“I’ve been 40 years discovering that the queen of all colours was black.”
Black… Black… Black for an interior is the epitome of sophistication, elegance and conceptual depth, while simultaneously adding a sharply edged, timeless freshness. Yes, Black CAN be moody. Yes, Black CAN be dramatic. Yes, Black CAN be very overpowering when used randomly or indiscriminately. However, when used with purpose and conviction, Black is intensely sexy (with a capital S) and visceral in an interior envelope.
The depth and power of the colour black focuses our attention on specifics in a space as if the details in the room have become highlighted or illuminated by a microscope, thus drawing attention to the details of a space while simultaneously adding excitement and a touch of intrigue. Another unique power of the colour black is its ability of both enhancing and clarifying all other colours in a room. This is because we psychologically view Black as authoritative and powerful; thereby it acts like a grounding agent for every other colour that surrounds it, giving them a powerful clarity. Technically speaking of course, black represents a lack or absence of colour, but let’s not get into the PotaTO versus PoTATo argument.
Black on Black kitchen designed by Kelly Wearstler
Personally I adore the dramatic and transformative effect that using black gives a space which is ESPECIALLY compounded in a smaller space like an Entrance Hall, Study or Foyer. Try pairing a rich black like “Black Satin” by Benjamin Moore in a scrub-able flat with crisp, satin finish white trim (Oxford White) for the mouldings and accents. For a more moody and modern effect, try painting out the entire room in black (walls and all trim) and then do a massive gallery wall installation with thicker neutral matting and metallic frames. My favourite though would HAVE to be BLACK high gloss lacquer spray finish for your walls… almost like an obsidian mirror (TRULY an Alice in Wonderland magical effect). From classic/traditional to crisply modern to DRAMATIC, all looks can work beautifully with black, JUST plan the details beforehand and you will create a captivating, sophisticated and seductive space.
TIPS on selecting the RIGHT shade of Black
Remember that the shade and finish of black that’s right for your room will vary GREATLY depending upon the light in your home so try several paint samples on the wall and examine them at various times throughout the day. It is important to see it BOTH in daylight and incandescent lighting at night.
To keep the mood of your room light, sexy and fresh, rather than somber, try painting out the ceiling a sharp coral colour or perhaps an icy blue or a cadmium yellow. The colour on the ceiling lightens the room while also lifting the eye, making your ceiling feel taller and further away, giving a smaller space a more spacious sensibility. When in doubt with black… go HIGH-GLOSS for a dark, dramatic effect.
Some of my MUST HAVE Blacks
Black Satin #2131-10 by Benjamin Moore – RICH, serene, elegant and complex. THIS is a fantastic choice for your walls especially when used in a scrub-able flat finish to give it superior visual depth.
Phelps Black #DC-22 by Benjamin Moore – A sophisticated and sharp yet not overpowering black, this one works especially well in glossier finishes.
OFF-Black by Farrow & Ball – A soft black that blends beautifully with other colours.
Soot #2129-20 by Benjamin Moore – This is a gorgeous charcoal hued black that feels natural, warm and very inviting.