How the Color Black Can Update Your Entry

Ever heard of the saying that every room needs a touch of red?  I don’t necessarily agree, but I do think many rooms could benefit from a touch of black.  



I recently did a Home Staging and Color Consultation with a new client who is putting her home on the market.  Her home is in a desirable neighborhood and school zone, but her entry didn’t really make much of an impression.

 Before Color Consultation


Like many houses built 15-25 years ago, the oak banister or handrail was faded from the sun and the yellow paint color looked more dated than sunny.  A paint update was first on the list of things needed to make this home more desirable to buyers.

 After Color Consultation


A fresh gray-beige on the walls could make it pass for a new home, and the newly-painted black banister (handrail) and newel posts make the staircase a grand statement.

black interior door

 Neutral, Updated Entry


If you are adding a black accent to a space, make sure you repeat it somewhere else in the room.  I had my client paint the interior of her front door black, as well.  The entry console and mirror are also black, but that’s mainly because the console was repurposed from another room in the house.  If this were a decorating client, rather than a home staging client, I would likely suggest an entry table in a wood finish or a painted finish other than black. Since this is staging, neutral is good enough and keeps the possibilities open for would-be buyers.


Entry After Home Staging 


There’s just something about a touch of black that reads sophisticated and can ground  an airy space just enough.  Don’t you agree?

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30 thoughts on “How the Color Black Can Update Your Entry

  1. ange says:

    Love black in the entryway. My front door is black along with the handrail on the stairs that was oak but we painted black with white spindles. I try to add some black somewhere in every room in my home.

  2. Mary says:

    Fantastic transformation! What a little paint can do. 🙂 The wall colour freshened up the space nicely and paired with the painted staircase it now has a contemporary look – very nice.

    I’d love to do the same for my home. May I ask what paint sheen was used for the spindles and banister?

  3. Patti Hutchinson says:

    Stunning!! And SO timely!! I’ve been trying to convince my husband that we need to add some black and get rid of our 80’s green front door (and trim). NOW I have actual evidence that it will be AWESOME!!! THANKS!!

  4. Eileen says:

    Beautiful! I totally agree that the home looks updated and sophisticated and that the black was a great call. The only teeny tiny thing that I noticed that seems off to me is that the door hardware on the inside looks black? It seems like it would be better to stand out from the door color. I’m sure it wouldn’t be a deal breaker for a potential buyer though, so probably not a big deal!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Thanks! I don’t disagree with your caveat. However, new door hardware would be an expensive fix when the existing set is in good shape. Staging to sell is all about making critical choices about where to spend money and where to save money – the paint for the front door packs a punch for very little $$.

  5. Rhonda says:

    Well, you worked your magic in that entryway! My staircase wood looks pretty much like this one — ugly yellow oak. The newel post, handrail, and steps are the lacquered (not stained) white oak, but the balusters are painted white. The flooring is lacquered red oak, which has a warmer and more varied color. When building this repro Victorian house, I had intended these stair components to be stained walnut, but the painter took it upon himself to simply lacquer them to match the floor, without consulting me. However, the stairs doesn’t match the floor, because of the two different types of oak! This has been a bone of contention for me for almost 20 years now! I’ve always wanted to strip the stairs and stain, but everyone says all that sanding would be cost prohibitive. So I’m wondering how you painted this handrail? It seems that it was lacquered; how would paint adhere to it? I’m also not sure black would work in this house, but I sure wish I could come up with some other solution other than “just live with it”!!!

  6. Paula Van Hoogen says:

    I certainly do agree about black, Kristie–and a touch in every room. When I was a little girl and into coloring, I discovered early on that if I outlined my coloring book drawings in black, they looked so much sharper! Been kinda doing that ever since…(in interiors and clothing). Are you saying that the black entry table would be too much black if this was a decorating job? If so, what tone of wood would you use?
    I also like the subtle positive message that the sign above the doorway transmits to a potential buyer!

  7. Christine says:

    Great post. We’re painting almost all of our interior trim in an ebony shade to create a cozier feel in our 1914 Craftsman farmhouse. Unfortunately the trim had been painted white (and badly), wish they would have never painted it…. we’re done w/ the white-trim country look.

  8. Cindy Weatherford says:

    Okay I may need to do this! Are there a million shades of black to choose from?? May not have the courage to paint my door but I could paint the bannisters myself!

  9. Joy Choy says:

    Love, love the makeover Kristie! Please tell me the color of the paint in the foyer.i did my bannisters in BM black bean soup which is a soft black.

  10. Judy says:

    Oh, no! We just moved into a 1950 Cape Cod with a greyish-beige entry (looks much browner than what you have here-our entry is very dark), and I was thinking of painting it a buttery cream like Ben Moore Windham Cream. Am I going to make it look dated when I’m going for lighter and brighter? Would I be better off with a grey shade? The adjoining dining room is Palladian Blue above the chair rail and White Dove below (we painted over dark forest green with bright white trim) and living room, which was the same color as the entry is now Adams Gold.

    I do love the look of black front door and shutters. Currently our door is white and the shutters and storm door are forest green. Next spring we will get to the exterior, so I am bookmarking this post!

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