A photo of a dark-painted room the owners loved inspired designer Miranda Cullen, principal and co-founder of Duet Design Group, to choose Sherwin Williams’ Black of Night (a true black) for the couple’s master-bedroom walls. The effect, perhaps surprisingly, is pure serenity: “It tones down the space and allows it to feel more restful,” Cullen says. Here, the designer’s advice for getting this look just right.

Clean-lined nightstands by Bassett Mirror Company and lamps by Visual Comfort play off of an upholstered bed. Photo by Susie Brenner

Be meticulous about matching tones. To create subtle contrast against the room’s dark walls, Cullen moved down the color gradient and chose light gray hues in (this next part is key) similarly cool tones for the bed linens, chair upholstery, and draperies. “The room starts with black and fades to gray,” she says.

“Frame” the room with accent color. “In a tone-on-tone room with pops of color or white,” Cullen says, “you want to make sure the accents are balanced, not coming out of nowhere.” Case in point: Though the Visual Comfort bedside lamps would have felt random as isolated strokes of white, they work well when paired with cream-striped bedding and crisp ceilings and trim.

Go easy on the pillows. A pair of decorative shams plus a small accent pillow (all from Easter Accents’ linen collection) are a simple way to style the bed.

Make space to unwind. The seating arrangement near the large window is the perfect spot for an evening chat or a nightcap. The chairs’ pinstripe fabric rounds out the room’s shades-of-gray scheme, and the magenta ottoman and pillows give just the right amount of punch.