Q: When I was in high school I really wanted to paint my room all black, but my parents hated the idea. Now, I have a husband, a house, and three kiddos and I still want to paint something black! I’m seeing lots of pictures now with black accent walls, cabinets, or other furniture. I am especially thinking about the kitchen island to break up all the white.

A: Black is definitely the new black these days, and it’s definitely a bold move. Gray has been capturing all the headlines and trend reports for years now, and many who are looking for a little more drama are choosing darker grays and blacks for walls and cabinets. If you want to stay in your house for a few years, it’s totally worthwhile to personalize your space, and paint, as you probably know, is an easy way to change up the feel of any room.

Black has been a great way to accent the popular whites in the latest farmhouse and industrial looks as accents in window frames, metal finishes, and in graphic black and white artwork. And cabinets are a great place to play with color, especially at the island!

If your cabinets are a laminate or finished wood, any paint you use directly on the surface may peel and rub off easily, maybe within weeks. Your cabinets will look worse than before you started. You will spend much, much more time cleaning up that ugly mess.

Take a cabinet door to your local paint store and ask for an opinion. The staff will suggest the right materials and tools to use for best results. Then test the process by working on the back side of a door to see how the paint takes.

Try a soft, satiny, warm black or very dark gray for starters -- not too shiny and not too dull. A shiny finish will highlight any imperfections in the surface, while a satin or matte finish will be more forgiving and feel warmer.

Have a design dilemma? Jennifer Adams is an award-winning designer, TV personality and author of the book “Love Coming Home: Transform Your Environment. Transform Your Life.” Send your questions to AskJennifer@JenniferAdams.com or for more design ideas, visit Jennifer’s blog on her website at www.jenniferadams.com.