Black has emerged as a hot decor trend in European homes, with high-end townhouses and apartment developments in London using it in multimillion-dollar interiors.
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But how do you use black without it becoming overpowering and gloomy?

“Black can work in Victorian and art deco homes and in super-modern designs,” says Tom House, interior designer at SJB Interiors.

“But it is a powerful colour, so you need to use it cleverly.” Bathroom

Choose black wisely in the confined space of a bathroom. Dark granite or slate can be a practical choice for a bathroom floor, but break it up with a lighter finish on walls.

“I would use [black] very sparingly as a block colour, but you can use it in tapware or as a fine frame around a mirror,” says Nick Travers, director of Techne Architecture + Interior Design. Bedroom

Black hasn’t yet ventured into the bedroom to any great extent and the experts’ opinion is to use it sparingly, if at all.

“I think people generally want this to be a calming space. In this area, black can be jarring,” Travers says. If you do want to introduce black, it can work as a floor covering or as a fine detail on bed linen. Kitchen

Opt for black tapware, hinges, pull handles and light fittings. “Choose variations in black, not just a flat black powdercoat,” House says.

“On tapware and handles, we often use an oil-rubbed charcoal. As it gets touched more, it patinas and gets lighter in those areas, so you get black in a more complex sense, rather than a flat finish.”

Black sinks and ovens add detail. If you want to be bold, use black in a benchtop or splashback.

“Maybe choose a black marble counter top with a white vein so you have reflections playing off the surface to break up the black. For a splashback, choose a handmade glazed wall tile that will reflect.” Lounge

Black can have impact in a lounge room, no matter the size of the space, but it works best in a room that receives plenty of natural light. House says to bring in textures, such as glossy black lacquer on furniture and velvet soft furnishings.

“If you decide to have a black floor, such as black-stained floorboards, make sure the grain shows through so the natural variation cuts through the black,” he says.

Black also works well with natural materials such as stone and timber, which add warmth.

Travers says to use mirrors to extend the living space if you use black.

“Black adds a sense of negative space and adds another dimension to a room,” he says.

“Balance it with light finishes and timber oak flooring, a beautiful rug, neutral furnishings and textured loose cushions.”

– The Weekly Review


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