An Emphasis on Harmony Makes This All-Black Bedroom Sing

Graphic wallpaper, natural materials, and cozy textiles add dimension to the room’s otherwise solid coloring

Designer, author, photographer, and self-proclaimed “vintage vulture” Dabito is known across the
internet for his bold use of color and eclectic maximalism. The former flight attendant, who spent years honing his styling skills, feels that formal design training is not a prerequisite to creating a beautiful home: “We can all tap into our creative selves to make our homes feel special,” he writes in Old Brand New: Colorful Homes for Maximal Living (Ten Speed, 2023). “If someone like me can do it, then I believe anyone else can do it, too.” 

Dabito’s seven-step design process (fondly titled “What would Dab do?”) establishes a plan of attack for outfitting a space that evokes feeling and incorporates a mixture of old and new elements. The first phase is to discover the space’s must-haves: does the room need to be multifunctional? What’s currently working, and what isn’t? Next, measure the space and create a basic floor plan that considers the room’s flow. Pick a color palette with an emphasis on hues that bring joy but complement each other (think coral and kelly green, or mustard with bright blue accents). Visit local flea markets and antique shops to learn about different styles and eras of design—you may even come home with a one-of-a-kind statement piece. Create a mood board to see how everything comes together and ensure the balance feels right. Finally, identify a focal point then “wow it out” so it’s the first thing someone sees when they walk into the room.

The eccentric bedroom pictured here, which Dabito designed for his niece, began with a simple request that threw the designer for a loop: all black. Instead of employing his notable palette of bold colors, Dabito selected Sherwin-Williams’s Tricorn Black to envelop the room’s four walls. A graphic black and white wallpaper on the ceiling adds dimension to the space and breaks up the solid coloring. (Dabito recommends using traditional wallpaper—not the removable kind—on the ceiling because its stronger adhesive holds up better against gravity.) Incorporating wooden furniture and natural materials like rattan and dried plants warms the bedroom and prevents it from feeling impersonal. Take a hint from Dabito, and craft the sophisticated spot of your dreams with these nine finds.   

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