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Posts Tagged ‘Black’

Black has always been my go-to color for kitchen appliances, accent pieces, even some accessories and furnishings (I love my little black telephone table in my office.), but I’ve been thinking bigger lately. Chalkboard walls were all the rage for a time, but black walls and accent pieces are just begging to be painted in this deep, rich, mysterious shade sans chalk. Think walls, trim, bookcases, furniture, window panes, chairs… the list goes on and on.

You may think the black bar cart above gets lost against the room’s black backdrop, but look again. Reflective surfaces (the mirror, the glasses, the picture frames), bright accents (lots of brass), and a hint of color (the bottles, flowers, artwork) all contribute to keeping this display from looking flat and lifeless. As I’ve told my students many times, don’t think of black as a dark color, think of black as the night sky. It’s infinite and the possibilities are endless.

Show off collectibles against a black wall if you have bright metal or light wood bookcases.

Small rooms look beautiful in dark colors. Too keep the room from looking like a cave, pay attention to the colors on the floor and ceiling.

Black woodwork is more dramatic than brown. If you’re lucky enough to have built-in bookshelves, consider painting them black instead of white. A room with a good amount of natural light and plenty of artificial light will keep these rooms from disappearing.

Black makes colors pop. Just like white, the contrast between these bold colors and the black walls allow you to choose brighter hues. Imagine if these colors were set against white walls, they wouldn’t have nearly the same impact. (In my classroom all of my color boards are black and the students use black boards for projects.)

Color Inspiration

BM 2132-10 Black, RAL9004 Signal Black, Crown Diamond 7065-64 Black Orchid

Martha Stewart 8415 Lampblack, SW6990 Caviar

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Did you know that Queen Victoria wore black exclusively for almost 40 years? She turned mourning into an Art form after her husband, Prince Albert, died.  New fashions were created, and black jewelry (Jet, Onyx etc) were more popular than ever before.

This trend continued until she passed away. Eager to leave black behind, the former Victorians celebrated with pretty furnishings and decadent lifestyles. But, their colorful reprieve did not last long; Wars began, and England entered a very turbulent time. Black became synonymous with grief, disease and War, extreme times of hardship.

Now, many years later, women covet the LBD (Little Black Dress), but the color black, in furnishings, is still approached hesitantly. It sounds somber, and people worry that it will be too harsh, or overwhelm a room. But, used correctly, black can be one of our favorite accessories.

Many designers swear that every room should have a touch of black, and, as I go through my decorating adventures I tend to agree with them. Black brings gravity to a room; even the smallest piece will provide an inexplicable anchor that pulls an otherwise humdrum room together.

If you are adding it to a very light-colored room, then several small touches of black may be needed, one piece may not be enough to give you balance. But, in a more colorful home a simple picture frame or a lamp stand may be just enough. Even the tiniest black, brush stroke on a painting will bring more depth to a space.

When England finally recovered from the Second World War, they celebrated with color! Black was almost discarded, and everything in their world became lighter (fabrics, colors, jewelry, shapes, furniture).

We live in a time where color and design choices are infinite, a Queen does not dictate how we decorate our homes. Therefore, be bold, add a little touch of black, and watch your room come alive.

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