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Shelly says,
"Find peace in your home."
Shelly's View on The Colour Black in Home Decorating

THE COLOUR BLACK - What does it make your think of? For some, the color black brings up thoughts of deep, dark places – caves, dark holes, and dungeons – places where you don’t know what is in front of you. For others, it will make them think of funerals, shadows, evil, night, or danger. All of these tend to be negative connotations. Think of the phrases we use to describe very negative things: Black Monday, Black magic, Blackmail, Blacklist, Black Market.
Even though this negative connotation is quite strong, in our North American culture, black is also used as the most formal colour in fashion. Most grooms are seen wearing black tuxedos or suits and formal top hats are always fashioned in black. And what woman doesn’t have the staple ‘little black dress’ as a part of her formal wardrobe? And if you do not, well, you should.

We also associate black with being quite serious or serene as with the standard dress code for a funeral. Most people wear black as a sign of mourning. It signifies no joy and darkness.

So what does all of this say about black? Black is obviously a strong and extreme colour, both positively and negatively.

Seeing black as a formal and therefore, positive, colour rather than a morbid colour may help you break out of your ‘fear of black’ as part of home décor.

Now that I have convinced you to see black as a formal color, how about this one – would you believe that black is also a neutral color?

Yes, black, is a neutral color – even in home decor. Think about it in regards to your wardrobe. Your black pants can be matched with just about any top. We buy black shoes as a staple in our wardrobe because they will work with almost any outfit. Black leather jackets remain the most popular – why? – because they go with everything.

Your next task is to translate this attitude towards black in your wardrobe to black in your home décor. If you can see black as a neutral colour, it will make it easier for you to imagine it in your home decorating scheme.

This does not mean that you must paint a wall black. By no means is this the case...as I am aware that most of you out there would never be able to do that. But...do not hesitate to incorporate some black into your home - whether that be in the form of a single piece of furniture, a lamp, light fixture or accessory of some kind.

If you are now convinced of the positive aspects of black in home decor – as both a formal and neutral color – you have progressed.

Congratulations! You are on your way to introducing black into your home decorating scheme successfully.

You certainly do not have to jump onto the black colour bandwagon as much and as deep as I have - by painting your walls completely black. You could instead try painting one wall black as a focal wall. Or as I have done in another room, I painted the wall behind my tv black so that the television would blend into the wall and not be so noticeable. One of my pet peeves is the television being on a focal wall or being the focal point of a room - family room, living room or not - I don't like it.

wpeB.jpg (4584 bytes)P.S. My fear of black, or of any colour for that matter, has never really existed.

Proof of that can be seen here in my bedroom painted completely black -

and no, I am not a teenager and yes, I live and sleep with it everyday - and I love it!

Author: Shelly Whitney, Interior Designer & Decorator, Copyrighted 2009

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