It’s been said before:
It’s been said before:
While we all know black is a great color in fashion, what about fashion's sister, interior décor? Several articles on the subject will compare a black-heavy décor to interior design's little black dress. But is that accurate? The little black dress is a guaranteed standby that always looks great and is never questioned. A black room is a bold leap into the unknown, a daring vault into drama. Put another way, fashion is the clothes you live in for a day; décor is a room you live in every day of your life. Is black too dark for a home?
This seems to be the common line on the subject. Obviously, it's subjective, but it's also true that there's a growing body of evidence (i.e. pictures on the interwebs) that suggests the answer is heck no. Often thought to be too gloomy, we’re all past that now. Abigail Aherne and many other bold and visionary designers have proven over and over that dark interiors can and do look amazing. Not only that, we now have people pulling off black houses and other dark exteriors.
There are two key tips to pulling it off with panache. The first is that rooms with ample natural light are the ideal place to try it out. The second, applicable no matter what the room or size or amount of daylight, is to add architectural details. Black excels in décor when it is part of something with texture and intrigue: tiles, marble, mill work, etc. Giving visual interest, depth, and complexity to black surfaces results in a feeling of heady opulence. With paint, go for a glossier finish so it reflects light.
Design: Brit Arnesen of Brit Dot Design
As these shots show, the bathroom is an excellent space to give into your dark urges. Whether it's through a paint choice, a tile install, or an opulent marble, black elevates the bathroom, making it an intimate palace of self-care. A smaller bathroom or even powder room is enhanced both by the bold drama and its warm, enwombing effects.
There are several ways to introduce black to your interior, depending on your comfort level. Rather than completely enveloping yourself in black, you might consider an accent wall, or some basic pieces to ground the space, such as black moulding, black picture frames, and black finishes on faucetry and cabinetry pulls or the lighting fixtures. Black almost always provides a necessary counterweight, something to balance the space, keep it from floating away.
If drenching a room in black is taking it too far for you, and accents and finishes are too light, the best middle ground is to paint the cabinetry black. If you have cabinetry under the sink in the bathroom, or an island in the kitchen, painting everything under the surface black anchors the space.
Another option for the kitchen is to give black some serious space through the refrigerator and other appliances, then connect it with windowsills, chairs, and subtle tie-ins for a sense of unity.
Spaces like the kitchen and the bathroom are one thing, but what about bedrooms, that place we slip into when night reigns? Veronica Solomon of Casa Vilora went for bold and she went all the way with this incredible bedroom she recently did for the One Room Challenge. It's her own bedroom, and she brought her love for black-and-brass, dramatic fixtures (in this case, HVL's Dunkirk), objets d'art, decorating books, and different layers and textures to bear on the project. If you love dark colors, if you want elegant contrast, there's no reason a black bedroom can't work for you. To learn more about Veronica's bedroom and the ORC, see our post here.
It's no secret the black and white and brass together is a great look, and utilitarian spaces such as the bathroom and kitchen are especially good for it. Another space that has the potential to be transformed to an elegant space with a generous dose of black and some choice brass fixtures is the laundry room.
Of course, that tile install is everything in this cool laundry room. But black cabinetry with brass pulls and the addition of Modernist wall sonces such as HVL's Archie make for an amazing space.
How do you feel about black interiors? Is there a space in your home that needs a dark makeover? Will black and white and brass ever go out of style? Let us know by joining the conversation on our Instagram accounts: