Decorating with Black
September 18, 2013
It’s the great debate, is black truly a color? From a scientific perspective, to see and define color, you must have light. Artists and designers do consider black a color, however scientists do not because technically black is the absence of all color. When light shines on an object its true hue is revealed by the light bouncing off of it observed by the human eye.
Since color theory is based in human perception, it’s okay for us to refer to black as a “color” for purposes of interior design. Three adjectives come to mind with the discussion of decorating with black: glamorous, sophisticated, timeless. Think of the tuxedo, the grand piano, film noir, and black and white photography.
I’ve been exploring the obvious colors on the wheel in this continuing Color Series, but it does make sense to include black, white, and gray as a major players because of their impact when making choices in how to decorate homes and spaces.
When it comes to exteriors, what’s more classic than a glossy black front door and trim? I have a weak spot for black mullions, divided light windows, or French doors, and can’t wait to incorporate them into a future space design.
Black painted cabinets – yet another timeless choice, balance the drama with plenty of white and textural wood tones or woven pieces.
What happens when you paint the walls black? Drama, that’s what. If you have light furnishings and accessories, the black walls envelope a room and provide a gorgeous backdrop to show off all of those pale accents.
The same is true of black wallpaper in grasscloth or geometric prints, the dramatic impact of patterned or textured black walls is undeniable.
Who’s got a crush on black stripes? That would be me. Bold or thin, they’re a playful chic choice for furniture, rugs, and walls.
Another element that makes black special in interior design is its power to make a graphic statement. Textiles and tile are the perfect example!
As with any color, decorating with black can always be achieved in smaller or less permanent ways by incorporating accents or painted furniture.
Have you included shades of black in your home? Perhaps a painted or chalkboard wall? On cabinetry or with accessories?