Before and After: Tricia’s Black Bedroom Reveal

This is a guest post by my Senior Colour Designer Tricia Firmaniuk! Love the look and feel of her new bedroom transformation:


My house is very cozy and small. And because I like to switch things up, I’ve kept the walls ALL cream. I’ve been craving the drama of deep walls, but my main living spaces are all open onto each other and that is just not the place to do it.

My bathroom is a contender, but it’s got the only South facing window in the place, so I like it light and airy. This leaves the master bedroom which actually is the PERFECT room to add some drama.

Our bedroom walls were also cream, and it was perfectly nice (below). Ok, kinda boring really, I hadn’t put any decorating energy into it because it just didn’t seem like a priority.


I was tired of the slightly boho feel and wanted to challenge myself to make it more grown up and glam, despite my Ikea furniture 😉 Because if I’m getting any new furniture this year, it’s a reupholstered sofa, not a new bed.

The balance before was lots of light including the ivory greige walls (Bone Folder by Martha Stewart), an off white Ikea dresser and pink beige curtains and bedding, with hits of black in the cowhide and lamp shades.

I was curious to see what would happen if I tipped the balance dramatically with BLACK WALLS.

So I thought I’d jump right into the black trend, because my house is my colour lab and paint is the best way to do it!

First some inspiration. I’ve got several versions of William Mclure’s black bedroom pinned to my Pinterest boards below.

William McLure

I wanted this kind of drama with a bit more of a masculine feel because, after all, it is my husband’s bedroom too. And I liked the warm neutral accents.

You can see that the key here is lots of decor in light colours to balance the heavy black walls. Even the floor is painted white, (he does that in a lot of his spaces it seems, most of which are light and airy).

But painting the floor is not an option at my house, the hardwood is just not that far gone yet.

So the answer when you want to cool down a hot orange wood floor? A large rug of course!

I got this gorgeous one of a kind vintage neutral over dyed beauty from the Unique Rug Store.  And did it ever elevate the feel of our bedroom! Even without black walls, this rug was an instant upgrade.

Over Dyed Vintage Rugs Available Here

Here is the image of the rug on the shop website below.

Neutral Over Dyed Vintage Rug (Similar Here)

I was happy to find that the blues in the pattern were more prominent than I expected, so clearly with this beauty, my room was not going to have the neutral tonal restraint of Mr. Mclure’s room (restraint is not really my thing anyway).

So I decided to work with the pretty purple blue in the rug as a jumping off point.

Purple and black can really be very heavy, but purples always look fresh and happy in the context of a garden inspired palette with fresh greens, so I began to get excited about bringing in more colour.

To create a good room, you need something that informs the colour to work from. Here’s what I started with:

  1. The area rug, which I ordered first. I didn’t make any firm decisions about the rest of the decor before it arrived (which was good, because once I saw it, I knew I wanted to work with periwinkle blue).
  2. My deep “black” walls concept. Not that it was necessary with this level of contrast (I could have gone straight black), but for fun, I pulled a soft black with a bit of purple to it for the walls, BM Almost Black 2130-30 (see my test board below).
  3. My citrine glass lamps with black and gold shades. These were the most glam existing element in my room, and the goal was to bring the rest up to match.
  4. So overall, the main challenge was to create a more sophisticated and dramatic look.

BM Almost Black 2130-30

I liked how the paint colour looked with the huge charcoal drawing, but in the end, I painted a new picture (one of the perks of being an artist, William McLure does it all the time 😉 with blues, purples, yellows and greens, because again, restraint isn’t my thing. If I had only put the citrine and blue on the bed and pillows, I think the colour would have been too bitty.

It’s important to repeat your main accent colours and art is a great way to do it. If you don’t want to try your hand at creating your own, I wrote a post on where to get some good art here.

So my Ikea furniture did not magically transform into gorgeous antiques, but the lovely new rug and dramatic almost black walls went a long way to creating a more sophisticated look I think.

My Master Bedroom After

Bedroom After

I picked up the two dandelion botanicals at the antiques market at High Point when I was there checking out the trends with Maria in the Spring, and I just think they’re so fun. It’s a good idea to have some old, storied pieces in a room.


Bedroom After

I like how the pale beige of the rug and curtains keep the palette from looking too graphic above.

I saw so many rooms styled with Staffordshire dogs at High Point that I ordered myself a pretty little antique pair from Etsy. Aren’t they cute? I have a busy pair of real spaniels, so these really speak to me 😉

Here’s one of my pet spaniels, Stanley, looking confused and hoping for a treat for this good behavior 😉 (Getting both of them to pose would be utter chaos haha).

Stanley my English Springer Spaniel

I am very pleased with the way the room turned out. And for those of you who are wondering, the black walls don’t make this room feel cavernous and dark at all.

A common objection when introducing dramatic colours like this is ‘Won’t it make the room feel small?’ but you’ll notice that the corners even seem to disappear!  And the light and bright curtains, dresser, bedding, art and rug, the room, which is East facing, feels very cheery and bright, especially early in the day. I kept the ceiling light which makes a difference too.

Tray, blue mugs, sheets and yellow pillows from Homesense, hand stitched matelasse from Pottery Barn (no longer available, similar here), black and white dot pillow and starburst mirrors, H&M Home

We now love to hang out in this room. It is so much prettier and the dark walls are really very soothing.

Bedroom After

Some serious light and dark drama in this pillow-scape

Here’s the before again:

And here’s the after:

Bedroom After

So what do you all think? Would you be willing to go this dark on your walls?

Thanks Tricia for this fabulous and colourful before and after!

If you would like help creating a new look for your room, check out our eDesign consultations here.

This post is sponsored by Unique Rug Store all opinions are my own.

Related posts:

How to Work with Bedroom Carpet You Don’t Like

How to Specify Colour for a Bedroom and a Closet!

How to Choose an Area Rug








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  1. I think this is a stunning transformation ! I really like that you worked with the furniture you had and added new fun accents ( glad staffirdshire dogs are back again always loved them)and that gorgeous rug . The fact that your black has that purple blue is perfect ! Very Nice I live that as you said the corners disappear.

  2. YAY! Looks wonderful. As some of us have said here – dark can work (the woman who had dark blue bedrooms in two different homes). The rug is so lovely too. I am trying to add in a rug to a space which is fun ( the toothfairy still visits right 😉 )You are into mcm if I recall.. maybe a vintage walnut bedroom suite will come available near you 🙂

  3. I think she is a magician of color. It is a stunning bedroom. I like very much that she is also concerned about his husband for “masculine feel”. 🙂 She used dark color very well. Because everyone prefers bright color. I think she has defined a new palette. I love it.

  4. LOVE it! What is the material of the periwinkle pillow – seemed like it was not mentioned in your source lists.


  5. Love it, especially that you worked with existing IKEA furniture – makes it feel very attainable. Where did you get the yellow billy ball dried flowers? I’ve been trying to find a source for years!

  6. I like this transformation. I actually went through the same process with my small bedroom 3 years ago. I had cream walls, which were starting to feel boring and drab. So I painted them Moscow Midnight by Sherwin Williams. People always say don’t paint small rooms dark or advise painting just one wall. But I love my tiny dark midnight blue cocoon.

  7. This is a stunning, interesting, and creative transformation! What I couldn’t tell is did you paint the ceiling? Do you recommend it with such a dark and dramatic paint color?