Afraid of the Dark?

Why Black is Perfect for Your Home

November 2019
4 minute read
Pearl black pendant and wall light by Karakter
My guess is,
when you’re choosing something for your home, black’s not the first colour that springs to mind.

I don’t blame you. Remember the 80’s?
Massive leather sofas, swivel exec chairs and towering music systems.
Black was overpowering, heavy and stark.

But used intelligently, it can be sophisticated, stylish and elegant.

Think Audrey Hepburn in her Givenchy 'little black dress'.

You might think black's tricky and rarely used.
But look closely, you’ll see it’s everywhere.

It subconsciously gives structure to a room. It adds shape and texture, and when used cleverly blends in seamlessly. You don’t notice it.

Black is often overlooked when creating colour palettes.
But it’s THE most useful and versatile colour. Nothing to be afraid of.

So you feel confident to step into the dark, I’ll show you 4 simple ways to use black to stunning effect in your home.


Ever thought about a black rug?

When choosing flooring for a minimal interior there are 3 things to remember

  1. Your room will balance if the floor’s darker than the walls.
    We’re used to the natural world where sky is lighter than ground.
  2. Choose a simple colour palette.
  3. Coordinate your floor with the furniture.
    This is tricky when matching wooden furniture to wooden floors.

Black solves all these problems.

It’s dark, keeps the colour palette simple, and looks great under any furniture.

There’s no need to make the whole floor black. A rug is enough. You can see how this works in the living space of this minimal Japanese apartment.

Nanimarquina make sumptuous black rugs.
I love Tres Texture Black with it’s bands and subtle variations. It’s a traditional flat weave in wool. The brand also has great sustainability and green credentials.

Tres texture black rug by Nanimarquina
Tres Texture Black


Some of the most exquisite minimal furniture is black. And there’s a reason for this.

When the basic structure's black, it works like a silhouette. You see the shape of the furniture, without your eye being distracted.
You appreciate the overall form.

This works particularly well with furniture made of metal.

It’s strength allows the furniture to be light and delicate.

Large sections of shelving can be free standing without being imposing. Table tops can be wafer thin. Sofas appear to float when mounted on metal legs, like the one in this bedroom we designed in an apartment in Paris.

The Spine lounge chair by Frederica also 'floats'. It reminds me of the spider art installations of Louise Bourgeois.

The delicate legs allow thick and sumptuous upholstery, without the chair looking heavy and bulky. The black metal fades into the background making the soft olive suede, star of the show.

Spine black metal lounge chair by Frederica
Spine Lounge Chair

The Spine bench, also by Frederica, shows that black furniture doesn’t need to be stark.
Every element is rounded which softens the black, making it easy on the eye. It’s so inviting, you just want to touch it.

Spine black wooden bench by Frederica
Spine Bench


Black and light might seem incompatible, but here’s two lights that show how they work beautifully together.

Flo from Lumina is a simple circular base, slender arm and streamlined head.

With no ornamentation, the focus is on the perfectly proportioned shape.
It can be angled in almost any direction with hidden precision engineered joints. The dimmable LED is controlled by a concealed button at the end of the head.

The ultimate in minimal.

Flo black desk lamp by Lumina
Flo - photo Michele Nastasi

Pearl by Nick Ross for Karakter takes a completely different approach.

The light comes from an inner sphere, then passes through an outer glass dome. The subtle black of the dome gives the effect of being filtered through water. This adds texture to the light without changing it’s colour.

All elements are hand-blown and the craftsmanship is exquisite.

Pearl black pendant lamp by Karakter
Nick Ross | Karakter


Ever thought of using black fixtures in your bathroom?

We’re so used to seeing chrome fixtures because they go with traditional white, but they tend to feel cold and clinical.

If you want a warmer toned bathroom, black is more versatile. It goes with anything. This is shown beautifully in this shower room using fixtures by Vola.

The floor, walls and ceiling are finished in the same subtle muted tones. They contrast perfectly with the matte black fixtures making the overall feel, warm and inviting. Chrome just wouldn’t work. And don’t even think about gold!

In this soft minimal bathroom, black’s the striking focal point.

Black shower fixtures by Vola
5471R-061 - design Laura Seppanen | photo Paulina Salonen

Perhaps black isn't the first colour you think to include in your palette.
But I hope you're inspired by these four creative and subtle ways to use it.

For a minimal interior that's sophisticated, intelligent and beautiful.
Lead the way and step into the dark.

Passionate Minimalist
be in the know. . .
Exterior of Morioka Shoten bookstore in Tokyo

One room, One book

the Most Minimal Bookstore in the World

edge of minimal round concrete wash basin in sunlight

Concrete Ideas

Cool Creations for Minimal Interiors

Arm detail of Raft sofa in cream bouclé fabric by Wendelbo

Make it Modular

Sectional Sofas for Minimal Living

The Interior You Want
Avoid costly mistakes - save yourself time, money and stress.
Everything you need to know, to work with an interior architect.
get the guide