Anthracite color: what it is, combination with other colors, and use in interior design

Modern palettes for interior design delight with a stunning variety. In them, you can see both pure and calm and shades of incredible beauty and complexity. The second group has many of its own “stars”. However, as the designers say, it is anthracite that arouses more and more interest. Dark and at the same time not depressing, ambiguous and straightforward, calm and neutral, but intriguing and mysterious – it will take many words to describe all the features of the anthracite color.

Because of this ambiguity, the shade, so beloved by fans of modern interiors, requires special attention when used in interior design and the selection of accessories. However, if you are already fascinated by the austere beauty of this sophisticated dark tone, let’s find out how to use it in your home design and with which colors it will create the most harmonious combinations.

What the anthracite color looks like: features

Anthracite is the oldest type of coal and is today considered the best in many characteristics, including high density and the ability to generate heat in large quantities. Outwardly, it is distinguished by deep gray-black color and expressive brilliance, which the coal of other rocks does not have.

It is from him that this beautiful dark gray shade with noticeable pearlescent reflections got its name. Thanks to these iridescent reflections, the color does not seem gloomy and depressing. On the contrary, it can add sophistication and chic even without luxurious volumetric textures and pretentious decor.

Some people confuse anthracite with graphite, but you can see a rather noticeable difference between them if you look closely. Graphite is closer to pure gray color and is more soft and dull, while anthracite is still noticeably darker and attracts the eye due to pearlescent notes.

Anthracite color pros

We can say with complete confidence that designers have never forgotten the shade of anthracite, but today it really is in the spotlight. Professionals actively use it for home interiors, decorated following the most relevant trends – the following advantages of color provide such demand:

  • Calming and relaxing effect. In the proper doses, anthracite pacifies and restores inner peace. According to psychologists, the contemplation of pearlescent reflections on a dark gray surface is so mesmerizing that you can not only relax but also find a solution to a problem that has been worrying you for a very long time.
  • Excellent combinatoriality. The anthracite shade is friendly to small and spacious rooms. You can combine it with warm and cold, light and dark, pastel and rich colors, and it becomes an excellent background for accessories of any texture.
  • No fear of bright colors. Choosing the right complement for rich, positive colors can be a headache – unless, of course, you think about anthracite. Turquoise, mustard, coral, emerald – dark gray can be both a partner color and an accent tone with any of them.

You should also note that the anthracite color is also relatively neutral in addition to its other advantages. By adding white and cream to it, you can get a truly gorgeous interior, as if descended from a picture of a graphic artist. However, more on that later.

How to use anthracite color in the interior?

The growing popularity of anthracite color has led to the emergence of many interior solutions and options for its use. All of them can be divided into three pretty large groups – according to the area of application of this dark gray shade. Let’s take a closer look at each group.

Anthracite walls

For a long time, designers have used anthracite anywhere but on walls. It was believed that this color was boring, unnecessarily austere, and in too much of it – extremely gloomy and depressive. However, trends tend to change as the worldview of their authors changes; therefore, it is not surprising that they began to treat the anthracite shade differently over time.

The growing popularity of minimalism, loft, and after them – of the Scandinavian style has led to a gradual departure from the light and romantic pastel colors, which, with all its merits, still awakened the desire for something more intense and characteristic. Anthracite is now viewed not as oppressive but as creating an atmosphere of security, tranquility, and stability. That is why it is recommended to paint the walls in this color in almost any home (and not so) rooms – living rooms, bathrooms, bedrooms, studios, and offices.

At the same time, it is absolutely not necessary to entirely paint the room in a noble charcoal color – an accent wall may well be enough for you. The best for this role is a plane located opposite the window (also veranda or terrace) or adjacent to the wall on which this window is located. Surfaces painted in anthracite will delight you with coziness and softness in the morning and stylish severity in the evening and will also become a great backdrop for light and colored furniture and accessories.

Anthracite furniture

Until recently, it was impossible to find furniture in anthracite color. However, the situation in the furniture market quickly adapted to current trends, which greatly simplified the life of fans of the trendy charcoal shade. Sofas and armchairs, kitchen cabinets and dining tables, dressers, and sideboards – the catalogs of most brands already include products in the palette you need.

The decor in an anthracite shade looks exceptionally stylish, but it is still better not to overdo it in this case. In order to stay in positions of harmony and not go into gloom and visual overload, you must follow a few simple rules:

  • Choose simple and precise geometric shapes. Excessive massiveness and multiple roundness of furniture in anthracite tones are acceptable only in very spacious rooms.
  • No decor. Excessive details risk making the anthracite background gloomy, overwhelming, or overly pompous.
  • The simpler the upholstery, the better. Of course, no one forbids you to find a luxurious velvet sofa in dark gray – and in the appropriate entourage, it will look pretty good. However, the smooth and dense lint-free materials best of all reveal the versatility of the anthracite shade.
  • Give preference to a light background. Dark on dark is, of course, bold and maybe even spectacular. However, designers still recommend placing anthracite furniture against a background of white, beige, or pale gray walls: such a visual technique will allow you to define the silhouette of each item more clearly, which looks mesmerizingly stylish.

The decision in favor of light accessories for furnishings in anthracite tones will be no less successful. Throw pillows in watercolors on the sofa or fluffy white bedspread on the bed are just a few examples of extremely successful contrasts.

Anthracite shade accessories

This pearl-charcoal shade is so democratic and self-sufficient that it may well not dominate but only remind of itself – and at the same time remain in sight. Designers recommend trying small accessories in anthracite color, both in light interiors and designs with a predominance of expressive colors. Frames for paintings, photos and mirrors, vases and figurines, sconces and table lamps, decorative pillows, and even towels in the bathroom – choosing these lovely little things in a dark gray tone, you will definitely not regret your decision.

What color goes with anthracite?

We have already mentioned above that the color of ancient coal can be in harmony with most colors and shades. However, among them, some tones can create mesmerizing and stunning combinations with anthracite. Let’s take a closer look at the most trending combinations.


If you have a vague idea of what color to choose as a partner for an anthracite shade, feel free to choose white and enjoy the result. In this case, even the proportions are unimportant. A white sofa against the background of an anthracite wall, an anthracite chest of drawers near white wallpaper, a photo in white frames on a surface painted with anthracite paint – in any case, it will turn out fresh, noble, and not boring at all.


Many are afraid of this combination since it sounds too gloomy to the ear. However, in this case, it is better to trust not the ears but the eyes. Examine the photos provided for inspiration, and you will understand how a harmonious union of brown and anthracite can create. Leather textures and metallic accents add remarkable sophistication and relevance to this combination, giving the anthracite color an impressive refinement and depth.


Sunny shades perfectly warm the dark gray tone, relieve it of gloom and add positiveness. Anthracite, in turn, balances the yellow, preventing it from “roaming” and getting tired. The color ratio is also up to you: you can use anthracite accents in a bright yellow kitchen or put furniture in bold summer tones against an anthracite wall. Designers love to use these combinations in kitchens and living rooms.


A lovely pale green shade with subtle gray tones can be in absolute harmony with anthracite. At the same time, they work great in any proportion: mint refreshes, adds sophistication and positivity, while anthracite balances and provides a calm nobility. If you have not yet seen a mint sofa against the background of an anthracite wall or a coal-colored console in an area covered with mint wallpaper, consider that you do not know everything about modern interiors.

Deep red

Not enough brightness, but you also have no desire to give up quiet elegance? Then you can try a very extravagant experiment and combine anthracite and red. In this case, the first must undoubtedly be the leader since an excess of red can irritate.

If you find the result too cocky, add white, cream, or pale gray for balance. And by the way, do not use a combination of red and anthracite in the bedroom: it may look stylish, but visual comfort, in this case, is difficult to guarantee.

Navy blue

Oh, this elegant calmness and mystery, which are so fond of minimalism and neoclassicism – and we, too, cannot remain indifferent to such interiors. It is very easy to recreate a sophisticated atmosphere with a combination of trendy navy blue and equally stylish anthracite color. Add wood textures, metal lamps, heavy tonal textiles, and transparent vases on the fireplace mantel – and feel like the hero of a fashionable modern novel.


You can hardly choose a more successful background for decor, lamps, and furniture elements made of metal than anthracite. The pearlescent dark gray color enhances the metallic sheen and emphasizes the fashionable silhouette of each piece, creating a sophisticated atmosphere with understated chic notes. Anthracite shade is combined with the most relevant metal textures:

  • bronze;
  • copper;
  • brass;
  • silver and chrome;
  • light and rose gold – matte and glossy.

The depth, mystery, and versatility (in the best sense of the word) of anthracite color made it possible to include it in the palette for the most modern trends in design – minimalism, loft, industrial, modern and hi-tech. Smart combinations with other tones and tastefully selected accessories highlight the beauty of anthracite, based on which noble, elegant, and stylish solutions are possible.

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