Sunday, November 6, 2011

Black Walls

I know this is a little lame post but I've been sick this week so this is all I've got.

A few weeks ago when I showed the Middle Bedroom, Razmataz said she thought my style reminded her of Tommy Smythe.  I know Tommy Smythe from Sarah's House (whose work I love) but I had never seen any of Tommy's work.  Everything I saw was great, especially this 180-square-foot apartment of Tommy's with black walls.

I really love this room.  I'm not sure I would have thought to pair black walls with darkly finished wood pieces but I think it's really handsome.

I probably would have deferred to a black and white color scheme but wood furniture seems to really glow and I love the use of the persian carpet and the graphic red and white quilt.

I've always wanted to have a room with dark walls but I feel one dark room might need to be balanced by other dark walls around the house to balance it out.

Here's a few other black-walled rooms that I love.

This one's a little monochromatic but I do love the vignette at the bottom of the bed.

I've seen this vignette all over blogland and pinterest lately.


Love, love, love.

I'm seeing black and orange a lot lately.

Here's a room from this year's Highpoint from my friend Carol's (formerly of Sofas and Sage) new blog House and Home Defined.  I've also always wanted an orange room....the color of Chicken Tikka Masala.

Great foo dog vignette.

I'd love to spend my weekends getting cat hair out of this rug.

This might be a really, really dark green...but nice room.

Since my ceilings are low, I think I'd lave to paint my base moldings black as well.  I do like the casings painted black and I've always loved black window mullions.

I think Mary McDonald's drapes... 

...would look great in this room.

Could you ever have a black room?

Or do you think they're better to look at than live with?

P.S. Oh, after the Tommy Smythe room, I stole all this stuff off Pinterest.  Pinterest makes it really easy to find inspiration photos.  I just searched black walls and I found all these places.

I said it was lame.


  1. It's not lame - I'm sick too - and I think it's fabulous! I don't know if I could do a black room in my house, it looks great though if it's done right.

  2. I love to look at them. To live in them would be a different matter. I feel they must be squeeky clean at all times to work.
    I would like a guest bathroom in black

    Great post and wonderful images
    Helen xx

  3. A friend of mine has a very dark chocolate living room. It's a small room and is very cozy, with pops of color. I especially like the picture you have with the yellow ottoman :). Hope you are feeling better!

  4. Good morning! First, I hope you're feeling better! Actually it's not a lame post AT ALL!!! I also love Sarah's work, and I think Tommy is very talented as well.

    A black/dark room is something I have really never considered, I guess that's because I'm a "light" hound! I love light. BUT, now that I've seen these photos, I would consider it for a study. I'm envisioning charcoal grey walls, with lighter grey wainscoting or bead-board on the bottom - see I still can't do all dark! LOL!!!

    Thank you for the inspiration! Have some chicken soup!

  5. i would and i do. i love curling up in that room even though it is larrys office. it is so cozy and the black walls make everything just stand out more. i love these images and am going to pass them on to alex who is thinking of painting his new apt black. this wasn't lame. mediocre maybe but not lame. feel better.

  6. First...Tommy and to look at black rooms and they are so cozy, but I don't think it would work with my house I would enjoy it in a study though...

  7. great choices....feel better!....smiles

  8. lame, lame, lame.

    I'm pinning the bedroom one with the vintage typewriter.
    I wonder if Lowes will mix my grey paint into black for me?

  9. Sick? I would have sent soup.

    Black walls absolutely. The GF would Hate it though.

    2 million years ago i lived in a big old house by Wayne state U. in Detroit.

    One weekend I painted the bathroom a flat black and the footed tub silver on the outside. It looked fabulous. My roommates thought I had lost my mind.

    You and Janet would have loved it.

    feel better soon. xo Jane, GG and Nika

  10. I am in the process of planking my central room with dark stained wood: I realised the rest of the house is so light it is relentless. So far I love it, it is restful, a good background.

    The same room used to be IronBru orange, and that was good too!

  11. I'm thinking about the light aspect for photos, but I'm not chic enough for a black room in my little house. We're too messy!

  12. Shelley,

    I don't think you have to be chic, a black room transforms you into chic.

    I hope.


  13. These were exciting rooms to look at. I remember agreeing to my 14 year olds request to have a black room. Well I wish I never did it~it is a depressing color for a kid...soon had to repaint it! Not cool or chic at all. Now, those rooms with the brass and the mirrors and the leopard~very chic!!

  14. But would the dust show more, that's what I want to know! As a lover of all things orange, it's amazing I don't have an orange room in my house. Regarding that black and orange shot from High point, it made it very clear to me when I was in it that the exact tone of orange hast to be perfect with black or you will dns up with perpetual Halloween. That orange in real life was red-orange and it was gorgeous. Yellow orange would have been horrible.

    Great post. I love daydreaming!

  15. Hey Steve,
    I actually just finished a client bedroom with black walls. It came together beautifully.

    I hope you get to feeling better, soon. And BTW, if this is a lame post - stay away from my blog for the next few months.

    I have to leave to go to back to Texas for a while to help my mom take care of my stepdad, and rather than stopping all together I figure these inspiration posts would be a good idea.

    And you sourced my "secret" for finding all of them! LOL! Gotta love that pinterest and the way it's all cataloged for easy theivery! hehehe.


  16. Oh, and BTW, if you're thinking of going black - look at Martha Stewart's Silhouette. It's PERFECT!

  17. I don't think I could have a dark walled room, but I think they are LOVELY and SMART. I would enjoy visiting a home that can pull off the look.

    I think this is a great post, not lame at all.

    Feel better soon.
    From Virginia

  18. There is always the option of a single well-chosen black or other dark-colored wall.

    Get well soon.

  19. I have a black powder rom and it's everyone's favorite! it does not look smaller, the walls seem to go away. ( An old theater trick). :)
    xo Dianne

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  21. I love dark colored rooms. I see them as cozy as opposed to a happy, light filled space. I have one dark brown room and a my library is going to be painted Chinese red which is pretty near orange.
    I don't exactly understand the concern about keeping these dark rooms clean. In my experience, they should be as clean as everything else. Are there degrees of clean?

  22. having a masculine aesthetic i adore black walls. great images, pinetrest or not

  23. Not lame at all, Steve. We've talked about his subject, and I still can't decide if you need other dark rooms to balance it all out...If you go dark, I'll think you are incredibly brave. Tommy Smythe --- he's good stuff.

  24. How do I miss your posts and become the 300th person to comment. Sorry to hear you are sick, poor dear.

    I love black walls but I don't have the house for them. The house needs to have character - small, odd, tall, etc. and you need to have really great stuff I think (which you do).

    Tommy is great. When I read about his 180ft2 apartment I thought "exactly how cheap is Sarah?" for not paying him enough to get a proper apartment. She has like a billion dollars and about 10 houses (and a rich husband never hurts).

    Ok, I am drifting off topic. Sorry you are ill. I would make a chicken soup for you if you lived closer...

    xo Terri

  25. 301st here.
    I hope you are better.
    I love black rooms. I've had a black bathroom (tiled with squares of marine ply) for the last ten years and it's worked very well. Shows every speck of dust, mind you, so on cranky days it's best to remove specs on entering. I also have two almost-black rooms (a sort of crushed blackberry) as well and they're fabulous. I don't know why everyone seems to think you need to be ultra clean and tidy for it to work (other than the dust) - I'm neither and they do. A bit of good natural light works wonders, though, snaking its way over walls and floors throughout the day.

  26. Perhaps then I am lame as well as this is my first visit to your blog and already, I'm loving it. Black walls? Oh yes please - I painted one wall in my bedroom black and I love it (I would have gone the whole hog but my bf put a stop to that - instead the other walls are light grey). I plan on introducing some dark stained furniture because as you said, it just adds a gorgeous masculine touch.

    These images rock my world. Feel better soon x

  27. Sorry you've been sick. I love the black walls in the photos but I don't think I could do it. My sis-in-law has dark brown walls in her den and they are wonderful. Feel better soon!

  28. I have a black dining room. We it painted back in 2004 matte and gloss stripes. Still love it. Since I usually entertain at night it is very dramatic. I have gold framed art and mirror with a gilt wood carved chandlier. I added bronze silk panels with mahogany table and chairs. It is a color that never dates.
    Feel better soon. Enjoy your blog
    and love your home.

  29. SO NOT LAME! Loved this post. Thank you so much for your comment on my back dining room....super sweet, especially being sick! Hope you are all better very soon

  30. I do love the sophistication of a black room and I definitely see black walls in my future.

    Love that comment about the cat hair on the rug. I have 3 cats and I can imagine what a fur trap that rug is! Too funny!

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

  31. I agree with the other comments - not lame at all! I definitely have big plans for a lot of black in my next house...I love it shiny and glossy or matt and chalky...gorgeous examples!

  32. Black, yes. all black no. Too depressing. Ann

  33. Do you know if those are springbok horns, first photo?

  34. Marie,
    I think your'e right that they're springbok antlers.

  35. I think all the rooms are gorgeous, but I have a cape style house house with low ceiling and it would enclose my house like a dark cave. I have all pale yellow, gray green,gray blue, very sea inspired colors. The colors brightens my rooms tremendously.

  36. I absolutely L O V E black dining room has black above the white panel and also white painted brick...I keep telling my husband it would look so much more dramatic if we painted the woodwork, the brick,everything black...I think you may have won my case with these photos...I'm going to pin them, but first I need a new board...beautiful black walls.

  37. I could do it. But it would either have to be a powder room...or a room with ton's of windows. Cause you know all those images were taken and then lightened up to make you want to go there....

  38. Looks good in your selection. I am thinking of a dark grey wall behind my bed where two windows throw light on it, to counteract rathr a lot of white (and some dark red...). Hm.
    My MIL has a black damask panel in her hallway to highlight a gorgeous gold-framed mirror with black detailing. It looks great in her house full of beautiful antiques (mostly early 19th century) since the house itself is featureless.

    Have you heard of Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen, a British TV-designer? He has used black in his own home, I believe. He's pretty flamboyant!

  39. Definitely dramatic. I could do a powder room...

  40. I just did my dining room in black! Trying to decide if I should go all in or just keep up with the half/half.