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The question

Would you ever paint a room black? I want a dramatic dining room.

The answer

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Yes, yes and yes. Fearless decorators have been doing it for years and the result is chic, elegant and both traditional and modern.

I like to go back to the 1970s for inspiration and look at the cover of Architectural Digest's March/April issue from 1975, which features the living room of New York interior designer Jay Spectre, with its black floors and walls, orange sofa and abundant greenery. It is bold. Black is a power colour and therefore it can be foreboding. But if done properly, the effect is cozy, inviting and spectacular, and it will certainly give your dining room drama.

With black as your backdrop, you can decorate however you'd like, from an edgy style to something modern and chic – it all depends on the floors, lighting, furniture and table settings. One last word of advice: Blackpainted spaces, especially ones in a lacquer finish, make the people in them stand out, so your outfit is just as important as the room's accessories.

Dee Dee Taylor Eustace is an architect and interior designer. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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