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Back in Black

“Back in Black”
By Rachel Perls of Hue Consulting, decor8 guest writer

Fall is finally here; our palette has turned to deep, rich, autumnal colors. With the colder weather approaching, we move indoors, looking forward to making our spaces warm and cozy for the months ahead. Light, airy whites and pastels are tucked away in storage, and denser, muted tones become more prevalent, ushering in a feeling of weight, comfort and stability.

Via Domino magazine.

Black is a strong, dependable color that becomes quite prevalent in home decorating during this season. It has a sense of permanence, and solidity that is reassuring. How decadent and glamorous is this room shown above? Black represents sophistication and substance. The ultimate chic color for cocktail parties and black-tie affairs, it can morph into a completely different interpretation with a simple change of context.

People react quite strongly to this hue, which is actually the absence of all pigment. It signifies mourning in many cultures, as well as danger, or the supernatural. It is ominous, the fear of the unknown. Black represents power, which can be reassuring, or scary, depending upon whom wields it.

One combo that packs a punch is black and yellow. In nature, black and yellow color patterns communicate to predators that an animal is dangerous, like stinging wasps or poisonous snakes. We?re biologically conditioned to pay special attention to this color duo.

Via CB2

Another popular match is black and red. It has a strong Asian flair, and looks amazing in lacquered finishes.

A fresh, modern variation of the red and black theme substitutes fuchsia for the red, lightening the mood considerably.

Via Domino magazine

Or experiment with orange and black, another stunning combination.

Via Domino magazine

Have you considered pairing black with kelly green?

When paired with other bright colors, black works as a unifying element. How fun is this treatment? I feel like I just stepped into a pop art painting.

Bathrooms are a great place to experiment with dramatic tones.

Trend-wise, I?ve read that dark cabinets for kitchens are very hip these days, Susan from the blog The Kitchen Designer, is a terrific source for trend watching in this area of the home. But be forewarned about those oh-so-popular black granite countertops. Ergonomically, they are horrible for your vision because there isn?t enough contrast between the work surface and your kitchen items; this causes eyestrain.

Via HGTV

Just by tweaking the texture, surface, and tone of black, you can create vastly different moods. This shiny kitchen by Miles Redd is really over the top, but I thought it was so fun, I couldn?t resist.

Here, a room by Nicole Sassaman has a soft matte black wall of chalkboard paint.


If you don?t know where to start, accent pieces and dark flooring are great places to begin introducing ebony into your spaces. (Remember the Nate Berkus NYC Aparment reveal on Oprah?) Black can look great with almost any color, especially if it is used with contrasting lighter colors. You absolutely need the contrast, so don?t go too overboard with this inky tone.

Any questions regarding black that you have? Please leave your question or comment below and I’ll gladly do what I can to answer!

(images linked accordingly above. some links via desire to inspire.)

decor8 great.ly shop

Barbapapa

“Here is the star it?s Barbapapa…” Okay time break things up a bit and be a kid for a moment. I’m finding so many cute toys and illustrative children’s books over here, I can’t resist posting about at least one of my new favorites — Barbapapa!

I spotted these brightly colored toys in various home magazines in the past, mostly European magazines featuring kids spaces, but I never thought much them until my recent getaway to Sweden. It was there in a design store where blog pal Emma pointed them out to me, explaining a bit about them. Here’s one above on a piano.

Barbapapa is a French cartoon that was popular in the ’70s and has since made a comeback with products and toys, much like Hello Kitty has in the states, I assume. When I returned from Stockholm and asked my husband about Barbapapa, he instantly knew what I was talking about because he said here in Germany, it was all the rage when he was a little boy and that he enjoyed watching the cartoon as a kid. It’s about a family of shape shifters who turn into many different shapes and objects. I have to confess, I was intrigued to learn more, so I watched some of their cartoons on You Tube over the weekend. So cute., I’m an official fan of these adorable little characters.

And I found a local design shop called Wohnwaren where they sell the entire collection of anti-stress toys and key chains, so I may come home with one of the characters in my suitcase. Here’s a link to their online store. So next time you’re flipping through a design magazine, see if you can spot any. If your kids haven’t heard of them, maybe you’d like to introduce these characters to them. Here’s some fun Flickr images of Barbapapa.

These S+P sets were designed by idhaus, a Flickr person I found today – I’ve sent him an email to see if he sells these online. Seems Barbapapa was his muse.

via kbo

via jenn44.
These are planters that contain seeds, she found them
in Japan. Sooo cute.

Any Barbapapa fans out there? If so, here’s a cute online Japanese shop offering Barbapapa in case you are interested or on the Creanova website. I want the dish scrubber and the slippers (shhh don’t tell anyone, super immature of me I know).

(interior image from vtwonen)

Posted in uncategorized on October 22, 2007

Clare Nicolson

There’s nothing like a little Monday morning print and pattern indulgence and I always love to see what textile designer Clare Nicolson is up to so let’s enjoy her for a moment, shall we?


Clare is so super talented with her cute colorful designs, it’s fun to see what’s she’s cooking up. Her cushions are as sweet as ever and her tea towels are the best.


Overall, I’m impressed with her designs and think her work is getting stronger all the time. Go Clare, Go!

(images from clare nicolson)

Posted in kitchen, textiles on October 22, 2007

vtwonen {new book} Enjoy Your Home

Most of you know my latest obsession is with Scandinavian and Dutch design magazines, like vtwonen, and you know what they say about crack, once you start you can’t stop. Magazines intoxicate me. Especially European and Australian ones (at least lately).


Oh but wait. There are dozens of places with magazines of which I’ve not opened, smelled, lingered over (don’t you love magazine smell?), but dear friends I am young and there is time. :) I will find more magazines on this planet to desire and despite my inability to read most of them (I only read English and German), language barriers present no challenge gazing into gorgeous photos of styled spaces like the ones in this post from the recent issue of vtwonen. YUM.


vtwonen is a super stylish Dutch interiors magazine, I’ve waxed on about them here before, but a few days ago I found out that they have a brand new book called “Enjoy Your Home” and after looking at some sneak peeks in the October issue of their magazine, I decided that I must have it. I don’t *need* another design book, but you know how it goes.

And by the way, have you noticed that green and teal are all the rage for Fall this year along with various shades of white and gray with hints of silver and lilac? At least in interiors magazines and stores over here. It’s sublime – I love it. Grass green extends into Fall? How lovely!


Books are like shoes, you start collecting them and there’s really no need to stop. So I’m now circling like the Tasmanian devil trying to locate a copy online.


The ISBN number is 9789085743835 if you want to scour the web along with me, maybe one of us can find it from a vendor that ships to America.

(images from vt wonen)

Posted in Books + Magazines, inspiration on October 19, 2007

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