Black to Basics

old wooden door

I was just touring a 200 year old home and it was truly an enjoyable little step back in time. Honestly though, in my opinion, a lot of the decorating details were better off left back in time. But there were two outstanding and enduring features that I just can’t stop thinking about. The first to grab my attention were the oversized very dull and obvious black wrought iron chandeliers – so solid and imposing, so grounding for a room. Black hanging in the center of every room and it was wonderful.

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The second thing, to literally make my heart skip a beat, was the black and white checkerboard tiled floor. That floor was unforgettable. I imagined the black patent shoes and the changing lengths of skirts gliding over that floor, from the skimming steps of the Quadrille to the tickity tick of the ragtime craze, to the roaring twenties and with its Lindy Hop and Jitterbug. The preferred cocktails of the day have changed, the art gracing the walls has changed, the rage of different accent colours have come and gone but the black of the floor with its contrasting white has remained constant and classic and that’s somehow comforting.

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Those rooms, featuring differing shades of black when you looked up and when you looked down, were framed with the continuity of timelessness.

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I’m noticing the ways others have incorporated more of that traditional black to their living spaces – groupings of hand painted black frames, black bed sheets, black bath towels or wrought iron table bases and mirror frames. Another idea is a solid black painted wall as a backdrop for your entertainment center making it feel like a private home theatre, or for your collection of kitchen gadgets and appliances stored on stainless steel shelving, or for your home office. Adding more black has a unifying effect on any space.

Black isn’t really back. Black never left.

Black & White Still Life

Man adjusting black bow tie

Black hanging chandelier

Piano man

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Written by Gwen Prince

Gwen Prince

Gwen Prince, Colour Stylist for General Paint, has 21 years in the colour and paint industry. Colour is her passion and she is a self proclaimed paint geek.

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