Design ideas: back to black

Go back to black with Homes & Garden's latest classic decorating idea. Bold designs on dark backgrounds create striking, graphic looks that are ideal for moody, comforting schemes. Be inspired by our photo gallery of ideas.

Fabrics with a solid backgrounds, as shown here, accentuate bright colours and ensure that patterns of different scales sit together effortlessly.

For a gorgeous range of cushions and fabrics with bold designs on dark backgrounds, try Nina Campbell at Osborne & Little, as well as Harlequin, Romo, Villa Nova, GP&J Baker and Celia Birtwell.

1/6 Mix patterns effortlessly

living room with pink wall and black sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Bevan)

2/6 Hang dramatic prints

living room with hang dramatic prints

(Image credit: Simon Bevan)

Smoky pink walls highlight dramatic vintage-style botanical prints, while vivid cushions lighten up a dark sofa.

Find the Signature sofa at George Smith. The walls are in Rose Bay by Fired Earth, find these botanical charts at WhippetGrey.

3/6 Frame windows with pattern

dining room with white dining table and black curtain

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Bevan)

Vibrant floral print curtains set the tone for the rest of this scheme where glassware and seat cushions are drawn from the same palette, creating an informal mood for dining.

Find this dining table and chairs at The Conran Shop, and the Rhubarb curtain fabric at Skandium.

4/6 Play with panelling

room with patterned wallpaper and black armchair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Bevan)

Panelling can be used in an inventive way to display black patterned wallpapers of varying scale for a strong and distinctive look that would work perfectly in a study.

The 59th Street armchair is from The Conran Shop. For gorgeous wallpapers like these, we recommend Colefax & Fowler, GP&J Baker, Nina Campbell at Osborne & Little, Schumacher at Turnell & GigonLittle Greene and Sanderson.

5/6 Choose black in the bedroom

bedroom and double bed and black carpet

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Bevan)

Black may be an unusual choice for bedroom details but, used in contrast with bold pattern and luxurious silk embroidery, it creates a sophisticated feminine look.

Find the Cloth bed and double mattress at The Sleep Room. The bedspread is in Farfalla silk mix by Nina Campbell at Osborne & Little.

6/6 Create a bathroom feature wall

bathroom with washbasin and motif wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Bevan)

A lily-of-the-valley motif wallpaper introduces a fresh woodland feel and marries well with monotone flooring and pristine white bathroom fittings.

The Victorian basin, Savoy pedestal and mixer are all from Bathstore. The Liljekonvalj wallpaper is by Sandberg at Little Greene.

Love classic decorating ideas? Flick through Homes & Gardens' inspiring design galleries on coastal living and decorating with blue and white.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.