The Drama of Black

So this is a bit of a selfish post.  My husband was being forced to watch one of my (many) PVR’d design shows not long ago and when it came to the reveal, he really didn’t like the black walls the designer had chosen to create and proceeded to tell me that he didn’t like black walls, period.  I was vociferously opposed to his view as I had been quietly harbouring dreams of painting some black walls in whichever new place we may be moving to in the near future.  He said absolutely not, he just doesn’t like them.  I said I would show him some fabulous rooms with black walls and convert him to a hip, black wall-lover.  So this post is really for him.  With some stuff for you thrown in there too!

What I love about black is that it is so dramatic and sophisticated.  It can instantly add strength to a space and it is classic.  Just think about all those LBDs us gals have been wearing for decades.  The black in this room is softened by the use of the natural materials in the blinds and the basket and by pairing it with a warm wood desk.

Black-Walls-3

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This space is just so glamorous with the contrasting black and white decor and the use of timeless furniture pieces.  Really nicely modernised with the cowhide zebra stripe rug and the slipcovered chair.

glamourous Black Walls

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This black entranceway designed by Kelly Wearstler allows all the graphic patterns and metallic finishes to shine while creating a striking backdrop.

kelly wearstler black entrance hall

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Black absorbs light, so black walls work really well in a space that receives a good amount of natural light. Though if you are aiming to create a warm, cave-like feel, black walls will make a calming choice.  In her book All About Colour, colour guru Janice Lindsay identifies that ‘black can feel like a security blanket, private and safe.’ Paint with a sheen to it will help move the light around the room, whereas a matte paint finish will fully absorb the light.  Matte paint will also hide more imperfections in the wall than a glossy finish will.

This space feels a bit cave-like to me.  Enveloping and cozy and inviting and what a beautiful creative space it would be to work in!

black office

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Here’s another warm and inviting space with very saturated hues mixed into the black room.

saturated red chair with black walls & fireplace

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This inviting black and white kitchen was posted by House Beautiful nearly 10 years ago and because of it’s ageless design and colour scheme it is still looking current.  To update this kitchen in the future, all you will likely need to do is change the pendant lights and a few accessories.

black & white kitchen

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Here is another classic kitchen design, but with a modern black ceiling.  There is much talk about what a black ceiling will do to a space.  I feel like it makes the ceiling disappear and therefore makes it seem much higher.  Others say the opposite, that it can bring the ceiling in and make the space feel more enclosed.  What do you think?

white kitchen with black ceiling

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Of course we all have black workhorses in our wardrobes – those outfits or pieces we turn to time and again because they work with everything.  I love this classic Chanel inspired boucle jacket paired with an edgy pair of leather skinnies and open toed boots.  Very chic.

All Black Outfit

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Model Karlie Kloss puts a spin on the classic black pants and white top by reversing it and wearing it for winter.

black top white pants winter

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How pretty is this elegant black party dress with the crushed velvet bodice and tulle skirt? It could easily have come out of the 1950s and would be a perfect Christmas or New Years party dress.

Classic black dress

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Marilyn Monroe wears a great little black dress here that is still fashionable today.  And aren’t those seams sexy?

marilyn monroe little black dress

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So what do you think about dramatic black?  Will it make the transition from your wardrobe and onto your ceiling or walls? Will it become as classic as it has in our wardrobes?

What’s the Difference Between Turquoise & Teal

Some friends and I were talking about colour the other day and all of a sudden I realised that we weren’t necessarily talking about the same colour.  Turquoise and teal seemed to be referred to interchangeably.

Since I’ve long loved both colours (though I hold a special kind of obsession for anything turquoise!), I thought it was a good excuse to dive into a turquoise & teal design world and so I began a little research to resolve the difference between the two hues. (Besides, the paper company GF Smith recently announced that Marrs Green, a very rich teal colour, is the ‘world’s favourite colour” after conducting an international online survey, so it’s good to know what everyone is loving so much!)

The Camgridge Dictionary defines teal as ‘a dark greenish-blue colour’, which, for any trivia buffs out there, I learned on wikipedia is named after the deep green-blue found around the eye of the common teal duck.

How gorgeous is this rich teal velvet sofa with that patterned wallpaper in the same hue? Hits of acid yellow and red punch up the colour scheme.

teal velvet sofa

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I love this classic entranceway in Paris with its dramatic teal door.

Paris door teal

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This is a beautiful teal wall colour paired with a more true-blue sofa, which helps create a layered feel. This pic also illustrates how teal can work with many other colours. And oooh that llama!

teal velvet sofa & teal walls

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This floral print wallpaper with its warm teal background is the perfect way to add some life to a small powder room.

teal floral wallpaper in powder room

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Teal vs Turquoise

Colour Experts Pantone describe turquoise (Pantone 15-5519 colour of the year in 2010) as ‘combining the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green’. This colour is still going strong in its popularity.  It’s named after the turquoise stone often worn as jewelry.

This is such a pretty turquoise and white kitchen, which looks amazing with those hexagonal terra cotta floor tiles.  Turquoise with corals and reds is such a great, welcoming colour combination. The hint of industrial in the stools and cement countertops keeps it feeling modern.

turquoise kitchen

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I feel like this dining room is channeling a little design icon Dorothy Draper with the use of the ornate, oversized white mirror, the large leaves and the cheerful turquoise walls and seat cushions.

turquoise dining room

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This is a happy little spot in a house with a turquoise cushion on the old rustic bench. This works particularly well because the turquoise is repeated in the artwork.

turquoise bench-1

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I’m in love with Kay’s pretty turquoise front door that she shares on her Instagram page @onceupona1912. It’s such a lovely colour to greet people with (Sherwin Williams Waterscape) and it looks great styled with the purple & pink flowers.

turquoise door onceupona1912

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Teal appeared on the red carpet a few years ago, which is why we are seeing its increased popularity in decor.  It seems to have some longevity in fashion though, perhaps because it is a universally flattering colour.  I love this teal print dress that Sarah Jessica Parker is wearing.  It is again paired with acid yellow, which really brightens it up.

Sarah Jessica Parker in teal dress

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This is a well put together outfit with the teal shirt dress and brown leather accessories.

teal tunic long boots outfit

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This teal jacket & blouse look so fresh paired with white pants.

teal jacket, teal blouse with white pants

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While I think this sweater comes more under the category of mint, it is in the turquoise family and the light shade looks so good paired with a pinky-beige jacket and white jeans.

mint pullover white jeans

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I love this icy combination of the turquoise knit winter coat with the white pants & blouse.  So pretty.

turquoise coat with white pants

So are you a teal lover or a turquoise gal? I have to say I really love both and they are such versatile colours that will go with just about any other colour in the spectrum.  Since they are flattering on every skin tone, I see their popularity lasting a long time. What about you?

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New York Fashion Week Street Style

There’s been so much buzz about New York Fashion Week and all of the fashion houses’ presentations, but there is a continuing interest in street style and how it inspires trends and design.  I’ve always been fascinated by what people wear and how they put a look together to represent themselves to the world. Below are some of the best street style pics I came across from New York Fashion Week.

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Rachel Zoe

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Are you inspired by any of these looks?  Or do the designers do more to inspire you?  Tell me what you think in the comments section.