A Black and White Bedroom Makeover That's Anything But Expected

Designer Natalie Myers explains the art of the half accent wall.

black and white bedroom

When Natalie Myers’ tween son, Lev, came to her with a grand plan to paint his room black, instead of writing off black paint as an unlikely kid’s room color, she figured how to make it happen. It’s worth mentioning that she’s also an interior designer, so she knew just how to make it work by curbing her son’s enthusiasm for black walls, and creating a black and white room palette that feels fresh and approachable.

Striking the right balance with black paint

“Black is his favorite color! He sees it as mature and sophisticated. But instead of an entirely black painted room like he wanted, we ended up compromising by painting only half the wall black while keeping the rest of the room white,” says Myers. The half black accent wall was the perfect solution for incorporating black paint without it overpowering the room. Strategically painting the lower half of the wall black was also a clever trick help to help camouflage the inevitable smudges and stains that will end up on the walls of a kids room. After settling on the minimal black and white decor scheme, the next important step was choosing the right paint colors. They ended up deciding on Fresh Kicks, our cleanest, brightest white paint and Blackest, an edgy black wall paint with dimension.

black and white bedroom

Always consider light when painting a room black

“One of the reasons the color worked was because the room is so bright and gets a lot of great light,” she explains. To incorporate a touch of childish whimsy into the black and white room decor, she added a cool wall decal from Sian Zeng behind his desk. “Lev is really great with plants so that was a nod to his interests (I wanted to keep at least one foot in childhood) along with his little bench full of plants by his window.”

Black and white room

Keep the black and white decor minimal

As much as he pushed for all black everything, Natalie’s design sense helped incorporate the color in ways that enhanced the room. At Lev’s request she got rid of the bunk bed and moved a plywood daybed she designed into the room and insisted on the vintage desk. “The wood tones help to warm up the room, especially since we used two colder colors. The mix of more traditional pieces with modern ones helped balance the room. Plus it’s practical, the desk is the real mark of a grown-up, giving him a place to do his homework,” says Myers. A textured rug also gives the room a cozy feel too.

Pre-teen bedroom design

Picking the perfect paint for a kid’s room

If the kids in your life are begging for a room makeover, Myers has some really solid advice. “Instead of going too theme specific, try to do a more abstract version because kids interests change quickly. Instead of putting baseball decals on the wall, try framing jerseys instead,” she says. Create a base that has some staying power—so choose a nice paint color and larger quality furniture pieces—and then buy smaller, cheaper items that fit your child’s theme like mobiles, throw pillows, artwork, and even bedding. She also credits paint as the easiest way to change the look and feel of a room, so don’t be afraid to get rolling.

Not sure what your kid wants? Ask! You might be surprised by how sophisticated their design sensibilities are already. Beyond a kid’s room, black and white paint is a no-fail, sophisticated color combination that interior designers swear by. Plus, black and white rooms are timeless, so don’t be afraid to try it in other rooms in your home!

black and white bedroom


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