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The Perils of Decorating with (too much) Black

By 10/31/2020July 4th, 2022512 Comments

I’ve been talking about how to decorate with black for years on this blog, but now this trend is full steam ahead. So, I thought it might be time to share a round up of my best tips for decorating with (too much) black (in case you missed them). 

And, since today happens to be Halloween – a post about black seems pretty fitting, don’t you think? And it’s also my 12th blogiversary. Can you believe it?

Who has been with me for 12 years? I’d love to hear in the comments!

How to Decorate with Black

Black is powerful, chic and glamorous when it’s done right. But the overuse of black quickly becomes boring, masculine, harsh, flat and predictable.

And while everyone is now embracing this trend as the NEW NEUTRAL, this is a reminder to tread lightly. 

Those of us stuck with grey everything (and all that grey flooring) haven’t forgotten the last trendy neutral that invaded our homes with vigor and left some of us with finishes we no longer love.

Introduce black with intention, and it will look timeless. Keep saying ‘black’ whenever you are asked for a colour decision, and your bathroom will definitely fit into the current trend. 

[click on the photo or the blue headline to visit the post]

What Everyone Should Know About Black

If you’re thinking of indulging in the black trend inside your home, this post is your START HERE

Modern Glam Black Walls

Via Domino

Black can be sophisticated and moody, or it can be altogether boring and bland. Similar to the way white can look unfinished and stark in a room that is not decorated and styled, black gets heavy and masculine really fast if it isn’t well thought out.

In this post, I’ll take you through what you need to know about decorating with black – when it works and when it doesn’t.

Black as an Accent Colour

There’s really only one way to decorate with black in your home – and that’s to use it as an accent colour. This post is from many moons ago, but the advice is solid and the post has been shared thousands of times! 😉

Ask Maria: Should I Buy a Black Sofa?

Here’s what’s I find interesting about this post, I wrote it in November 2019 BEFORE cognac became the trendy, neutral sofa-of-the-moment. And in this case, that is fine with me. A cognac sofa is truly one of the leather sofas I think is a timeless colour.

Your sofa is arguably the largest piece of furniture in the room. That’s why I’ve always said that buying a sofa in your favourite colour is the most timeless choice. 

Via AZOA.fr

But, if you’re shopping for a new sofa and tempted to choose black, there are a few things you need to consider first. Read this post to find out why a black sofa is a big commitment and an especially challenging design element to decorate around. 

And if your heart is already set on the black sofa, I’ve got some tips for introducing a little colour that’ll help guide you to the most classic and timeless look without being too stark and heavy.

Ask Maria: What Colours Work Best with Black Furniture?

In this post, we’ll explore a real living room from one of my readers who is trying to make her home look its best with her existing black furniture. 

colours that go with black sofa

Sofa | Blue Pillow | Camel Spotted Pillow | Lumbar Pillow | Area Rug | Cognac Chair

A well-decorated room needs a bit of contrast and warmth so I’ve got tips for introducing colour by choosing the right curtains, throw pillows and area rugs to go with dark furniture. This post is will give you a glimpse into how my eDesign consultations work with more ideas for decorating with black.

How to Decorate with Black in a Bathroom (Don’t Overdo It)

If you want to decorate with black, the key is not to overdo it. Black is the darkest colour in the spectrum and it’s much easier to pull off in small doses.

My Havenlist

This means that a little black goes a long way. So before you go out and purchase all black hardware and faucets or a black shower door, check out this post. It’s a great example of how to decorate with black in a timeless way.

What IKEA Knows About Black Kitchens (That You Don’t)

After attending a kitchen and bath show in 2018, I noticed that black was quickly becoming the new grey. Fast forward to 2020, and black and white kitchens are everywhere. In fact, this is one of my most popular posts on Pinterest.

Domaine Home

In order to achieve black and white kitchen that is also classic and timeless, I’m dissecting a few IKEA showroom kitchens. Because it’s these well-planned and executed details that are critical to getting the look and feel of a black and white kitchen right. Designer kitchens aren’t easily copied, but I can help you avoid some of the perils of black kitchens.

Do’s and Don’ts for Painting Your Doors Black

I get asked a lot about my opinion on painting doors black so I decided to share my thoughts on when it’s a good idea (or a bad idea) to introduce a black door in your house. Because, once again, the right contrast is important to getting the look right.

black interior door

Via Scout and Nimble

It’s not often that I say, “It’s only paint” – maybe never? But, in this post I’m suggesting that this might be the easiest way for you to entertain a little drama with colour – not just black. I mean, it’s only a door and that’s a smaller commitment than an entire room, right? 

Are Black Shower Doors the Best Choice for Your New Bathroom?

If you make every hardware choice black, your bathroom will say “We renovated in the black and white trend”. 

Railica Design

How to Decorate with Black Tile

You’ve found the most amazing bathroom on Pinterest with black tile but you’re not quite ready to commit? Obviously you don’t want to overdo it with black (because you’ve already read this post) but also you may not be completely renovation your space – so there’s a risk of mixing old and new. 

decorate black tile bathroom

Via @Carpendaughter

This post is filled to the brim with my best tips for how to make easier design decisions if you want to incorporate black tile as well as alternative design ideas for achieving a similar look.

Happy Halloween!

Post a comment below and let us know which set of boards you’d like to win! I’ll draw the winner and announce it in my next post which will go out Monday morning!

Related posts:

All Grey Home in 2011 and All Black in 2019

Why Your Teenager Wants a Black Room

Are Black Windows the Best Choice for your New Build?

512 Comments

  • Maria says:

    Hi Maria,
    This is one of the best posts when it comes to decorating with black! And your words ring so true… when done right, black is powerful, chic and glamorous. Bravo!
    Best, Maria

    1
    • Lisa Gaylor says:

      Thanks for all your help, Maria! I’d love the neutrals, colors and darks! Not really a black fan but I love navy.

      0
      • Erin says:

        I painted my pantry door in my last house black and loved it! I really enjoy your blog and have learned so much from you! Thanks!

        1
      • Jenny says:

        I love using black as an accent, but no black toilets. I think they have a bit of an ewww factor.

        • Adriana says:

          Congratulations on your 12th blogiversary, Maria! In my opinion, your longevity online is due to your inspiring professional posts like this one, your great sense of humor, and your honest open style. I wish you and your family much continued success in all you do!

          Black- I love using it in just about every room. I think it’s elegant and timeless especially when used in a bathroom or kitchen or as accents in other rooms.

          Thank you for offering this fun giveaway! It is hard to choose, but I would love to receive the BM VIP Neutrals, Colours and Darks collection

          Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Maria!

          0
        • Anne says:

          I enjoy and look forward to your posts! If my name is drawn, I’d like neutrals and whites

        • Nicole says:

          Congratulations on 12 years of successful blogging! I’ve been reading your posts for about 8 years and have very much enjoyed them. I will look forward to many years of posts to come. I would love to win the BM VIP collection of boards.

          1
      • Guerrina says:

        Happy Blogaversary! I learn so much from your posts and this one doesn’t disappoint. I love wearing black, but not living surrounded by black! Would love an entry for the Full Collection or SW Collection.

      • Paula Van Hoogen says:

        Good advice Maria!
        A little black goes a long way, for sure.
        One of my favorites is to paint the insides of a window frame( around the glass itself) black when the view is particularly good. It acts like a black matte around a photo and enhances the view.
        Another is a little black line or narrow stripe just above the base board when there’s a bit of black in the flooring.
        I remember coloring the outer lines of my coloring book pictures and then filling in with color. It just made everything pop. Like lipliner makes any color look good on you!😘

        2
      • Christina Copenhaver says:

        Super helpful post! I’m trying to update, but for the long haul.

    • Connie Retheford says:

      Dear Maria:

      I have been following you for about seven years and had the pleasure of attending a color class 4 years ago right when the election here in the states was going on. Your class made the results somewhat tolerable ( something wonderful to think about).. Your class and blogs are always the best advice. I am grateful for you in a world of all kinds of design but not necessarily timeless.

      Thank you and congrats on 12 years!

      Connie

      • Karen Ernest says:

        Great post. I have been with you for a long time. Don’t know if it’s been all 12 years but near the beginning. Love your advice!

      • Sandi says:

        Happy 12th Blogiversary Maria! I’ve been with you for 7 informative years. My regret is that I didn’t find you sooner!

    • Jacqueline says:

      Happy Blogiversary! Thanks for all the inspiration!

    • Thank you for such a timely post! I’m working an entire main floor space around a black sectional that my clients insist on keeping. It’s been somewhat of a challenge so many of your ideas are very helpful. Moua!

      • Melanie Shoaf says:

        Maria, you have saved me from a number of mistakes in paint and furniture choices. For years I would look at paint and fabrics and knew something was wrong but couldn’t put my finger on it. Then came you! Your ebooks and blogs have opened my eyes and given me confidence to make choices. The color wheel is a necessary item for every shopping trip. Thank you!

        • Chantal says:

          I never miss your latest blog posts! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and timeless advice that you have so generously provided over the years of reading your blog and your books.
          Congratulations!

    • Julia Holt says:

      Hi. Maria. Congrats on 12 years! Your blog, IG posts and ebooks have helped me make choices with my home, and fixing up our childhood home to sell (under contract in 10 days!). Yep! Black is an accent…my parents built our home in 1976 with a black bathroom and a yellow one. What’s old is new again!

    • Erica says:

      Happy Blogiversary!

      Thanks for all of your recommendations!

      • Brenda Gluska says:

        Congratulations Maria!!! Your blog gives me so much joy!!! Enter me for the BM VIP please.

    • Angie says:

      Congratulations on 12 years! I’ve learned so much from your blog and ebooks! Thank you for sharing.

      • Mary says:

        Maria,
        You’re blog (and life) are so interesting and you are so funny! You’ve definitely taught me a lot just from being your avid reader. I have and use your Neutrals colorboards frequently.
        Thanks for being an inspiration to so many.
        I’d love to have my name drawn for the BM VIP collection.

      • Tina says:

        Hi Maria!

        I’m a new subscriber of your blog and everything is so fascinating and helpful! I’d love to win the neutrals, colours and dark colour board as I have a home in preconstruction and the colourboard would help greatly in the interior decorating of my first home!

      • Jan says:

        Maria, I’ve been a follower since the beginning! I love, love, love the way you punctuate your thoughts with a descriptive picture. Thanks for sharing so much over the years. I don’t have the Sherwin Williams boards yet. That paint brand is very popular here.

    • Angie says:

      Congratulations on 12 years! I’ve learned so much from your blog and ebooks! Thank you for sharing. I would love the BM VIP collection!

      • Bert says:

        I’ve been following your blog since 2011. My daughter put me on to you when I was agonizing about whether I should paint my Oak cabinets. As soon as I read your post I was convinced it was the right way to go. I hired you to help me choose finishes for my kitchen and it turned out great. I haven’t missed too many of your blogs since then.
        I would love to win the Neutal, Colours and Dark boards. Thank, Maria, for all your help. Happy Blogiversary.

    • Summer says:

      I use a lot of black—the Parade Home I did in 2018 had black cabs—I LOVED them and so did many others. They look great with natural wood. I also love the black fixtures youve shown, but it’s so important to have a water softener, otherwise they get gross so quickly!

      Love the post! Thanks.

  • Denise says:

    Congratulations Maria! Here’s to many more years to come!!

  • Kristen Siler says:

    LOVE your blog and wish I’d known about you twelve years ago! Going through your older posts is my favorite way to start my day.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Love the leopard sofa!

  • Mary says:

    Congrats on 12 years! I have learned so much through your books and blogs!

  • Sandra Beaty says:

    I blundered into your class without reading the blogs first. I did everything backwards, but still am enjoying the ride. Congrats.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you. Love getting new posts from you. They have given me many insights over the years to problem areas in my house.

  • cornelia says:

    Hi Maria! I can’t believe you are having this giveaway, because just last week I ponied up for your Sherwin Williams boards!! I hope I win a set of boards anyway….

  • Gail says:

    I came across your blog while searching something about paint colors and have been a faithful reader ever since. I have learned so much about color from reading all your posts.I recently bought a bathroom cabinet in what I thought was white, ignoring your voice in my head, I purchased without comparing. Well as you say white is not white and the color was so wrong. Being unable to return it I ended up having to paint a brand new cabinet because I did not follow your advice. Lesson learned. Do not ignore Maria’s voice in your head.Keep the informative posts coming.

  • Jennifer Farlin says:

    Maria I love you and yes I need a color board!!

  • Gail Diehl says:

    Happy Halloween! Love your comments on black.
    I would like to win the Sherwin Williams Neutrals and Whites boards.
    Thank you!
    Gail

    • Janette says:

      I’ve been following you for several years now. I so appreciate you sharing your wisdom in navigating the often confusing world of trends, home decor and colour. Cheers on the anniversary of your blog.

  • Hi Maria,

    I LOVE color – all color but I especially love WHITES AND NEUTRALS. I am somewhat of an artist and see these palettes as being the canvases for a home. I, however, am totally intrigued by your presentation of the infamous BLACK. I seem to think it is the perfect color to wear – 🙂 I have been reading your various posts for a long time and your website is well done. I am 77 years old – still working – I hope that’s a forever thing. Thank you for your continuing knowledge.

  • Lillian says:

    Been reading your posts since 2012!

  • Susan says:

    Happy Blogaversary! Your email in my in box is a highlight of my day. Thanks!

  • Kristin says:

    Happy blogiversary!

  • Nancy says:

    Maria
    Thales you
    On Instagram I’m seeing black on black
    I’m also feeling black over load
    Thank you great information

  • Alisha says:

    This post is spot on. Congratulations on 12 years!

  • Laurel says:

    Every time I see a new build with black window casings (which is often) I think of you. Thanks for compiling all these tips and happy blog anniversary!

  • Emily Green says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! I’m relatively new to your site but it’s a goldmine! Your e-books are a wonderful resource. Thank you for sharing all your talents!

  • Erin says:

    I have been reading your blog since 2013 and I have a timeless white backsplash because of you! I love your e books too! Congratulations on your Anniversary Maria!!

  • Awesome post, Maria. I often think about using black like black pepper, just sprinkle in a little to have more of a grounding effect. When you use more than that, it starts to look trendy and too heavy. I would love to win the boards set of Neutrals and Whites by Sherwin Williams. That would be fantastic and super helpful for my business!

    • LeeAnn Cheeley says:

      I just pulled back from going with a black Stone floor in our new home when I read here that black floors are bossy! And I thought it was going to be a nice neutral choice! Ha!

  • Kim says:

    Thank you for clearly calling out the trends! Yesterday I was able steer a client away from grey flooring to white oak by pointing out how large the trend is/was. She will be so much happier with her choice in a few years! I use my SW Foundation Collection all the time. I would love the BM Core collection because Benjamin Moore is being used more and more here in Texas.

  • Tara says:

    I WISH I had found you 12 years ago! Congratulations! I have followed your advice the past few years by reading and re-reading post after post. Every project we’ve finished still looks great, timeless yet fresh. I probably should have said thanks years but in the spirit of better late than never… thank you. Keep rockin’.

  • Susan says:

    I never miss your latest blog posts. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  • Linda says:

    Hi Maria, so black is the new trend! I am just starting to redecorate a place down in Palm Springs, and will have your voice in the back of my head before I commit to ANYTHING!
    Thanks for your great advice.

  • Theresa Blohowiak says:

    Maria,
    I have been following you since spring of 2011. What I enjoy most about your expertise is that you make me think about my ideas on color and decorating across the board. Thank you for sharing your gifts.
    Happy Halloween🎃💀👻

  • Carol Hunter says:

    I enjoyed this post very much. I am an “all white” fan but see that decorating with both black or white (or both) requires a lot of skill to pull off. I’ve learned so much from all your posts over the years and love your flair with beautiful colours to bring spaces alive – many thanks!

  • Cheryl Sotebeer says:

    Happy 12th Blogversity! I am a newcomer, in December it will be my one year anniversary of reading your blog. I would like to wholeheartedly thank you for posts that are always relevant to the issues I didn’t even know had a name. Please put my name in the hat for the Full Collection. I wish you 12+ more years of blogging bliss!! Happy Halloween!

  • Hannah Petrovich says:

    Awesome post on the latest trendy color! And “Congrats!” on 12 years!! I haven’t been with you for 12 years, not even 12 months, but I’ve learned so much from your books and your blog already. Thanks to you, I have a beautiful off-white kitchen in our new-to-us 1970s ranch. Timeless! Thanks Maria!

  • Linda Hartford says:

    Congratulations on 12 years!! I’ve learned a lot from following along…thanks Maria!!

  • Yashira Frederick says:

    12 years!! Congrats! I can’t say I’ve been a reader the whole 12 years but definitely before any of my kids were born so maybe it’s closer to ten. Wow how time flies!

  • Karen says:

    Happy Halloween Maria,
    You are my “go to” person for everything color. I am shy about color, usually feeling very comfortable with neutrals. You inspire me to think about adding more color in my environment/home/clothes, etc. Your posts fill me with joy and promise!
    Always enjoy your Newsletter!
    Karen

  • Lynn Smith says:

    As designer it is always hard to steer clients away from what they see trending in magazines and online. Black is timeless but used in little doses. I agree with your thought, “it is only paint” because this is a great way to dip your feet and then be able to change that paint color out down the road……providing that everything else you picked is timeless.

  • Deborah Young says:

    Happy anniversary! I’ve enjoyed the ten years I have been following you. I take long walks around neighborhood and often think I should leave people notes to contact your for advice!

  • elle says:

    Congratulations on your blogiversary! Your teaching about undertones has been so very helpful to me. It would be wonderful to win a set of Sherwin Williams boards!

  • Nancy Powell says:

    Ive known and followed you since the early blogging days! We no longer blog, but Ive taken your exterior color course and am enjoying your IG and blog posts again, after years of not seeing you. Bravo, and I love your success and your spunky personality!

  • Darlene Mikolasko says:

    I discovered your blog in 2014 and have read it faithfully ever since. I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge from you…..thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Julie S says:

    As always a voice of reason on how to use trends without unbalancing into the deep end! SWneutrals and whites 😉

  • Vicky says:

    I have been renovating our whole home. I have used your whites guide for confidence in picking the correct colour. I have been conflicted about a black feature wall with a fireplace if I should keep it. This article helps me decide to keep the black!
    I’d be interested in the BM neutrals, colours and darks.
    Thank you

  • Beth says:

    Hi Maria,
    I’ve learned so much about color and decorating from your blog. If only I had found you before we painted our bedroom. At least now I know why that soft gray I choose looks a little lavender! I would love to win a set of the Sherwin Williams boards so I can get the color right when we repaint.

  • Noni says:

    You are the colour Queen! Can’t thank you enough for all I’ve learned from you and then been able to carry that skill into clients’ homes. Have you ever stopped to think of how many thousands of homes you’ve impacted through the ripple effect? Incredible.

  • Maralee says:

    Congratulations on 12 wonderful years! I too am drooling over that animal print sofa lol! Since I have your ebook on whites, if I won the color boards I think I’d go with the one for colors. I wish I could say I’d been with you all 12 years but I can definitely say I’ll be with you 12 more!

    • Susan J says:

      Love black…it is my favourite colour 🤣 Your blogs have been so helpful in guiding me in its use so I dont go crazy with it. Many thanks!

  • Amy T. says:

    Congratulations on your 12 year anniversary! We are in the midst of building a new home, and your clear color advice has been eye-opening and incredibly helpful. I’d be thrilled to win your Sherwin Williams Foundation Collection – what an amazing help that would be as we choose colors!

  • Lisa says:

    Everybody has been asking for black so this is timely indeed! If i were to win the boards, i would take a sherwin williams set to compliment my ben moore boards =)

  • Donna Taylor says:

    I remember in the 70’sand 80’s we all had slim black aluminum window frames, it seemed so out of date when wide white vinyl frames became so popular on new builds. Then we had a thousand variations of frames available and it became so confusing. I’m thinking that slim black frames with a contrasting trim (perhaps white) would be like “eyeliner,” This modest accent of black would look nice from the outside with the white lining of curtains or shades showing through the glass. The slim frames on the inside might be “just enough” to be a classic accent. I wouldn’t want the black to be thick or bold, so this is a problem for replacement windows as they have wide frames. Thanks for the offer to win a set of boards!

  • Crystal says:

    Congratulations on 12 years blogging! Your website is full of great information and straight forward, no nonsense advice! I love that you share so much here. Thank you!

  • Heather McQuiddy says:

    I enjoy your blog so much. Happy Anniversary!!! I would love a set of Neutral and Whites colour boards in Sherwin Williams.

  • PAM says:

    Awesome post. so informative. Been following your blog for several years. I was looking for a colorist when I was redoing my sitting room, was lucky enough to have one in my area that attended your classes. Can’t thank you enough for all the guidance you have proved . Thank you, thank you thank you………

  • Cindy Barnett says:

    Maria,
    I think I’ve been here since the beginning. I so appreciate all of the knowledge you have generously shared, and the phone consultations I’ve had with you were so helpful. I’ve always used touches of black in my home, usually in small quantities. I do have a lovely black cabinet in my foyer, and another in our office area. Other than that, it is mostly accessories, lamp shade, mirrors, picture frames, etc. Thanks for everything and keep up the great work!

  • sherry leblanc says:

    Happy Blogaversary! Thank you for the years of inspiration.

    • LINDA ROQUE says:

      Maria,

      I accidentally stumbled on your website, I read a few articles about colors, and I loved everything you do. Your inspiration with colors is amazing. I can’t wait to take your class. Congratulations!

  • Jeanne Larson says:

    I’ve been a follower for nearly 10 years! I started following your blog, then Pinterest, then Facebook and Instagram, and I purchased your books! Love all the different formats for learning about color and undertones!
    We’ve been updating our home and the flooring, countertops, and tile decisions have been so much easier because of what I’ve learned. (Once you learn about undertones, you can’t unsee them! Which is good and bad at times! 😬)
    Congratulations on 12 years! I’d love the SW Foundations Collection if I win the giveaway! I’m so frustrated with my old fan deck, paint chips, and too many sample pots!

  • Jill Cazares says:

    I look forward to all of your posts and am looking forward to the in person color classes next year. Thank you for your timeless advice.

  • Kim North says:

    Thanks so much Maria for all the thoughtful and spot-on advice and suggestions and explanations you have provided over so many wonderful years of reading your blog and your books. I have referred your website to so many friends and family as making our homes so comfortable, inviting and loving for the people we care most about is a wonderful gift to provide. So thank you.

    Everyone in my family could use my paint boards of Sherwin Williams whites and neutrals.

    I read this quote a while ago and it fits perfectly with your advice and suggestions and words and examples you provide us. No small feat for sure.

    “ What you think you become,
    what you feel you attract, what you imagine, what you imagine, you create.
    Buddha.

  • Niamh Plaxton says:

    I’ve been living in my current home for over 10 years and I KNOW I was following your blog in my previous home so likely one of your early fans!!

  • Donna says:

    I loved black and white back in the 90s! Actually I still love it. Trying to figure out if it is appropriate to do a black-and-white floor in my laundry room, which is on a different level than the rest of the house. The rest of the house will have a greige wood tone tile.

  • Carol Foster says:

    Maria, applauding your 12 years and your incredible blogs! I had to read this post to my husband, who always goes for more masculine black, wherever he can get it. We did a black accent wall in powder room behind gold mirror and sconces, then Edgecomb Gray on the other 3 walls. Absolutely love it. Not overdone. 😊

  • Marilyn V says:

    My husband and I are embarking on building our first custom home build. I’m an artist and excitedly have been busy painting and storing up all my paintings for our new home. I’ve done the gray thing for the past 10 years and I’m ready for a change. I have been reading everything you have to give me some direction in my color choices. I’ve read through your white is complicated book twice! Our builder is using RTA cabinets with a factory finish so we won’t likely be painting them a color of our choice. But they do have a few whites to choose from. I would love your SW white and neutral color boards so I can get that wall color just right and match up those countertops as well!

  • Tracy Back says:

    Fantastic post! I will stick to using black only as an accent with accessories so they can be easily changed out. Thanks so much for keeping us on the right track!

  • Shari says:

    Maria, I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog posts over the years and find them enlightening in ways that other designer posts are not. With that being said, I totally agree with you on using the color black liberally. I had the pleasure of designing/staging a house for sale a while back in which the kitchen cabinets were already in place and could not be changed, for obvious reasons. This kitchen had an elevated ceiling and both base and wall cabinets (that extended to the high ceiling) were painted black. It was my job to make this space feel more inviting and homey. While I believe that I was able to accomplish this feat as best as possible, it became a logistical nightmare to then photograph this kitchen “in the best possible light”, pun fully intended. Well, as you have already guessed, no matter what your lighting situation is, the color black absorbs all available light from the room thereby leaving the room feeling dark and heavy. Indeed, a little black goes a long way. Thanks.

  • Congrats on 12 years! I discovered your blog a few years ago. Pretty sure I’ve read every post by now. Thanks so much for all your advice 🙂

  • Melanie says:

    Hi Maria,
    Although I love reading your blogs and feel like I always learn something, my favorite part of opening your emails is loving the gorgeous, colorful outfits you are wearing!!

  • Martha says:

    Happy anniversary! I have only been following your blog for a couple years but have learned so much about color and undertones it has helped me immensely in my work as an interior designer. Thank you!

  • Jan says:

    Hi Maria
    This is a wonderful “black” summary blog. Great pertinent information and advise all together in one place. Congratulations on your anniversary. I have enjoyed reading and continually learning from your blogs and instagram. I regretted not purchasing your BM color boards while attending your Northbrook, IL seminar and have been eyeing them recently as I will be moving soon and could put them to good use.

  • Frances Tarrant says:

    I’ve been with you from the start! Where has the time gone?! I would pick the BM VIP Collection.

  • Dianne Thompson says:

    Thoughtful, good advice, as usual. I really appreciate your timeless tips.
    Thank you, Maria!

  • Yudit Orlndo says:

    Congrats on 12 years!

  • Bernadine says:

    I don’t how I Fell upon your blog but so glad I did! I must of been googling paint colors and their LRV. I had no idea about Undertones! Boy, everything made sense after that. Thank you!! No more wrong choices.
    I’ve passed on your blog to my niece, an interior decorator. Oh, and we purchased a sofa in my favorite color- blue! Best decision!!
    Bernadine

  • Alicia says:

    Great suggestions on how to be on trend without full/costly commitment. I feel like black trendy houses and kitchens look great because of the excellent and additional lighting, which isn’t every day.

  • Mary Ireland says:

    Hi, Maria,

    Congratulations on your blogiversary and thanks for the many interesting entries you have made over the years! I learn something from each one.

    Decorating with black, like using black paint or large pieces of black furniture, is something I can’t relate to. I like lots of light and color, so black might appear in a lamp or a drawer pull, but not in something major. The exception, in my house, is black granite in the kitchen, which I inherited. The other color in the granite is shades of copper, which is the accent I use there.

    I like that you use Ikea in some of your blogs because I have always thought of it as a forward-thinking company. Their kitchens are always creative and thought-provoking.

  • Marg Robitaille says:

    BLack is back and beautiful! Even with the guidelines of contrast, not over doing it, warming it up with some wood etc…I don’t think I’m brave enough to buy a black sofa!
    Now maybe if I had your color boards………!
    Love reading this blog.
    Cheers

  • Beth says:

    Happy anniversary, Maria! I love your blog so much and have purchased your ebooks, which were invaluable for getting the whites right in my kitchen and the best pale blue gray Neutral for the walls. Now we’re in a new house—whew!—and have the bossiest slate tiles on the main living area floors. Hoping your large color samples can help me decide what colors will look good with those tiles and hopefully soften the dark, masculine look of those tiles.

  • Sharlene says:

    Another timely post from Maria! You are my guide in all things color!

  • Martha A Henson says:

    Hi Maria
    Congratulations on 12 years! I’d love to win your Neutrals and Whites large painted color boards!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tammara M says:

      Good article on the colour black. I love the colour black and even painted my small powder room ceiling black! Although, it’s a strong colour, best used in small doses, for me. Happy blogiversity!
      Boards: Fullcollection or SW collection.

  • Cindy allen says:

    Your training on undertones and whites has been so very helpful to me. Not sure how long I’ve been following but at least 19 years! Thank you so much. We don’t have BM in Southwest Florida near me, so would LOVE the SW Foundation boards!

  • Sue F says:

    Hi Maria! One of the most helpful pieces of advice around black for me was your post about black windows. In doing our exterior renovation (going from drab to white and fabulous), I REALLY wanted black windows, but it was not possible as we were not replacing our current white windows. Then I read your post about the window treatments and what does/doesn’t look good with black windows. I noticed the new build up the street, a gorgeous white house with black windows – and their window treatments were white half shutters. I did not like the look at all and I thought “Maria is so right”! After that I was able to relax about and appreciate my white windows (with my white plantation shutters), and I’ve never looked back! xoxo Sue F.

  • Alisa M says:

    Congratulations on twelve years!! I’ve only been reading a year or two, but have gained so much helpful instruction in that time. Thank you!

  • Karen Dyck says:

    I’ve been following your blog since 2008. Thank you for all of the thoughtful tips for all those years! I’d love to have the neutral and darks color boards.

    You suggested early on that having a black accent would make a room pop. You were right.

  • Happy Blogiversary! I just started reading your blogs this year but I wish I had found you sooner, as I would have made some different renovation decisions! It’s hard to not go overboard with black – it’s one of those colors that looks so good in inspiration photos but doesn’t always turn out the same way in our own homes. I would love to start with the Benjamin Moore VIP collection because it has a nice mix of neutrals and colors. Thank you Maria!

  • Your never ending energy is contagious! Thank you for all the wonderful years of blogging and reminding us that…..”boring today is timeless & classic tomorrow”! Great work Maria and many thanks.
    PS: I would LOVE to win the BM Core Collection! Keeping my fingers crossed 🙂

  • Katherine Kruis says:

    Hi Maria: Thanks so much for the tips on decorating with black. I have purchased a couple of your ebooks and your focus on undertones has helped me immensely! I love reading your blogs.

  • Leslie says:

    Found you years ago thru a friend.

    Whites and neutrals

  • Patty says:

    I never thought black would be one of my favorite colors, but it is! I love what it can add to a room and soooo appreciate the hints shared here for doing it correctly and in good taste. Thank you!

  • Angelika says:

    Love your blog – so many ideas and inspiration!
    I love a dash of black in every room; it adds depth and interest. Which is why I use it sparingly, but consciously.
    Only yesterday I finished transforming my daughter’s former room into a library – a soft, but vibrantly yellow library, which is definitely non-traditional.
    If I should win I’d be thrilled with a BM VIP collection.

  • Christine says:

    Happy Blogiversary! I just started reading your blogs this year but I wish I had found you sooner, as I would have made some different renovation decisions! It’s hard to not go overboard with black – it’s one of those colors that looks so good in inspiration photos but doesn’t always turn out the same way in our own homes. I would love to start with the Benjamin Moore VIP collection because it has a nice mix of neutrals and colors. Thank you Maria!

  • Anneli Tiainen says:

    Congratulations on the 12 years, only been here for a couple of years but enjoying every post in my in box.

  • Nina Rutz says:

    I don’t know how many years I’ve been following you, but enough that your name is known by my kids! I’d love to win the BM VIP collection since I’m considering repainting my master bedroom and bathroom!

  • Shara Lee says:

    Congrats on your Blog-iversary! I appreciate your posts and what they can teach me.

  • Ann says:

    Hope you are enjoying a boo-tiful day! I think you are the best blogger!

  • Betty Monson says:

    One of your best posts yet!

  • Benita says:

    Love your posts. I’ve learned so much from you over the years and once had a phone consultation for colors for my living room/dining room/kitchen that all flowed together but were not strictly open-concept. The colors were perfect and I loved how the rooms worked together. Here’s to another 12 years of great design.

  • Lauren says:

    I agree that a little black goes a long way. I love the photos you chose to reinforce your point.

  • Happy Blog-a-versary, Maria. I distinctly remember receiving your first post all those years ago because I was on your e-mail list as a participating designer in the former Benjamin Moore Painting and Decorating referral service where we first met. You have offered up years of timely and valuable information in an easily accessible format. I congratulate you on your success!

  • Hi Maria! Happy Anniversary! I am new to your blog and I have been devouring every tip and trick. Black is my favorite! Thank you so much for sharing all of this. I’m a fan!

  • Bindu Liang says:

    I have been following you for a looong time, I feel like you have the best advice on paint colors – namely how to think about paint colors. I would LOVE to get one of your sets.

  • Elizma says:

    CONGRATULATIONS on 12 years and Happy Halloween!

    I wasn’t here since the beginning, but I sure am glad I found you…

  • Katy says:

    A big thanks to you and your blog – when we had to do two unexpected bathroom remodels this summer (thanks to a burst pipe!) we chose classic and timeless tiles- white subway and white hexagon for one bathroom and white subway and white herringbone for the other bathroom as well as white vanities and sconce lighting. I’m pretty sure I would have fudged it up royally if left to my own devices! I couldn’t be more happy with the results. This blog has helped me so much! Cheers to your 12 years

  • Audrey Crozier says:

    I have the neutral/ white boards and love them! They helped me with a my kitchen makeover. Your advice had been invaluable in helping coordinate colors with the existing marble fireplace surround. It turned out beautifully.

    I’d like the Benjamin Moore VIP Collection.

  • priscilla says:

    Well, that was a fun black hole to fall into. Now, let’s paint all our Airbnb rooms black! (haha, reference to your post a few days ago when people were outraged that you critiqued the cold, sterile Airbnb interiors and dared to bring your own kitchen sink!).

    I just repainted my house’s front door black. It had been a lovely mid range warm turquoise for years. I especially loved it when the orange day lilies bloomed next to it. But the black door is so Elegant I feel like I should move out and let Elegant people live here. I love the black with the antique brass door knocker I bought back from a trip to Spain and with the original 1929 brass mail slot and door handle. I’ve mixed metals as well with a brushed stainless storm door. Miraculously, it looks so good that it looks like I knew what I was doing (I did not)!

    Recently I’ve been considering black paint for my bedroom, having sudden migraines on a regular basis and dark rooms as the antidote. But, how do you get dressed in a black room? How do you wake up in a black bedroom? How do you paint over black paint once you decide a black bedroom is depressing and practically inviting migraines?

    Love the blog, love the concept of demystifying color. Love your take on things.

  • Deb says:

    Congrats! Long time reader!

  • Deborah Shahabian says:

    Happy Halloween and your ‘blogversary’ too❣️ While living overseas, your emails were my go-to, for an always interesting and educational read on what to both do and not do too! It’s sooo hard for us to not listen to trends pushed on us by most decor magazines. You are the steadfast voice of reason and common sense – and your readers love you for it! I just bought a blue sofa and then read your post on not getting a neutral one, haha – made me smile for days knowing stepping out of my comfort zone was indeed a decorating win…thanks again! Any neutral board collection would be a true gift. ❤️

  • Mary Kay says:

    Thank you as always for your insights shared via your blog. I belong to a local Facebook group here where every day there is a post asking for a great white,grey,neutral,black color for interior or exterior. Or for members to weigh in on kitchen choices. I think of you every time now and how empowering your system is for people overwhelmed by how to make these choices! My goal is to own the Sherwin Wms boards for me and my family (and friends)!

  • Trudy says:

    Good day Maria,
    I have subscribed to your blog posts since the early days of your blog, and I follow you on Instagram as #onmyway54. You are so very generous with your knowledge and advice, and I look forward to every post that arrives in my inbox. Your Instagram stories are among the few that I listen to each day. I have recommended your site to many people, including my local Benjamin Moore retailer.
    Happy Anniversary, and may your success be as timeless as your advice!
    Trudy

  • paula says:

    Thank you for all your help! I have utilized your e-design and e-books. I was also fortunate enough that you selected a question with pictures to feature in one of your posts. That helped immensely and now my “tuscan brown” kitchen is bright and classic.

  • Lindsay says:

    Found your blog 6 years ago as I was scouring the internet for paint color ideas prior to moving into our home and I have been devouring your posts ever since. Using your advice from the blog I was able to land on Pale Oak for our neutral and it has hit the nail on the head for being the perfect canvas to bring our existing hard finish colors into a current look/feel and is so easy for me to decorate around. We also bought a couch right after move in and per your advice, I picked my favorite color (navy blue). In 2 months time I had two major (expensive for us) decisions I made directly influenced by your blog. There is no way my house would make me this happy without your blog!

  • Elizabeth M. says:

    12 years! Congratulations!I have been an avid reader of your posts for years. I first heard about you way back when the HGTV website still had the color forums and someone posted the information about you. You have made me very aware of the undertones in color and whites and why colors may just clash with each other when they are dirty vs. clean. Also, the concept of too many busy surfaces was an eye opener for me. Thanks!

  • Donna says:

    Congrats on your Blogaversary Maria! Loved following your timeless & classic posts that don’t waste your money. Special thanks for making color enthusiasts feel as welcome as color experts/decorators! I’m a follower for life-keep up the amazing work-you are so appreciated!!
    Smiles! Donna
    Neutrals, Colours & Darks

  • Amy says:

    Been following you for 10 years — not quite 12, but not far off. Fabulous advice every time. Would love your neutrals & whites collection!

  • Gail Rees says:

    Congratulations Maria! I am decorating challenged and was so happy to find your blog. I purchased your e books White is Complicated and How to Choose Paint Colours and highly recommend them. Your books and blog are chock full of well written useful information for understanding the whys and wherefore of selecting and combining colour. I also have your colour wheel, it is a great tool when shopping. Last week, as per your advice I added two lamps to our kitchen. I love how they have improved the ambiance. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and developing your proprietary colour system. I wish you continued success.

  • Kathryn says:

    Your posts are always so insightful, Maria. Can’t thank you enough for your never-ending advice about color! I would LOVE a set of Sherwin Williams Foundation boards to add to my color tools.

  • Miwa M says:

    Happy 12th Blogversity! Your blog is timeless!! I go back and read your old posts often. They are truly informative and helpful.

  • Dana says:

    Hi Maria,

    Congratulations on your anniversary! I have learned so much from your blogs and I use your colour wheel regularly! I am not a fan of black hardware on light cabinets or doors – I think that it is all you see – but I do like a touch of black in a room!

    Thanks!

  • Melinda says:

    I wasn’t here from the start but have been a loyal reader since 2012 when I started researching for my kitchen remodel. It’s the only blog I subscribe to! I attended your seminar in Dallas a few years ago.

    Three years ago we built an addition onto our home and I fell in love with dramatic black tiled bathrooms but when it came to my own home I followed your advice and have a bathroom which looks a lot like your example picture with white subway tile a bit more than halfway up the wall and black paint on the drywall portion. The cabinets are white IKEA with chrome hardware. I wanted the black toilet but didn’t want to spend the extra money so I have the throwback looking white toilet with a black seat.

    For our kitchenette I have white ikea cabinets with two floating black uppers around the sink with glass doors, walnut countertops with a black sink and faucet. I love the touch of black. The black faucet is easier to keep looking nice than chrome which gets spots if it isn’t wiped down. But the black silgranite sink takes a little extra care. Porcelain may have been a better choice for cleaning.

  • Karen says:

    I love the black doors! I have painted the trim inside my family room window black, just around the insides of the 4 windows in my window seat. It frames the windows and adds depth. Everyone thought I was crazy when I did this but it is not overwhelming or heavy. It looks beautiful. I wish I could post a picture.

  • Tina says:

    Love reading your posts as you provide so much information. I found you about 4 years ago and look forward to new posts in my e-mail. I would love to have The chance to win your SW Foundation collection.

    Thank you and keeping my fingers crossed. 🤞

  • Katie Menon says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! You provide such great resources and are a wealth of knowledge!

  • Susan says:

    Great post, Maria! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and congrats on 12 years. I found you about 4 years ago and have done a lot of remodeling since then. Your advice is always practical and beautiful when implemented!

  • Arien says:

    I think I’ve followed you for at least 10 years. Your insights have saved me so much time and money, and I have a more beautiful home because of you! Thank you for your guidance and I look forward to following you forever!!!

  • Trudy Kechner says:

    Happy 12 Blogaversary, and cheers to many more years to come!
    Your blog is always so helpful and current. I appreciate the way that you explain the “why” behind your advise. You inspire me to make much more timelss, and colorful choices for my home.

    Thank You!
    Trudy

  • Gabriele Hoegner says:

    Your blogs have saved my sanity. We are renovating our kitchen which dates from the 60’s; we had to make do with it as money was rather tight. Now the old kitchen is coming out and the new kitchen is going to be an off white. Light brown wood floor to go with the ash parquet flooring in the rest of the house. I have a black kitchen sink which I want to keep so the countertops will be a black formica perhaps with some veining Your blogs have convinced me to have subway tiles as a back splash. I had never liked subway tiles as the grout always seemed to turn a dingy colour and no amount of bleaching or scrubbing with a toothbrush seemed to change that; but your block on different grout colours was perfect. I have a black leather sofa in my living room. The walls are Powell’s Buff, which is the back ground colour of my curtains. Curtains have a wine coloured Jacobean pattern, couch has wined coloured cushions and 2 with the same print as the curtains. Plus 3 beige sheepskins which mutes the black and a wine coloured throw.

  • Patti E says:

    I absolutely LOVE your posts and have for years! You are wise beyond your years in this field! I think I have been following you for at least 7 years or more. Have learned so much and will add the “black tips” to my repertoire! Thanks Maria!!!

  • Jan says:

    Maria- I have been following you for about 2 years and enjoy every post! Thanks for sharing your gift!

  • Penelope Walker says:

    Happy Blogiversary, Maria.
    I’m so glad to see that grey is on the way out. After living in a rental apartment with battleship grey accent walls for the past two years, I am now starting to choose colours for my new condo. I have a vision of light and bright at the end of this tunnel. So looking forward to it.

    Penny

  • Judi Chevalier says:

    Great post. Lots of useful info. We purchased a black bench for our bedroom. I fell in love with the little sparkley buttons in the tufting. To balance it I put artwork with black mats and I really liked how it looked.
    Happy 12 blogversary. And I remember when you started the blog. Tetreeia had to explain to me what a blog was. Lol. How far you have come!!!
    If I am to choose color boards it would be neutrals

  • Denise P says:

    Hi Maria
    Happy Anniversary! Your blogs are TIMELESS!!!
    And my all time, can’t get enough, favorite class :Exterior Colour Masterclass!!
    Thank You! Thank You! ThankYou!

  • Susie says:

    I look forward to all your posts and learn so much. Thank you for helping us make our homes beautiful.

  • Diane says:

    Happy Anniversary! I’m not sure how many years I’ve been following you, but I am truly grateful for all your advice. I would love to win one of your color boards! I have all your ebooks, exterior Masterclass and love them. I even did a consultation with you years ago. I’m a homeowner with a two rentals and apply your advice when ever we update fixtures, paint, flooring (though I still can’t find a green beige carpet – maybe a blog post on current carpet styles and a few suggested brands/colors?). You do help me narrow down my choices, though I still struggle and did just buy eight exterior sample colors for our cabin we painted (no fixed elements so SW Dried Thyme was the winner). Will be using all I’ve learned when we update the inside of our cabin too. Timely article for me again! You Rock!

  • Heather Helm says:

    Happy Halloween and Happy Anniversary! I am so happy to be learning from an expert and I always look forward to your Instagram and blog posts. I would love the Sherwin-Williams neutrals and whites board set.

  • Julia Holt says:

    Hi. Maria. Congrats on 12 years! Your blog, IG posts and ebooks have helped me make choices with my home, and fixing up our childhood home to sell (under contract in 10 days!). Yep! Black is an accent…my parents built our home in 1976 with a black bathroom and a yellow one. What’s old is new again!

  • Jackie says:

    I still have an email saved from 2010 about turquoise. So I know I’ve been following your blog for at least 10 years!!

  • Barbara says:

    You had me when I came across your post about pot lights. I never liked seeing so many of them but now I know why.

    I would choose Benjamin Moore Neutrals and Whites.

  • Megan says:

    Congrats on 12 years. I’ve been a follower for almost that long. I found your blog searching for paint colors that wouldn’t clash with a large brick fireplace that couldn’t be changed. The biggest gift was learning about the difference between dirty and clean colors. I so appreciate that you share your tricks! My husband is always calling me the “diabolical decorator” but all my best ideas have been from reading your blog.

  • Jamie Gage says:

    I love your posts and look forward to them every week! I would love to win the large neutral boards for SW. Crossing my fingers!

  • Carol says:

    Great post. Do you still believe that if you use a very, very dark brown, it works somewhat like black. I am not a black fan. I did like the grey trend. I am happy to introduce some very dark brown or even better very dark navy (love navy). I do like the bathroom tiles you show with some black and white. I already own your SW boards. I would love to win the Ben Moore set: Neutrals, Colours and Darks. Happy blog anniversary, Maria!

  • Kristine C. says:

    Happy Blog-iversary, Maria! I’ve been following your blog for about 6 years now and have learned SO MUCH! Thank you! Too bad I didn’t know about your blog since the beginning though because that could’ve saved me a lot of heartbreak, pain and money — as far as color and design go. I’d love to win the BM VIP Collection!

  • Kim says:

    I’ve been with you for 12 years and have learned so much from your blog. Today’s black post is great. I got rid of my black leather sectional in January and bought a cognac leather sofa instead. Instant facelift for the room. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to win the BM Neutrals, Colours & Darks collection.

  • Gina says:

    Your advice on your blog has been so helpful through our process of building our home last year and continuing to decorate this year! I would love to win the SW Neutrals and Whites set!

  • Emilie says:

    Okay, okay, okay!! I will read the blog post in just a minute but I just HAVE to enter the contest first!! Pick me!

  • Linda says:

    Thanks so much for another helpful and informative article. Happy Halloween from the cold east coast.

  • Christina says:

    This is a great post. I’m always telling clients how quickly black can take over a space and look too heavy. Thanks Maria

  • Tina Jagros says:

    I quite agree with your thoughts on Black doors. It’s a little drama without a big commitment.

  • Whitney says:

    Thank you for your blog! I have a lot to do with my house and need to read more of them!

  • Margaret Anna Robertson says:

    Your blogs have changed my life! I’ve loved reading and studying them for the past five years or so. I even have a black chair which goes with a black floor lamp and some black in the rug in my living room. It feels fresh and new every time I enter, thanks to your help! Would love SW color boards to help my young adult children decorate their new spaces.

  • Christian P. says:

    Happy Anniversary, Maria. Thank you for inventing your system and generously sharing your insights with us. You have saved me tons of money with your advice! I enjoy your blog because you always teach us something valuable.

  • Carey says:

    I have followed you for several years and have learned so much! Thanks for your dedication to keeping this blog going so that we can learn from you. I’d love to have the Benjamin Moore neutrals and white collection

  • Sharon says:

    Congrats on your anniversary! I’ve followed your blog at least before you moved into this house – not sure how long! Thanks to you, I totally nailed our beige paint choice in our main living area – when we repainted after the house flooded from a toilet valve leak. Once we repainted, I finally loved my house!

  • Michelle says:

    Only since 2012 I think. Back then I read all your posts that I had missed so I feel like I’ve been here from the beginning. I love black but I find with my tiny apartment one has to be extra careful not to overdo it. I did learn from you that yes, I can paint the walls of my walnut sized bathroom black because everything else in it is white(timeless) my fixtures are chrome and if I change my mind, I just have to paint out the walls, change out the black decor and boom I’ve got a new look for my bathroom! I also took to heart what you wrote about how people often are unhappy when they can’t see the final result. My boyfriend balked at black bathroom walls till I painted black colour boards, stuck one on each tiny wall and brought in the accessories. He got it right away. One of my favourite posts about black is the guest post written by the late Susan Hargraves many years ago, which is around the time I found your blog. Happy Blogiversary!

  • Lisa says:

    Congrats on 12 years! Your blog is my most favorite of the many interior design blogs I follow because you offer real advice that anyone can put into use immediately. Thank you for that!

  • Sarah says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! Your post are so true and easy to understand. I am relatively new here but have learned so much already. Keep up the awesome work!

  • Ann says:

    I enjoy all your blogs; with no background in color, they have been my color college. At first I couldn’t understand how you saw undertones. But with about two years of reading your blog, and learning from your examples, I feel well on my way. We are going to be building a new home soon in the mountains and will need to apply everything you’ve taught. Heartfelt thanks!

  • Ginny K, says:

    Hi Maria,
    Thank you for such an informative post and happy 12 year bloggiversary!

    If I won your giveaway, I would like the Neutrals and Whites by Benjamin Moore Boards.

    Thank you!

    Ginny

  • Keira says:

    I have been following you for seven years. Happy Blogaversary!

  • Malinda says:

    While black can be stunning in photos of rooms that are professionally decorated, I agree with your comment in another post, that the only way to decorate with black is using it as an accent color. I couldn’t live with black kitchen cabinets. Cheerful mornings? I think not. Pairing black with cognac, terracotta, and lighter earthy tones is such a nice look. I like those combinations in clothing too. Black slacks and terracotta turtleneck sweater…good to go!

    Thank you for your insights, Maria!

  • cyd says:

    I haven’t been following you for 12 years but sure wish I had. Your thoughts on undertones rule my life.

  • melanie klein says:

    Congrats on your 12 year anniversary Maria! I’ve learned so much here, thank you! Would love to win a set of your boards.

  • Andrea says:

    Congratulations Maria!! You know I’ve been with you the whole 12 years. My color boards have come in so handy – I definitely need a new set! Thanks for bringing your color knowledge to the world!

  • Kristin says:

    After almost 20 years in our home, we can finally afford some updates and your blog, ebooks and Instagram have kept me on the right track! Thank you so much!

  • Jane Morlok says:

    Hi Maria! Congratulations on your blog anniversary! This is my first time posting! I love a well-done black-accented space but agree it is tricky to get it right. Since I love layered and serene neutrals with little pops of color, your posts have been so helpful to read. Am planning a bathroom redo so this post on black shower doors was a good reminder regarding how to keep things timeless! Thank you for your open-hearted and fun sharing and teaching! I would love to have the SW Neutrals and Whites boards. I have your neutrals color wheel but am still working on truly “seeing” the undertones.

  • Lori H says:

    Hello! I’ve been reading your blog and following on instagram for around a year and enjoy every post! I just need a push to start executing on your advice. Almost every room in my house is painted yellow, and I’m pretty sure yellow is not a neutral lol. Congrats on 12 years!

  • Lori Loucks says:

    My goal to attend your live training in 2020 was postponed, like so much, due to COVID, but it’s on my calendar for next year! I’ve been following you for many years – not sure how many now. I’m always quoting you when I try to help people make color decisions. Thanks for all you do to make the world beautiful and Happy!

  • Linda says:

    I like to wear black, even all black for everyday wear. But in rooms, I like it as little punches of accent–tho I do love me a black piano. Many many years ago, as a young woman, I decorated a bathroom in black and white and yellow, and was very happy with its drama. I would not choose it today, but then again, if I had the right situation, I could see a black and white bedroom dressed in toile, with a bit of some bright color to give relief and oomph. But then…I could decorate a thousand rooms!

  • I’ve only known you for four years but you’ve changed my business and consequently my life, if that’s not too dramatic to say, with your no nonsense color advice and timeless and classic movement. 💛🧡💛💙💛💚💛

  • Happy Blogiversary! I am a fairly recent convert to your color wisdom party. I love black & have lost the battle of a black front door to my husband for the last 4 decades. I frequently choose paint colors for house prep as a realtor/property manager and typically use the Benjamin Moore classic colors. I love that your blog is all about creating a timeless look. The Benjamin Moore neutral color board set would help make our color decisions easier and more accurate.

  • Whitney G says:

    Happy Anni- I think people think I’m paid by you I recommend you so much! I’ve been following you for at least the last 8YO but I think it’s really longer. We loved our home exterior paint consult your team did last year- we finally painted this summer and it turned out great!

  • Brenda says:

    Maria,
    I have followed you for at least 10 years. The training from you has taken my business to another level. And, my husband knows exactly who “the Maria” is that I talk about all.the.time!

    Thanks for pouring into me!

  • Patti says:

    Hey Maria!

    I love a little black in EVERY room! It’s so chic! I recently used Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore SW 7069 on an accent wall in a client’s downtown loft and it was the PERFECT backdrop for a beautiful wooden TV console..and somewhat HID HIS SEVENTY-FIVE INCH TV HE HAD TO HAVE! Ugh! (Sometimes we just have to work our color Consult magic!) 😉

    Thank you for sharing this amazing post! You’re the best!
    With love from Minneapolis,
    Patti

  • Sharon Rubi says:

    I wish I had found you before we had picked our exterior black windows which my husband insisted we install in our whole house renovation! Fortunately, I found you after that decision had been made but before our siding was chosen and you steered us to a beautiful combination. This interior advice will keep us on track with black. My husband wants it everywhere – thank you!

  • I do love black too, but in my own house I use it sparingly. Lovely blog!

  • Theresa says:

    Congratulations. Love your blog. Have been following for years. I have learned a lot. Thank you.

  • Lana Smith says:

    Congratulations!! I love your posts. I would love to have some of your new boards.

  • Liz in Oregon says:

    Congratulations Maria! I’ve been here since the spring of 2011 and your posts have helped me move to four different rentals. Thank you! (Just want to mention that your poster at the beginning of this post says 2018 instead of 2008…I want to make sure you get credit for all your years. :-))

    I would LOVE to win the “Neutrals, Colors and Darks” color boards!

  • Karen says:

    Congratulations on a dozen years of blogging!!! Way to go and please keep going!

  • Pam says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! I started your blog at least 5 years ago maybe longer. I would love the BM neutrals and lights boards.

  • Happy Blogiversary Maria!
    You’re such a gift to the world! Love all the timely color and advice tips you give so generously!! In the right setting, love
    SW 7020 Black Fox (satin) for interior doors. Super classy & warm. I purchased the SW Foundation Collection last year. Use them all the time, best money ever spent! Would love to add Benjamin Moore boards to complete my color world. Hope to meet you in San Diego 2021!!

  • Donna says:

    I enjoy your blog. Happy 12th! I’d like the BM neutral boards! Thank you!

  • Dusti says:

    Congrats on 12 years of filling the internet with beauty and amazing insights on creating fantastic spaces! You’re incredible, Maria!

  • Arlene says:

    Another informative blog. I have a black leather couch so will be seeing what to change. Thanks.
    Maria I have follow you in your blog for possibly 10 to 12 years. I really don’t know. Somehow I came across your blog and never left plus have friends now following you. I resonated with you in your timeless decoration, color expertise and still do.
    If I win I would like neutrals, colours and dark.

  • Diana says:

    Hi Maria, I have been reading your blog from the beginning. Whenever we are contemplating a change in our home I tell my husband “my color expert blogger says……”. We’ve moved/purchased three different homes since you began. We now are in our age-in-place home. We’ve been here only one month but I have referred to you and your blog several times for guidance and direction.
    If my name is drawn I would love your BM collection of Neutrals and Whites. Thank you for generously sharing your knowledge here on your blog.

  • Kathleen says:

    I love some black in decorating. I have some lamps in my living room with black iron weave look bases with white shades.

  • Connie says:

    Unfortunately, I only discovered you this year as I was online searching like a crazy lady during my renovations in July. I’m so glad I found your blog and I’m now addicted! I actually just had a “Maria” moment this morning when I heard myself say ” That green is too clean for the sofa. It makes it look dirty” Joining your master class is not in the cards for me right now, but I do have the electronic book and it’s on my wish list for my retirement in 2 years!!! For now, I have my stack of painted poster boards. 🙂

  • Wyn Hofeling says:

    Thank you Maria for your blog, ebooks and exterior masterclass! I’ve learned so much to help me in my interior design business and beyond!!

  • Linda Trammel says:

    Happy Blogaversary! Love your posts .I am actually a fan of black and white but not in my own home! Sounds crazy but I started long ago with light colors and never made that change to black anything. However I did just have my kitchen cabinets painted white. My counter top is a dark brown caesar stone so I decided that dark brown knobs and pulls would look better than the silver I had and I am overwhelmed with how stylish it looks. So dark brown is a little close to black I guess! My island is a medium brown and I think I will keep it brown for contrast. The island counter top is a cream with white in it which I may change later when I find the right top. Since it is small I am finding it hard to find something that I don’t have to buy a minimum footage of. Wow. This tuned into a long story. Sorry. Keep up the excellent blogging. I read every single one with anticipation of learning something.

  • Kim says:

    Congratulations on your blog anniversary, Maria! I always enjoy reading and much of your advice has been incorporated into my home over the years. Keep doing what you do!

  • Pat Nelson says:

    Would love to receive the Ben Moore neutrals and whites packet if I win.
    What a lovely and helpful gift idea! I’ll be redoing my entire kitchen soon, and painting some of the bedrooms and the bath.
    Happy blogiversary, and many years of continued success!

  • SDC says:

    You wrote . . . “But the overuse of black quickly becomes boring, masculine, harsh, flat and predictable.”

    While I agree with the intent of your message, I don’t understand why you’re lumping in “masculine” with the other pejorative decorating descriptors (i.e., boring, harsh, flat, predictable). There’s nothing inherently wrong with either a masculine or feminine vibe, it all depends on the overall look you’re going for.

    And congratulations on 12 years. I’ve been a reader from the very beginning and always enjoy reading and learning from your posts. It’s exciting and a pleasure watching you develop and grow your business as you save the world from wrong color choices!

  • Pinkie Crabtree says:

    I think I found your blog about 8 years ago. You helped me with paint for my Great Room and some light fixtures about 6 years ago.

    I have started incorporating more black so this post is timely. Also appreciated your recent post about antiques as I have a lot of those and have been reluctant to part with them.

    Thanks for all your tips and tricks!

  • Stephanie Calkins says:

    Here’s to you and all the troubles you’ve saved us through your blog!

  • Tara says:

    We were going to buy a black velvet or chocolate brown sofa to replace a recently purchased (2017) off-white sofa that the fabric had shown undue wear with minimal use.

    Long story short, the fabric options from the two vendors for the new sofa did not have any black or brown offerings that looked good… so we chose a light wheat/beige color with a green undertone.

    I’m sure we’ll need to reupholster the existing transitional wingback chairs once the new couch arrives. It’s always something.

    Maybe I’ll add two black occasional chairs – using your handy guides above.

    Thank you for this deep dive into decorating with black!

    Happy Halloween 🎃

    Tara

  • Pat says:

    Congratulations on 12 years love your blog & love neutral colours !!!

  • Kathleen says:

    Hi Maria, you are always so spot on and ahead of the pack. I found your blog 4 years ago on another designer’s Recommended websites, and have learned so much following it and your IG. You put everything into logical context and made it easier to learn. Now I recommend you all the time to any friend struggling with color. And while I am posting, I would love a set of the BM Core Collection.

  • Rocky Kirkeby says:

    Maria…. I’d love to win a set of SW boards! I’ve been with you for 4 years, 4 very thankful years. Without you’re help I’d have been in the middle of many disasters. I’m certainly appreciating the black blog today….I’m in the middle of a flip where we are using black at bit.
    Xoxoxo to you!

  • Marlene says:

    I love all of your posts on black and particularly the current popularity of black windows and why they won’t work long term.
    Keep up the good work. Love reading it!

  • Jennifer B says:

    Really helpful thank you. The right amount of black looks stunning and its too easy to use too much and tip into trendy without having good advice.
    (BM please 😁)

  • Joyce Fowler says:

    I signed up April 20, 2014. Have saved most of your blogs. Enjoy very much. Not a decorator just interested in decoration and love color. Happy anniversary and many more.

  • Christy Hostert says:

    12 years! Congratulations Maria and thank you for your continued blog posts and offerings. I so appreciate and enjoy your work ❤️🙏

  • You have come a long way baby! I’ve been here since the beginning and have enjoyed the ride! Congrats on your longevity . Wishing you many more years ahead and looking forward to what will be next.

  • Michelle says:

    I wish I had known about your blog 12 years ago! I’ve been reading for almost 2 years. I’d love the Benjamin Moore Core collection!

  • Happy Halloween! What a fantastic post filled with useful tips and principles! I am a photographer and consult with clients as we are planning their large wall portrait installations! I would love the treat of winning your large sample boards!!

  • ML says:

    I’ve been faithfully reading your blogs for the better part of the decade, so Happy 12th Blogiversary!
    IMHO, you’ve taught me to think of white tile as the same as a white blouse, and the color in the removable decor accessories as being similar to a neck scarf or necklace or earrings. It was this relationship (for me) that made me understand that the tile is just the canvas for the color we choose to add on top of it at any moment in time. By using white, it allows us to constantly change our decision about our decor. Just like I wouldn’t want to wear the same jewelry every day, removable color decor items allow me to change my interior design decisions.
    Anyway, thank you for all you do. It has been an education!

  • Kelly Carter says:

    Congrats on 12 years, Maria!! I am a 10 yr follower and look forward to every post! You have taught me so much!

  • Barb says:

    Happy Halloween and 12th Blogiversary! I’ve been following your blog for many years (10+) and I’ve learned so much (how to pick classic & timeless finishes, how to identify undertones, the importance of lamps, how decor creates a look and feel, and so much more). I love a touch of black as an accent but won’t be using too much more than that in my home. I live in deepest, darkest Deep Cove so black walls or black sofa’s are not something I’ll be considering anytime soon as the forest and fog make for a gloomy vibe. I need some happy colours in my home to keep me going in the winter.

    Thanks so much for all your helpful posts.

    P.S. I’d love to win the BM VIP Collection (you never know what could happen on a Blue Moon Halloween eve in the midst of a global pandemic!!).

  • Monica Behl says:

    Congratulations Maria! I have followed your blog since taking your color course ~3-4 years ago, as a “color enthusiast”. You have saved me from making some decor mistakes – my thanks!

  • Sandy says:

    When your blog notification comes to my email list, it’s the first one I open!
    We’re in a Condo built c. 15 years ago, where all the kitchens have black subway tile and black granite countertops. Apparently there was a black trend in the early 2000s too, or maybe a sale on black? I’m a “black clothes- yes, black furniture- no” person. Black decor shows every little spot or smudge, and also sucks in all the light.
    Your ‘Neutrals, Colors, and Darks’ would be a great choice when the time comes that we can redecorate.

  • Love this post! Black doors and windows have been a favorite of mine for a while. Black furniture scares me though because of my animals. I would be happy with any of your color boards but the neutrals would help me the most with my cabinet refinishing business.

  • Fern Regular says:

    I’d love the neutral and dark board. I would like to incorporate black into my new suite.
    I’m new to this area and have just come across your blog within the past few months. It’s amazing!

  • Alissa says:

    I love your posts and I am so in love with black at the moment. I painted our media room Black Panther but chickened out on black kitchen cabinets. Just doing black on the island cabinets.
    I would love a set of Benjamin Moore colours.

  • Pam Ferentchak says:

    A very timely post! We were just discussing painting a interior door black. I think it might work after reading your post! Congratulations on 12 years of blogging!

  • Erica says:

    Maria, Congratulations on your blog anniversary! Thank you for being so generous with your information. I loved your color wheel concept and was shocked it was free. It prompted me to buy two of your ebooks. I wanted to learn more and so I took your color class last year. I would absolutely love to get my hands on the color boards. They are best way to learn to choose color.

  • Michele says:

    Happy Halloween! I was just speaking with my client about decorating her dining room in black and I’m glad I crossed this post. I will review the rest of the links within the blog and feel comfortable moving forward with black in the dining room. I’ve done it before and it looked great, so I’m excited to see what we come up with.

  • Hannah Winebarger says:

    Thank you so much for this timely post (and generous giveaway). I’ve been “scared” of black so appreciate the advice of how to use it well.

  • Janice says:

    Happy Blogiversary and Happy Halloween. Have been with you since May 2013. I was renovating a house with selling in mind, madly lost and searching the internet for even just one tiny little clue. Though you never knew about it the reno was a hit and the house sold in 2 days for above asking price. Timeless hard finishes sell houses. Thank you for that! Would love to enter the giveaway for a color board. The current house needs help. Don’t love black with anything but white and the palest of pale wood floors. Great post as always.

  • Jane says:

    Maria, I love your blog and it feels like you’ve become my friend as I read your blogs:) if I won I would definitely want one of the cream and neutrals!! I want to put a lighter sand or beige color on my walls soon and want to put a lot of samples up.

  • Lynn says:

    Crazy how I used to choose colors, now I know a bit better since following you. I at least stop to think about how the color “works” to pull the room together or add the right accent. Thank you!

  • Maddie L says:

    Just bought a house with lots of oiled bronze details which read as black. Thanks to you our color choices have made them look good. You always brighten my day ☀️Thank you Maria!

  • Renee says:

    Your blog is so helpful and inspiring – wish I would have discovered it many years ago. Reading your posts and viewing the photos really illustrate how black used as an accent enlivens a room. We’re planning a kitchen remodel next year (classic white cabinets) and after reading your posts, are considering a black soapstone or quartz countertop. I’d love the Benjamin Moore neutrals, colors and darks collection. Happy 12th anniversary!
    Renee

  • Helen Kap says:

    Maria, Happy 12 Years. I find your blog very interested. I love working with colours on my quilts and hand hooked rugs, but when it comes to my walls, I am a bit hesitant with my choices. I can now see the undertones of paint colours, flooring and finishes, thanks to you. I’d love to win some colour boards as well. Thanks for running this Giveaway.

  • Laura says:

    Happy 12 year anniversary! I was late to the party and found you in 2010. Your site has grown so much. It’s been a pleasure watching you succeed. Best wishes.

  • Joan says:

    Keeping a blog alive for 12 years is no small undertaking, so congratulations! A friend of mine on Facebook recommended your site many moons ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love black in interiors in small doses, but not particularly on walls. I have two bedrooms with elements of black and I think picking the right contrasting colors makes all the difference. Thank you for allowing us to follow your work and wisdom. I would love the SW neutral and white boards as those are the ones I have the hardest time picking. I second guess myself A LOT!

  • Elizabeth Putney says:

    I now ask myself “what would Maria do?” Thanks for freely sharing so much of your knowledge! I’ve learned a lot.

  • Hi Maria,

    I recently painted my shutters on house SW Tricorn Black and have received many positive comments.

    I would like to win the Neutrals and White Color Boards from Sherwin Williams!

  • Cyntia says:

    I really wish I had discovered you 12 years ago!!! But I’ve been rigorously following you the past five years 🎉🎉🎉 Thanks for your amazing work and Happy blog anniversary xx

  • Angela says:

    🖤touch of masculine black goes a long way
    🎁Neutrals, Colors & Darks

  • Janice says:

    I found your blog only a year or so ago, but have learned so much through your ebooks since then! Congratulations on your 12 years of blogging!

  • Angie King says:

    Such great information Maria! And that leopard print sofa ….wow! ❤️

  • Conni Mainne says:

    When I painted my bedroom, I made it a soft sage-y green. I HATED it from the day I finished. I finally painted it again, BM Iron Mountain. Very, very dark charcoal. I think it’s a purple undertone? (I’ve learned SO much from you, thank you!) I have LOVED it every single day I wake up in it. What makes it work is that the ceiling, the trim, the door and the sliding closet doors that take up a whole wall are all a creamy white. BM Vanilla Ice Cream. I have repeated that creamy white on the ceilings and trim and even kitchen cabinets throughout the house. I have a large beveled mirror with ornate gold-leaf frame that came from my grandmother. The raw silk curtains are sage green. That sounds dirty, but they’re a brighter sage green than dirty. My duvet covers are always creamy or light green or silvery-grey prints that work with the floor and the curtains. Most of the furniture is a warm brown and the floors are old wood-fir, which turns pretty orange. Ok, my king bed is a Restoration Hardware black-tall headboard. The masculinity of it balances the soft, feminine decor. I just love it, thanks to all of your expert help in these posts.

  • Vicki Cobb says:

    Having been a follower for about 4 years, I own a set of color boards and have purchased your design services. I’ve recommended your blog to the friends and family who will appreciate your wisdom based on years of experience. I too appreciate classic and timeless, tiring of trends quickly. Though I agree with the person who said we cannot “unsee” the mistakes we’ve made, I’ve learned that we can take away the attention from them with decorating. Your photo examples, especially the before and afters, speak volumes. By helping those who love beauty in their surroundings to build their color and decorating muscles, you do a great service. Wishing you many more anniversaries…

  • Hi Maria! I’ve been a reader for a little over a year now, and I’ve learned so much from you! We just redid a bathroom and I introduced a small amount of black and repeated it, thanks to your blog. It looks great! We are painting soon, so if I won the giveaway, I’d love the lights and neutrals from Benjamin Moore. I own both your ebooks – the boards would complement them! Congrats on your blog anniversary, and thanks for being a great teacher with a great system! 💛

  • Julie says:

    Maria: congratulations on this milestone! I’ve been with you for about 4 years. I was very very late to the blog/internet party as I was uncomfortable with the tech. I thought all this was for tech savvier people, lol!! But I was looking for info and help, finding it on your site. Thank you for the amazing amount of info you put out. I love your books as those helped me pick the BM Classic Gray in much of my house. I would really love the BM neutral, colors and dark Board collection or the BM neutrals and whites collection. Today’s post is oh so timely as the color black is totally mainstream now as the new neutral. Your pics that show how to do it right versus total overkill are spot on. Thanks for the explanation of the details. I do enjoy going back and reading much older posts. You are always well ahead of the trend curve and do a fabulous job of helping us stay fresh, but keep the bones classic! Thank you for everything Maria!! Looking forward to many more years with you!!

  • michelle says:

    Congratulations on 12 years and thank you for sharing your knowledge. I’d love a set of BM neutrals and whites!

  • ALISA says:

    Yours was one of the first blogs I started following. I found it when I was shopping for a bed and you happened to have the one I was looking at in your own home. That was about 10 years ago. I would love the BM whites and neutrals as those are always the hardest to see on the smaller samples.

  • Yehudit J E Main says:

    Happy Blogversity to you! I appreciate everything I have learned from you. I would really like the SW collection.

  • Susan S says:

    I believe I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning, but it sure doesn’t feel like 12 years!! I’ve learned so much and love your design aesthetic and joy of color!

  • Elizabeth M. says:

    Congratulations on your 12 year anniversary! I have been reading you posts for years and first heard of you way back when the HGTV website had a paint and color forum. I am grateful for your explanations regarding undertones in paint, dirty and clean colors and for the wise advice of not having too many busy hard surfaces in decorating. Thank you.

  • Marianne says:

    Congratulations! You’ve made me stop and look at color in a new way. I love that bathroom’s black and white mosaic tile floor.

  • Tara Redenbach says:

    So glad this came out now…just when my kiddo’s are thinking of painting their basement black. Bang on advise every time

  • Doris Samson Betts says:

    Twelve years of blogging! Congratulations! And although I only found you in recent years, I have read a PILE of your wonderful, educational and informative blog posts from the past! And I recommend your blog to many others on decorating Facebook pages I’ve joined, often linking specific blog posts you’ve written to cover a topic in question. I think you are spot on with your advice concerning timeless choices and have enjoyed your e- books. I would absolutely LOVE to win your Benjamin Moore colour boards! I did purchase your colour wheel in the last year, z terrific tool. The boards would add even more to my design arsenal…I’ve learned so much from you! Keep up the great work and thank you so much for being so generous with your colour and design knowledge!

  • Judy says:

    I have used black in every room in my home, but no black walls…yet. I love black, but for me, it has to have balance. Our large great room has a very large area rug with a black background and green ivy trellis with a cream border. I’ve had it for years and I love it, so it’s staying. When I was going to have my sofa reupholster, I did think of black, but decided to match the rugs cream border. Now I am reupholstering my smaller chair and ottoman and their fabric is a textured black. I have other pieces in patterned black and cream and one chair in green to match the rugs trellis. The comments are always that they never imagined black could be so rich and beautiful.

  • Annette Baity says:

    Hi Maria,

    I’ve been reading along since 2009, so 11 years (maybe 11.75 ha!) And hired you WAY back when it was just you doing the phone consultations for my living room…it was the best money spent for that living room! I painted my own color boards on your recommendation, and we landed on BM Monroe Bisque (loved it). After that my husband became a believer in hiring a designer…”What did Maria say about pillows you picked out?” LOL!

    We have now moved into a new home for our growing family (still in California) and are remodeling the “new to us” kitchen and great room. The BM Neutral’s and Whites boards would be perfect for choosing a “barely there” neutral for our modern farmhouse (we live in the country now).

    Thank you for 12 years of WONDERFUL articles, AMAZING advice, and design service that does not disappoint!
    ~Annette

  • I’ve been following you since the beginning, Maria! Your advice is as sound as ever and I couldn’t agree more than when it comes to using black in interiors, the “less is more” rule is the wisest approach. I love that it works so beautifully with warm wood tones, cognac, colors and grieges alike.

    • Jane B says: