As it has the ability to instantly update and smarten a room, black is a decorator’s best friend.

A well-known designer once said that every room should have a touch of black. It immediately adds a crisp modernity, which can be very effective when updating a tired room. As black has impact, even in small amounts, you can introduce it in accessories such as lampshades and bases, side tables and picture frames eliminating the need for a major revamp. Here are eight ways to use black in your home.

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1. Even a small touch, like this adjustable bedside lamp in lifestyle blogger Elma Steyl’s Pretoria home, will crisp up a colourful bedroom. Styling Dina Venter.

2. The contrast of a long, narrow table with a black finish and traditional panelling creates a striking effect in this entrance hall decorated by Interior Concepts of Paarl.

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3. To ground the island of her kitchen and make it a focal point, Heather Welham of Portfolio Interiors chose black Philippe Starck Masters chairs. “I didn’t want anything too solid. These chairs are fun and contemporary. Plus they’re easy to clean and extremely comfortable,” she says.

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4. Bringing in a black element can be as simple as arranging black books and bowls on a Perspex and mirror tray as designers Yvonne O’Brien and Karen Smit did in this Waterfall home.

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5. Black pendant lamps from Weylandts add a graphic element to this fresh gold and white bedroom decorated by Erica Schalkwyk of Form Interior.

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6. Black frames draw attention to artwork and, when grouped together, add a graphic pattern of their own. Decor by Ockert Snyman.

7. One of the easiest ways to make a traditional living room look more contemporary is to swap wooden side tables for black ones in a slick, modern design. Decor by Studio Dylan Thomaz.


8. “To create height in this open-plan living room, I placed lamps behind the sofa and used black shades to give a strong silhouette against the white kitchen,” explains Claire Clarke of By Dezign Interiors.

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