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Black-painted bedrooms are no longer just for vampires and emo music lovers. The daunting shade is actually the most searched hue on Google according to 12 months of data analyzed by Living Cozy. Coming in at 396,000 searches, black bedrooms have 100,000 more hits than white. Not only that, but blue barely cracks the top five with only 217,900 inquiries. 

We know, it’s intimidating—but don’t knock it just yet. While you may assume that a color like Sherwin-Williams’s Iron Ore or Farrow & Ball’s Railings might make your room feel dark and depressing, the effect is just the opposite: The right swatch creates a cocoonlike atmosphere that encourages sweet shut-eye. Ahead, we highlight five ways to make the most of your sacred space without sacrificing aesthetics (or light). 

Embrace It in a Small Space

RHONY star Brynn Whitfield’s bedroom is so small that her bed frame spans wall to wall, but that didn’t stop her from packing in the drama with Benjamin Moore’s Raccoon Fur. The result is utterly cocooning. 

Bring Quirky Details Into the Fold

For Angelee and Eddie Fortuna, painting their new wainscoting black brought dimension to their room, but continuing the color around the windows had the biggest impact: It made the funky placement over the bed look more purposeful. 

Use Plaster, Not Paint

Take a note from hotelier Margot Stern and her boutique property in Todos Santos, Mexico. The texture of the plaster softens the bold hue to a deep gray, while the accent wall still packs a punch. 

Keep It Grounded

By balancing the rich walls with a white ceiling and warm bed linens, Madelynn Furlong’s former Los Angeles bedroom is just the right amount of cozy and not cavelike.

Opt for Just a Stripe

In Little Willow Cabin’s bedroom (renovated and designed by Lauren Espeseth and Steven Jos Phan), a racing stripe of black is painted just above the woodwork. The room is still light and airy, while the color draws your eye toward the gorgeous millwork.

Try These Swatches