Why your Teenager wants a Black Room

My personal trainer Ruth Voss at Innovative Fitness asked another question about black  the other day (Note to Ruth: there seems to be a trend here :).  Why do teenagers want a black room?
There are a few answers to this question;

1.  As self-expression becomes more important, kids — especially tweens and teens — search for ways to make a statement and stand out in a crowd.

2.   A desire to maintain control.

3.   Black makes them feel less vulnerable, forming a protective shield and anonymity around them, private and safe.

However, psychologists say that people who use black to the exclusion of all other colours are depressed.   They also say teens want black to distinguish their space from their parents’.

I think it would be important to understand your teen and where the desire for black is coming from.  Then come to a compromise and do something like this bedroom below, if you really can’t handle your teen having one that looks like the above image.

Better Homes & Gardens

I think if your teen wants to go black, this is the best way to do it.  Either paint an accent wall in the room where the headboard is (usually that’s the one) or above the chair rail with chalkboard paint (as shown below).  One step further, would be adding a coat of magnetic paint [underneath the chalkboard paint]  so that your teen can put their posters up with magnets!

Notice how the black in this room (above) has a blue undertone?  It’s a great choice with the sky blue in the room.  I personally feel that your child/teen should have a say [within reason]  in the colour of their room as it is their personal space whereas your home is yours.

I had to show this one [also from Apartment Therapy] because it’s the nicest black room I’ve ever seen!  It simply proves that there is no such thing as an ugly or bad colour.  Context is everything.

Here’s a room done in high-gloss paint; however, this will show every bump and imperfection so unless you have perfect walls, go for a lower sheen, although this will also make the room even darker as it won’t reflect the light as shown here.

If Black is your favourite colour: Rarely chosen as a favourite colour because it is actually the negation of colour.  The person who chooses black may have a number of conflicting attitudes.  You may be conventional, conservative, and sophisticated, or you may like to think of yourself as rather worldly and serious, a cut above everyone else, or very dignified.  You may also want to have an air of mystery or think of yourself as very sexy.  Wit, cleverness, personal security, and prestige are very important to you.

If you Dislike Black: As black is the negation of colour, it may be a complete negative to you.  It is the eternal mystery, the bottomless pit, the black hole, the road to nowhere.  It may represent death and mourning to you.  Things that go bump in the night are black.  Were you frightened by the dark in your childhood?  That experience may still be buried in the recesses of your mind and may still haunt you when you look at anything black.  Black may simply be too heavy for you to handle at this point in your life.  You are uncomfortable with the super sophisticated and feel insecure in their company.  You like real people and are not dazzled by dignitaries.    Leatrice Eisman

Also it’s good to keep in mind that this too shall pass. . .

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  1. Black rooms can be mesmerizing! Two of my designer friends have black kitchens—not chalkboard paint but deep, beluga whale-ish, shiny black…it is captivating and courageous.

  2. I glad that I actually learn something , this black is all over furniture shops . it has to be use carefully , and sometime clients don’t get the power of colors on their mood … I gonna come back very very often here … thank you so much !

  3. I am a huge fan of black (and very much NOT a teenager 🙂

    Loved this post! And I am very much loving your blog so I will add it to my blogroll.

  4. Oops! I already added you but it shows your last post is from 3 months ago. I wonder why.

    Incidentally, my daughter informed me when I told her I wanted to paint my bedroom black (how’s that for a twist? but your post shows why) that people who spend a significant amount of time in a black room will go crazy.

    I couldn’t find the article to which she was referring.

  5. hi maria! i love black!

    one of my best friend had painted one of his wall a flat black in his bedroom (and that was like 20 years ago). with the soft colour of the other walls, it was truly beautiful!

    i remember the whole house was super modern and completely colour coordinated, so i guess by adding the one wall black it gave his room a distinction, while keeping with the integrity of the house as a whole. i always thought it was really beautiful how he’d done it and accessorized it. but still, it was something really bold to do 20 years ago!

    ps. i finally followed your advice… i started myself a blog! 😉

  6. One of my favorite 1/2 baths, an elegant Powder Room that I did, I started with a black ceiling. The client was very unsure of this at first and daily I had to tell her,”trust me”. Years later, that is the room she gets the most compliments on and she said if or when we ever redo that powder room, she is keeping the black ceiling. Thanks for this post on using black.

  7. A friend had a tiny powder room tucked under the stairs that when painted black, had enormous style and impact.
    In the 90’s, my teen son wanted to paint his room black. I let him do it over winter break..(it was really a RL color called Jungle Green or Amazon Green…but it looked bkack.)
    It actually looked great…with his various posters and year-round colored Christmas lights, it had more personality than any other room in the house!