniture (probably original!)–it was like a haunted house. I remember in the entryway there was an enormous organ. Maybe I just remember it like this because I was a kid, but I swear it looked as big as the ones you see in churches. Everywhere there were these oddities and antiques. The inside was dark, but I loved it. All the decor was interesting, opulent and a little eerie. I remember the other kids not really understanding their house. This was the late 90s, and they all lived in homes with white carpeting and brass chandeliers and Lazyboys. But I knew then I wanted to live in a big, old house with lots of weird, dark things when I grew up. Well, I don’t have my big, old Victorian yet, but I can still decorate like I live in one!

In our last apartment, the entire apartment was much more like this room. In the new place, I traded out a lot of the moody, old looking things for a more colorful, modern vibe. The bedroom is kind of the last place where I kept this aesthetic, so I let it run wild. To me, the black really makes colors pop. It highlights, instead of hides. Even though the space is small, having two windows bringing in natural light really helps. I chose light, translucent curtains to let in more of the light and brighten up the space.

This black bench was a great $20 flea market find. It isn’t sturdy enough to sit on, but makes a great plant stand,

Having plants is one way to liven up a dark room. I also think the contrast between the green tones of the leaves and the dark walls is really beautiful.

All three paintings are original works of art acquired from friends. The piece hanging above the nightstand is by a counterculture artist who is also a pastor and spiritualist. He writes blessings on the back of all the work he does. It’s such a meaningful thing to have close to me when I sleep!

If you’re going to do a black room, I think going all-in on metallics is a great idea because they will really pop. You don’t have to be afraid to mix metals (I use gold, chrome, silver, copper and brass in my bedroom) because they all look beautiful against a dark backdrop. Sometimes with lighter wall colors and interiors, metallics can get a cheap feel. In my personal opinion, when you go dark, it just doesn’t matter. They all look spectacular. I especially love the gold-leaf Japanese room divider panel that is hanging beside the bed. This was a great flea market find, and it just wouldn’t look right with any other color wall.

Ah! Windows! I think the light, gauzy curtains balance out the heavy, rich texture everywhere else. It keep the room from feeling too claustrophobic.

The other thing you shouldn’t shy away from in a dark room is texture. I tried to bring in as much texture as possible: a sheepskin rug, velvet duvet, bamboo sheets, knit throws, embroidered pillows, … they all say to me “I don’t actually live in a crappy, mold-trap apartment! I live in an opulent and majestic castle!”

When you have a lot going on a room, throwing in a really subdued modern accent like a ghost chair can balance it out and also keep the space from feeling overwhelming.

Another great way to add texture to a room is by adding cats. Cats are both soft and versatile accessories for any space.

Purrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I don’t think any dark room is complete without a good mirror. This one I got for $30 on Facebook Marketplace. I don’t know why, but I feel like I have really good luck with mirrors on Marketplace. Mirrors are one of those decor items that are usually insanely overpriced and so expensive if you buy them new. But you can find some incredible deals if you keep an eye out. Occasionally I will just do a search and see what’s out there. I love mirrors. They’re an addiction. And not because I like looking at myself. They’re the perfect neutral-but-also-dramatic room accessory.

You guys have figured out I really like shoes right?

I lined up a few of my favorite shoes on my makeup shelf. I thinking using shoes as decor is incredibly underrated but, that could just be me.

I don’t really like having my vanity area in my bedroom, but in a small apartment, it’s necessary. I like this bookshelf because it only protrudes a few inches from the wall, so I still have some walkway space. A “real” vanity area is goals, but this does the job for now.

Handsome boy.

I suppose can’t get through a post about the bedroom without mentioning Wally. Now, I know a giant buck head isn’t everyone’s idea of good decor (although the hipsters kind of made them a thing in 2015. Don’t even get me started on those stupid deer head wall decals.) Before we moved in together, Wally was presented to me by Aaron as a non-negotiable piece of decor for our future home. He has tremendous sentimental value for him. . Wally was also, subsequently, the cause of our first major argument. Needless to say, I gave in, and now he is a permanent fixture. I’ve actually grown to feel rather sentimental about him myself. Wally is a state record buck that Aaron’s father bagged on a hunting almost 20 years ago. While he did shoot at him, as it turned out, he never found a bullet wound. So Wally actually died of natural causes. One can be assured that he was a very old, very large buck who lived a full life. He never got bested by a hunter, and now he gets to live on in immortality on my bedroom wall, watching me have sex forever. What buck could ask for more?

I certainly hope I’ve made you re-think black bedrooms, if you hadn’t already bought into the trend. As always, decor, like fashion, should be fun. Create a space YOU want to live in!

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