All-black windows add dimension, a sense of depth and a confident statement to any space. With Marvin’s new Designer Black painted interior finish, less becomes more as dark details frame views in a whole new way.

It’s clear that black is no longer only for evening wear or stuffy affairs. Black in every form—including matte black—is gaining popularity as a finish, from bathroom fixtures to kitchen accents and appliances. As an exercise in contrast or a spin on a classic look, black interior windows offer the chance to use a color staple to make a bold statement.

How is this trend playing out in the design world? To get the inside scoop, we asked top designers Mary Douglas Drysdale of Drysdale Design Associates and HGTV fame, and Barbara Bradlee, winner of a 2017 American Society of Interior Designers Annual Award and owner of Bradlee Design, to weigh in on the dark interior finish trend, and how they use this design option to redefine a space.


Q: Matte black as a finish is gaining popularity. How would an all-black window or door with matte black hardware make a statement in a room?

Mary Douglas Drysdale (MDD): Black has entered the mainstream. In the last decade, narrower rails and stiles have found well-received expression in windows and doors. Many have tried steel doors, but the cost and complexity of installation and glazing are not practical and are limited in terms of compatibility with many architectural styles. Black painted narrow width doors with Designer Black interior finish are an elegant answer to design transparency, the vocabulary of current design and a realistic way to achieve architectural drama.

Barbara Bradlee (BB): An all-black window with matte black hardware would be a confident statement. Black draws a person’s eye and provides a signal that this window is a design element meant to be noticed. Black mixed with other black finishes instills a sense of clean, simple, confident and strong design.

Q: Windows are a focal point in any home. How can black painted finish help define the view? 

MDD: The use of black finish in architectural glazing is very dramatic and relatively new in residential. It is a stronger use of the framing element of any view, and the effect is both elegant and effective.

BB: A black window or door enhances and gives attention to the view beyond, making it appear even more important. Just as a woman’s eyeliner brings out her eyes and adds depth to her face, a black interior finish punctuates the view and adds depth and dimension to the room’s interior design.

Coastal Living 3_lr

Q: When you bring a black finish or a high-contrast look to a space, what kind of style are you trying to achieve? Modern? Transitional? Traditional? Can it vary?

MDD: I always believe that the style imprint of any space is created by many architectural and decorative elements. In my view, black interior finish could be effectively used in a modern space as well as a transitional or even traditional space. It is simply a tool for refocusing the emphasis created by a door or window.

BB: Black interior finish is a current spin on a classic look, both contemporary and traditional. Black interiors replicate the feel of a European metal window as well as a painted Colonial sash in a traditional or historic application, while at the same time providing a modern interpretation. Painting a traditional double hung window black can bring it from the traditional to the transitional—a versatile nod to both styles.

Q: If you’re using black painted windows or doors in a home, what wall color(s) would you pair them with? Why? 

MDD: At heart I love detail, but often find that cohesion—and not contrast—provides the right answer. Black goes with many colors—I would love to actually do a room with it as a study in blacks and neutrals. But, I would avoid the more vivid and highly decorative citrus colors.

BB: As an interior designer, I believe there are no “wrong” colors. The selection of color is dependent on the client, the décor style and the location of the home. I can picture the windows and doors in black, trim in white (if applicable) and many possible color options for walls—grey, rust, blue, gold, aqua, Pantone Greenery, taupe, white and so on. They all would work beautifully.

Q: What advice would you give someone who is considering black painted windows or doors, but isn’t sure about the bold or high-contrast look?

MDD: I would suggest what I always suggest—work with a professional. Explore the options by looking at completed projects, doing searches and taking advantage of design or architecture professionals’ expertise that can illustrate the effect that a dark interior finish could have on your specific project. Don’t leap because something is in fashion. Examine the options, be confident in your choice and then just do it!

BB: I would tell them to not be afraid. Black is bold but it is both current and classic. It will add dimension to your space while enhancing your view, drawing your eye out through the window and beyond.

Posted by:Marvin

Marvin is a fourth-generation family-owned and -operated business, headquartered in Warroad, Minnesota, with more than 5,500 employees across 15 cities in North America. The Marvin portfolio of products for builders, architects and homeowners is designed to provide exceptional solutions for any project with a focus on creating better ways of living. Marvin products are distributed nationally through a network of independent dealers and are also exported internationally. Visit to learn more.

2 replies on “Designer Black Interior Finish: Not Just Another Neutral

  1. How do you know what size grills to use? I don’t want it to be overpowering on the inside while in close proximity but don’t want to lose it on the outside. The shaker style is a lit thicker looking on the inside versus the outside. I have some very large windows (76”) but also some small square casements.

Leave a Reply to Stacey Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s