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Black, it’s Color Meanings and Associations

Black is not technically a color, it is a neutral, but we will call it a color for ease of use.

It is a dramatic color, it provides the greatest contrast when teamed with white.

Black with metallic gold, silver, copper and brass creates an opulent look. It is often used for joinery hardware to create an elegent accent.

Being a neutral it can team up with any color, and can have a striking effect. Think of the bumble bee – yellow and black stripes.

Black Color Meanings and Associations.

It is a useful color to hide or camouflage things that you don’t want to highlight as it does not reflect light from it. If you want something to disappear, use a matt black and it often goes unnoticed.

Black teamed with red and white is always a stunning, eye catching color combination.

Black teamed with red and white is always a stunning, eye catching color combination.

It is a fantastic color for interior decorators, black rich glossy lacquer paint finishes are very popular in Japanese design, combined with red and white, provides a very striking look.

A black granite bench top creates a look of sophistication and elegance in the kitchen.

It is a good color to use on the floor as it is dark and grounds the color scheme.

Black and gray in this bathroom create a sense of steady elegance.

It is not a popular choice for wall colors as it is very enclosing and intimidating, but works well as an accent color.

It is used often for light fittings, accessories and door hardware to provide a neutral color from which to work your color scheme around.

It is a popular color for leather furniture, it looks sleek and smart and powerful in corporate offices especially when teamed with chrome and glass.

We often think of it as dark and morbid, but used with warm colors it can be sophisticated, mysterious and provide a sense of intimidation, very useful in offices as previously mentioned.

It doesn’t show off the form of objects very well as light is absorbed rather that reflected from it. Therefore if you have a sculpture, lamp or something which the form is important, then choose a different color or use a high gloss to achieve some light reflection.

It is a masculine color, and men do tend to gravitate to black, especially if it is a sports car! But black is now becoming more popular with women, especially when teamed with hot pink, teenagers love this for their bedrooms, it gives them a sense of drama to their rooms.

Of course there is black teamed with another neutral – white. The ever popular black and white chequered floor vinyl that has been around on our bathroom and kitchen floors for years is still popular as it creates a sense of drama, it is solid, it is easy to see the dirt, it looks elegant, it is high contrast and is still a timeless choice. See black and white color schemes.

It has so many good uses, as a decorator don’t rule out black as a meaningless color.

Black, it’s Meanings and Associations

Bereavement, Death, Morbid, Dramatic, Sophisticated, Mystery, Uncertainty, Fright, Intimidated, Elegant, Intimidating, Dignity, Fatigue, Worldly, Stunning, Powerful, Aloof, Cold, Slimming, Finality, Enclosing, Dark, Expensive, Neutral.

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About the Author – Lee Brown

Lee Brown is the co founder of, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Interior Decorating eCourse