When it comes to home design, black may be the new black.
Traditionally, the superstition of black exteriors has kept it from being a popular choice for homeowners. But with the influence of prominent designers (think Johnathon Alder and Simon Doonan), 21st-century home trends are changing. As architects and homeowners search for ways to create standout curb appeal without making things too bright or busy, they’re turning to the dark side.
A black exterior is a striking choice for any home style. It’s authoritative, bold, and a bit haunting. It’s impossible not to make a statement with a black exterior. It amplifies modern architecture, making hard lines and angles even sharper. It also breathes new life to aged and dated homes, removing bland and murky hues for a timeless color choice.
Undeniably stylish and a bit sinister, here are a few things to remember when considering a dark facade:
A black exterior accentuates
We generally think that multiple colors and hues detail exteriors best. However, intricate details in Victorian and Craftsman homes actually get accentuated with a coat of black. This is a result of sunlight hitting different parts of the grooves and carvings on the home and highlighting the intricate details.
But, accentuates everything
The artisan details of your home’s exterior become more apparent with black paint, but so do its flaws. Cracks, chips, blemishes all become a bit more apparent when dressed in dark, so don’t expect it to smooth out imperfections the way a LBD does.
It stays hot
Not just in style, but in temperature. Like it does with clothing and cars, dark exteriors draw in and trap the heat. Great if you live in a colder region of the world, but worth considering a bit more if you live in the middle of the desert. But if heat is a concern for you, don’t forget another important aspect – your roofing material.
Let your worries fade
A major concern of those decking out their homes in dark is the fear of severe fading and required maintenance to keep black looking its blackest. However, fading paint colors falls more on the type of paint you choose more than the color, according to Protect Painters. In fact, colors that are most subject to fading from sun and weather exposure are vibrant reds and yellows.
Pick the right finish
Matte black and high gloss black will give you two very different looks once donned on an entire home. Flat, matte black looks great on older homes, cabins, and detailed architecture. High gloss, on the other hand, suits modern styles and shakes up the look of classic siding.
Below are 20 of our favorite homes that make us feel like the dark side isn’t so bad:
The black finish on this classic Scandinavian home, owned and renovated by photographer Jean Longpre, is actually pine paneling coated in a very dark stain.
GS Architects brought black to this contemporary home in Portland by painting the cedar with a satin finish that accentuates the details of this architectural wonder.
Another shot of this home by GS Architects, showing how the black exterior perfectly pairs with the wood decking and contemporary railings.
This London home got a modern upgrade when it replaced it’s classic brick color palette for a dramatic black exterior. New window casings further the new-meets-old design by shh architecture.
Whiting Architects used black to merge old and new as well, detailing the character of an old barn while providing modern lines and color with black vinyl siding.
Another shot of this renovated Melbourne barn shows how the two styles compliment each other.
R. H. Carter Architects brought down the intensity of black with a washed out gray/blue tone for this classic Scandinavian home. They kept the dull color from looking dated with true black trim and modern globe sconces.
Similarly, Steven Turvil Architects brought black to the sunny southwest with a lighter-pigmented shade wood stain for this minimalist home.
Moderne Builders, on the other hand, did not shy away from the hot sun. They went all black everything on this modern home right outside of LA. And when we say everything, we mean inside too.
This Frank Lloyd Wright home in Chicago looks historic, festive, and dynamic with a dark walnut stain. The accents of green (in both the trim and garland) add to the character of the home, photographed by Cynthia Lynn.
A shiny metal roof bodes well with the matte finish on this angled transitional home in Charlottesville, designed by Carlton Architecture.
With a home that is primarily made up of windows, black trim adds a defining edge to the non-glass spaces and highlights the silhouette of this edgy home in Sydney by Christopher Polly Architects.
Black exterior has been trending in Japan for years, and this home by Sticks + Stones in the mountains has us ready to head for the ski slopes. Not only does it compliment the shape of the asymmetrical home, it also draws the eye to the stunning wood on the inside.
One more of this stunning home by GS Architects, and further proof that black looks incredibly natural in a forest setting.
Black goes to the beach in this Michigan home. Traditional coastal architecture never looked so good, and the balance of white paint and natural landscaping keeps the darkness in check.
A renovated LA cottage looks all grown up with black exterior, balanced by white trim that keeps the focus on the unique windows in this one-story home. Photographed by Stephanie Wiley.
Peter A. Seller created this home in Canada that puts a modern spin on the classic lake home. We love how the stone chimney compliments the matte black exterior.
So modern, so right! This German house by architect Scheumar Baumanufaktur is an outside-the-box modern design that focuses on its surrounds.
Writers Studio by Studio Joseph brings minimalism to the forest. The home’s exterior is made up of cedar with a matte black stain finish.
This Scandinavian home breathes new life with a fresh coat of black, photographed by Charlotte Schmidt Olsen. The white accents make it pop, especially on the porch ceiling.
What do you think of these black exteriors? We’d love to hear if you’re off to buy a few gallons of it, or a little creeped out. For the former, check out how we love black on the inside of our homes.