Lights make everything magical (Photo by Maria Killam)
Today is my 13th year of writing this blog. I had no idea where my little blog with this header would take me 13 years ago. I always forget until the day is upon us, that not only is it Halloween, my LEAST favourite holiday, it’s also the day I started writing my blog. Makes sense that I started a blog because I wasn’t out celebrating the scariest day of the year.
This weekend, I received this comment on the blog:
Curious if you’d be willing to share your advice/opinion on whether you think it would be too much to do an all black office (think moody) with a white office across the hallway with only a black ceiling to sort of tie in with the black in the office across the way? I am trying not to make every design choice be black, but I love black and white and so I’m finding myself gravitating towards it knowing that I may be inching towards too much!
And the answer is:
YES. And you’re not only ‘inching’ towards an all black room, you’re ‘skyrocketing towards it’ 🙂 If the room is all black, it’s not too much anymore, it’s at the very end of much.
I’m fascinated that during the brown or grey trend from the last 20 years, this statement:
“Maria, is it too much to do an ALL BROWN, or ALL GREY room?”
I’m still percolating on why this obsession with all white or all black rooms is even a thing. But in the meantime, instead of warning you against the perils of an all black room, been there, done that here, here and here, I’m just going to show you how to do it so that you still love it when it’s done.
The designer who has never stopped pitching dark, dramatic black and moody rooms is Abigail Ahern,
“Paint is the cheapest and most transformative change you can make to any room,” the designer points out. “It’s a game-changer. When you go dark, you suddenly create this vibe that almost exaggerates coziness; you just want to hunker down and never want to leave. I am obsessed with inky hues. Why? Because anything you put against these bottom-of-the-lake greens, browns, grays, blacks, and blues actually looks and feels grander than it really is,” she says
An all black room needs texture
And it works for Abigail because she adds loads of texture. It’s a moody look, and you want to create some softness and mystery. If you don’t make use of the shadows, the look will be flat or too graphic.
Add colour to your room with all black walls
Colour brings all neutral rooms to life, but if you’re going to introduce it in a mostly black room, make sure to add plenty of white. Remember black and orange is halloween and black and yellow creates a bumblebee effect. Same goes for outfits.
Don’t forget to add leopard, it picks up the black and it looks amazing against jewel tones like fuschia:
Add white and gold to your all black room
Another reason why gold hardware, accents, frames, furniture, is here to stay is because it’s required to warm up black.
I recently painted my kitchen island forest green (aka hunter green from the 80s) and when the painter installed my chrome hardware back onto the drawers, I immediately wished they were gold. And of course that’s how I was used to seeing that shade of green in the 80s.
Paint your already dark room a dramatic colour (black, if you must)
Paint your dark, north facing room black.
It makes no sense to paint a light filled room black. Ever sat facing a window in a super dark restaurant during the day? The light from the windows streaming in creates glare. I don’t know about you, but it hurts my eyes.
A light filled room needs pale colours so they can come out and play during the day.
If you like STUFF, a dark, moody, possibly black room is for you
Abigail Ahern’s home is filled with urns and faux flowers and fabulous accessories. But imagine the vignette on this mantel surrounded by stark white walls.
It would start to look super cluttered.
If you have a home or a room filled with fabulous collectables, black walls with small lights inserted behind all your accessories is a fabulous idea.
Add lamps and twinkle lights to your dark and moody room
Perfect example that proves this statement is true. Don’t ever go to your favourite dark night club during the day when the janitor’s there and all the lights are on.
At night, when all the mood lighting is glowing? Magical. You won’t see any cheese lights at a night club until it’s time to go home, OR the cleaning crew arrives.
If you don’t follow the above advice, your all black room will just be black. Dark. And Sad. (below).
Over to you my lovelies, any ideas why all black rooms are trending but no one was this excited about all grey or all brown rooms back when those colours were trending? I’m trying to understand the psychology of it all.
We just finished our 6th virtual Specify Colour with Confidence workshop last week! We will announce Spring dates shortly!