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Black Is Back: The Monochrome Home

When it comes to my wardrobe, I live in the colour black, yet I'm a little more cautious about using black in my home. It is unlikely that I will ever paint my interior walls black - although a charcoal feature wall might get past my SAD need for light - but I love using it as an accent colour. And black is back. It is everywhere right now, from the exterior cladding on Hamptons homes to chair frames, kitchen cabinets and sinks.

The use of the colour in our homes is hardly new, nevertheless, it is still a brave choice for some people. One that needs to be done right. Personally, my preference is for the safer option of a light room with touches of black and grey, but if you're brave enough to go the whole hog, it's definitely worth the risk. That is, unless you're styling to sell.

The dangers of using predominantly black tones are obvious. The space may appear cold and unwelcoming if you get it wrong, which is why I've listed some useful tips below to help you minimise that risk:

1. Use texture to lift the starkness of a monochrome scheme. Woven and velvet cushions, black lampshades, tufted rugs, cable knit throws and even curtains will soften the look.

2. Plants offset cool tones, injecting a splash of life into what can otherwise turn into a sterile, monochrome room.

3. Metallics - in lighting, decorator items, light switches and to frame wall art, will add shine to what can be a lifeless space without careful planning.

4. Offset black with natural finishes. Personally, I like to use the lighter, warm timbers such as oak, blackbutt, or a light gum for flooring and furniture. Heavily veined marble and stone tops also work well. But there are no rules.

5. If you are decorating a living area, your sofa will be key to how far you want to take this look. To soften the look, a grey sofa will work well; if you want to ramp it up, use a charcoal fabric or even black leather. Tan leather is back on trend, and it's a great way to soften the harshness and introduce a more traditional element to the scheme. If you want to play it even safer, stick to neutrals.

Black is sleek, stylish and brave and it compliments most colours - hence the overkill of pink and black that we've seen of late. Many designers believe that it adds weight to a room and anchors it, and I would have to agree. But if you're planning on selling, please show some restraint.


Images: 1. Found on Pinterest from Betterforhomes.com 2. Quote found on Pinterest 3. Landry Bench from West Elm 4. Found on Pinterest from Corina Koch 5. Knot Cushion from Cush&Co.



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