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.
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.
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.
When choosing flooring for a minimal interior there are 3 things to remember
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
Stay inspired, join us!
Just enter your name and email below to get the latest MATTE edit, direct to your inbox.
You'll also get your essential free guide '10 Secrets to Effortless Interior Design'.
It’s everything you need to know about working with an interior designer to create your perfect home.
In this free guide you'll learn
plus everything else you need to know to get your perfect home - without the stress