Spaces 4 Living

An Architect's Idea Book: Sharing ideas and inspiration to help create beautiful living spaces.


The Art of Decorating with Black


So often many fall at the wayside away from colour and slump into the unfulfilled wasteland of beige! Some are intimidated to commit to using bold and bright colours in there living spaces…so goodness knows how they would react to black. OK black is not actually a colour, but it is a bold choice.

There are ways to enrich your space, just remember a little does go a long way.


Black Doors


Black doors can help create an upscaled and elegant look,  not just for the exteriors but the interior doors as well. The vertical plane of black draws your eyes to the other black objects in the room and creates a visual balance. It also helps balance the other large black elements in the home, for example that huge 60″ television that you always dreamed of, a black leather sofa or the unlit fireplace.


Black Windows


The odd thing about black or dark window woodwork is that you look past them to the outdoors. Whereas with white, your eyes tend to fix on the white frames instead of looking beyond. Bring the outdoors inside with black, charcoal or a dark stain.


Black ceilings



Now I bet you think I have gone too far!  A black ceiling adds a completely different character as compared to the traditional white. Your eye has a tendency to look for defined details to inform it of boarders and boundaries. Therefore, if you had black or partially black walls with a black ceiling your eyes would be tricked by the size of the space…making the room feel more spacious.

On the other hand, if you were to have lighter walls and a dark ceiling, the ceiling would appear lower. This could be beneficial in a room with a high ceiling that you wanted to make it feel more cozy and intimate.


Black Floors



Black floor have a huge impact. It is a bit more of a finacial commitment than paint, but the rewards could be outstanding. It says luxury all over it. If you have a dog that sheds it maybe more of a chore to keep spotless and high shine floors show more dust so unless you enjoy sweeping every day opt for a matte or textured finish.


Black Cabinetry or Surfaces



There is one way to get your white surfaces to pop in your kitchen and that is to have black cabinets. For a  contemporary open layout this would be stunning. The black gives the modern white space living a new twist. However if you inverse the palette with white cabinets and black surfaces the same pop occurs, but with a more traditional appeal. Granted, the main influence on the contemporary vs transitional vs traditional depends upon cabinetry style and layout.


Architectural details


Why not paint the wainscoting black (charcoal is illustrated in the photograph) or the ornate frames. It gives the woodwork a new lease on life and celebrates its artistry and craftsmanship.

The key element in using black, is that it enhances the other colours in the spaces as well (in my opinion) gives a sense of solid, grounding elegance. Dare I say, its the equivalent of that “little black dress”- a staple that imbues a air of simple sophistication.


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Georgian Foyer

This traditional Georgian foyer has been redefined with a breath of new life by complimenting today’s lifestyle.

Georgian homes tend to be very robust, segregated but grand, which in itself is its charm. Meyer & Meyer have transformed this lovely house into a bright, welcoming and stylish stately home.

White wall paneling has taken the home fashion by storm. The articulation of the combined dentil style crown moulding, chair rail and top panels when painted in the same colour as the walls adds a 3 dimensional quality that plays with the light and shadows throughout the day.

The original sleek curvilinear black lead work on the glazing is nothing short of craftsmanship.

Softening the space is a quasi-floral geometric rug in a refreshing yellow. The high back light grey sette gives a modern twist on the Queen Anne Wing backed chair and over-sized tripod lamp both work beautifully to offset the geometic patterning of the space.

Overall this small space speaks volumes for the design inspirations of the remainder of this house. The design enables and encourages the antiquity of the space to come through in a new light. I believe it is successful due to that it is sensitive the original character of the house but still updates it with a modern scheme.

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Fabulous Rugs from

Contemporary Tullio Modern Polished Steel Lite Source Tripod Floor Lamp