Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Black Beauty

My dear friends Ally and her husband, Kelly, recently bought a home in my neighborhood (You will hear and see much more on this house as I will be blogging about the upcoming transformation) and I couldn't be more excited. They are making the big move out of downtown and into the 'burbs.

On Sunday afternoon, Ally and I were chatting on the phone about some possibilities for their fireplace wall in their new Living Room. They have not had access to their house as the previous homeowner rented the home back from them for a few months and Ally is getting anxious to get started. We were discussing the idea of painting the paneling on the fireplace wall black and like every person in 2010's we were both in front of our computers. We were talking through their options while both pulling up images on websites, when I stumbled upon the picture from Cote de Texas that is above.

Now I have done painted trim before. I have even done black trim before. I have specified black furniture, black cabinets, even a room of glossy black trim. But I have never considered it as the main trim color. So, I started to really think about it as a great option and I couldn't get it out of my head.

I have always drooled over Gwyneth's (she only needs a first name) kitchen that is in the Hamptons and was featured in House & Garden. It is amazing. I love they way she didn't shy away from doing the entire area in black, even the island and windows. It is inviting,fresh, and exciting.

This is a Music Room I did several years ago in the Ohio City area of Cleveland. My client had a baby grand piano and an extra room in his home, so naturally it became the music room. I found that gorgeous B&F fabric and matched the wall color to the canary yellow background of the fabric. And then I was struggling with the trim....White just wasn't going to be right. Yellow would be too much. It took a little convincing, but I got the client on board with high gloss black woodwork which matched the piano perfectly. The room turned out dramatic and warm.

Some people have the misconception that black trim is only contemporary, but it can be anything but that. Above it feels regal and old world like.

It also can feel modern like this home does with white walls and clean line furnishings. I really like the unexpected pop of red in the light fixture and the cow hide rug below the table.

Black trim can be very masculine as in this Master Bedroom paired with black walls.

Or feminine as in this bedroom which feels light and airy.

I love, love, love how the black woodwork modernizes the feel of the home. You have very traditional features in the carpentry with the coiffured ceiling in the Dining Room and the bookcase and fireplace wall in the Living Room. By painting the walls white and the trim black, you end up with a very mod look.

And I really love how fresh this space looks with the black windows and ivory paneling.
So, could you go for it? Could you paint all of your trim black????? How about starting in one room?

images from apartment therapy, shelter pop, cote de texas, Jessica Helgeison for design sponge, saragilbertinteriors.com, stumblehouse.com, House & Garden, and Barrie Spang


  1. I am in love with the blk & wht bedroom!

  2. I am in the process of painting all of my trim in the main part of my house black and I am in love with it. I have always had a colonial style but this brought my colonial style into the present day!