This is now the third time I have posted about using black in kitchen design. It hadn’t occurred to me before but it seems pretty clear that I should try to work black into my next kitchen. One of the random little things I remember from the interior design classes I took is the idea that every room should have at least a little bit of black. I’m not sure if this is something most interior designers live by but my instructor seemed pretty confident about it and I think she was spot on. I find black to be grounding, dramatic, modern, and somehow calming. My eye likes to rest on black. It’s a fantastic neutral that works beautifully with of course white and virtually any other color as well. Yes even brown wood tones.
A lot of people are a little afraid of black. It wouldn’t be classified as a “safe” color and it’s not commonly used where I’m from, certainly not in large doses like on cabinetry. To avoid making your room feel too dark you can balance it out with plenty of lighter surfaces as they’ve done in the above kitchen. Good natural light (and artificial as well) also keeps black from feeling overly heavy.
Honestly I kind of like the heaviness of black. As long as the rest of the room is well decorated, moody dark walls or cabinets can create a cozy feeling. If you’re not convinced check out Kim of desire to inspire’s near-black living room. So lovely!
one | Blair Harris via desire to inspire
two | Blakes London via blood and champagne
three | Claire Delmar via french by design
These images are mocking me today because the only place I feel like being is in bed. I was bit by a cat (not my own) two days ago, which might not sound like a big deal but deep cat bites can get infected very easily. According to the doctor I saw 85% of them do. Fortunately so far I am not seeing signs of a serious infection, and I’m taking antibiotics to keep it that way. The worst part has been the pain in my arm from a tetanus shot. I feel rather pitiful.
I am enamored with “messy” beds. Certainly someone did take the time to style these photos but it’s not too hard to pull off the half-fixed bed look especially if you have bedding that works well for it. I registered for some nice black linen bedding and I’m so hoping we receive it. That would be a major upgrade from the cover-less white duvet and scratchy pink blanket we’re currently using.
This bedroom is a little too pristine looking for me but all is forgiven when black walls, fuzzy throws, and hints of brass are involved. Phenomenal use of varying textures here.
one | The Design Files
two | Petra Bindel and Emma Persson Lagerberg via blood and champagne
three | Holiday House Hamptoms via dustjacket attic
The interior design images I am most consistently enthralled by are the quirky ones. The ones full of personality and bold pieces. The ones that give you the impression that the person that lives there is cuckoo in the best possible way. This of course should be tempered with a certain level of taste and grounded with some timeless elements. I say that somewhat reluctantly because truly I believe you should decorate in whatever way makes you happiest, even if many might not call it tasteful. You do you. Especially if that includes little clothed duck dolls perched inside a glass cloche display.
There are not many who have the gumption to use a wallpaper like this. I don’t think I do. But man do I respect it. You can see that the entire room is not wallpapered (at least the wall to the left is white) which was definitely a good call. Stepping into a whole room of that might feel like what I imagine taking acid feels like. The floor is also a clean white, so clearly these folks understand the benefit of balancing quirky with timeless. The Andy Warhol hearts artwork perfectly breaks up the wall of flowers creating a welcome break and focal point for your eyes.
This bedroom vignette isn’t too wacky, but it definitely has personality to spare. Can we talk about the “cat” artwork with a man’s face superimposed over the cat’s? So silly and usual, and undoubtedly can make a person smile every time they see it. I’m realizing that that table lamp is a lot like one I just bought for a song at the antiques mall. It’s also a brass base but in a different shape. Didn’t come with a shade. I popped a vintage style Edison bulb on it and suddenly it’s the most charming little table lamp you ever did see. The base literally cost like two bucks. When I saw the price tag I said out loud to myself, “Why yes I will buy you for two dollars adorable little table lamp!” Please tell me I’m not the only one that gets goofy at the antique store.
one | Milk via desire to inspire
two | Lonny via desire to inspire
three | Old Brand New
If you live somewhere that’s seen a lot of snow this week, you’re probably already sick of hearing about and dealing with it. So I won’t elaborate about how much it sucks and instead let’s focus on the lovely idea of curling up at home and ignoring the swirling snow globe landscape out the windows.
This rooms dark walls are very appealing to my eyeballs today. All that bright snow reflecting outside is giving me a headache. Draw the curtains, dim the lights, and get to know your sofa a little better.
I love the personality of this room and it certainly looks like a place I could hibernate in, though I require a comfier sofa and the ability to put my feet up. I never tire of textural treatments on walls and the subtle two-tone look applied here elevates everything. A cozy, quirky room is just what the doctor ordered for me right about now.
one | Pennyweight
two | Jake Curtis
three | Design*Sponge
Usually the design for children that catches my eye is on the neutral side; cute and comfortable but with a sophisticated grown-up undertone and maybe just some pops of color. Then every once in a while I see rooms like these that are brightly colorful and definitely “kiddish”. When done well they are wonderful too! I mean, ice cream cone bedding? Adorable.
This is honestly a little too much color for me. It’s the peach wall that puts it over the top. If it was a super soft, light peach I’d be more on board. But that rug is so fun and of course the tent is awesome.
The color in this room is dialed back but it’s still very playful and sweet. Say yes to mint green hutches. I love wallpaper for a kid’s room. Anewall has some very cool options, I adore their affordable murals!
one | Sack Me! via The Design Files
two | The Design Files
three | Lantliv via Lina Ostling
While I love and appreciate rooms that are minimalist, rustic, or laid-back bohemian, I also love and appreciate maximalism and refined luxury. The room above is a bit of an enigma for me because when I focus on individual pieces there’s actually quite a lot I don’t love. Those curtains are giving off an odd yellowy glow that seems to throw off the the color scheme of the whole room. The artwork on the left wall is meh. The chairs while nice look like you could find them at a cheap furniture outlet. And yet it all works together somehow. Or maybe I just really love that chandelier because I do really love that chandelier.
Now that is some maximalist luxury. I would like to shake the hand of the person that had the guts to combine all these elements together and in a building with such traditional architecture. Would I decorate like this in my own home? I can say with some certainty no, I would not. But I love examples of decorating that are so bold and personal and fun. If you love it, just go for it! Of course to get a chandelier like that you will need to be filthy rich, keep that in mind.
This room is less traditional, but still luxurious and wonderful. I wish we had more than a peek of that crystal chandelier because you know me and crystal. A moth to the flame. Can we talk about this wall treatment? First of all the deep blue is a gorgeous color, and I am so mesmerized by the seemingly free-handed texture and stamping. Risk taking really really pays off sometimes. Gorgeous mid century furniture and pretty vintage portraits don’t hurt either!
one | Blair Harris, photo by Nick Johnson
two | NY Mag
three | Dirk-Jan Kinet for Spanish Architectural Digest via desire to inspire