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Interior trends: back to black

Image of interiors set Autumn Jones 2017 Styling by Kirsten Bookallil. Photography by Dave Wheeler.


Consider a shift away from light, bright, coastal interiors and towards a more dramatic space, the likes of which we haven’t appreciated in some time.

There is a certain comfort in that Hamptons-inspired interior style, with its soft blonde wood and cushions-everywhere ethos. You feel like you’re living in a womblike hideaway, far from the frenzy and noise of the real world. It may be time, however, to move out of that comfort zone and consider using a colour rarely seen within the coastal method. The darkest of all achromatic colours, to be precise: the colour black.

Designers are reworking traditional finishes, from cut crystal and metals, to leather, glass and wood, in shapes and lines we’ve seen before but not in such dark tones. The impact is both dramatic and dynamic, bringing freshness to the minimalist approach.

Close up image of water bottle, serving bowl, decanter and vase. Styling by Kirsten Bookallil. Photography by Dave Wheeler.


Working the darkest hue into your living space creates a calm and peaceful ambience that is both conducive to moments of quiet solitude and to deep conversation with loved ones. So, whether you are one for quiet meditation or for regular dinner parties that roll into the late night, adding some black to your home’s interior will work wonders.

A good place to start is with a hero piece, like a black daybed or side table, and then adding some depth with a selection of clear glassware and tonal vases. If your home is blessed with plenty of natural light, bring in a large mirror (or two) and paint a black feature wall to see added dimension like never before.

Finishings should be graphic and dramatic but always with that overarching sense of calm. A bold splash of calligraphy on a celadon green wall – either as a highlight piece or mixed en masse – works perfectly because the fluid shapes soften the harshness of the black.

Interior design image. Styling by Kirsten Bookallil. Photography by Dave Wheeler. Styling by Kirsten Bookallil. Photography by Dave Wheeler.


Mixing the cheerfulness of Nordic simplicity with ornate Renaissance-style dressings creates a new type of elegance that is forceful yet delicate. Handcrafted Italian details are taking on a whole new direction, making us wonder why we lost our love for black in the first place. Finish with notes of gold and a wellplaced orchid to add distinction to your place of peace and serenity.

It’s true – black may actually be the warmest colour. It can add a level of harmony and classicism to your home, and in the age of multi-screen living and the never ending workday, doesn’t that sound like a dream?

Words by Kirsten Bookallil


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