Back in Black: Black Interior Inspiration

Francesco Lagnese
Francesco Lagnese

I’m all about white walls. They set off art incredibly well, they make any space feel instantly larger, and they generally create a canvas for whatever you put within their bounds. But lately I’ve been paying much more attention to the dark side, that is to say, black walls and accents. I love the moodiness they bring with them and appreciate their altogether different type of sophistication.

This being October, and with colder weather slowly creeping up on us, my first inclination would be to paint a bedroom a medium black from floor to ceiling. A cozy, cave-like atmosphere surely awaits at the bottom of that paint bucket.

Suburban B's

You don’t need intricate woodwork or even wainscoting or a chair rail for this classic half and half look. In act, if you’re nervous about going too dark in a room or have one without much sunlight, this might be the answer. This dining room is my favorite example because of its unexpected twist – going dark on the top half rather than the bottom and painting the ceiling as well. You might expect it to feel heavy, but I find it to feel quite the opposite.

Blair Harris

Painting walls is generally easy, painting cabinets a little more involved but well worth the effort. Not only is black a great way to update older cabinets, it also makes them feel uber chic when paired with those brass pulls. One of the beauties of black is that it goes with just about everything so your backsplash will probably feel refreshed as well.

Marie-Lyne Quirion

This look is really interesting to me, it’s called shou sugi ban and it’s a Japanese technique that involves burning the surface of a certain type of wood to give them a rich black finish. Traditionally the technique is used on home exteriors because it protects them from the elements, but it’s slowly making its way indoors as well. I love it for the naturally black finish it can add to any space.

le Fashion

Okay, so maybe you’re not ready to add this much black to your home. I get it. But black furniture can add its own brand of appeal, making any room look more expensive through its presence. Whether you want to update a piece you already own or are on the hunt for something new keep black in mind as a worthy option. Of course, you can always add a rug as well…

Black rugs

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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Creative Seating Options

House Doctor

Sometimes our homes call on us to be more creative than usual. Whether it’s due to a lack of space or a lack of furnishings, when the bell tolls we comb through the file folders in our minds and answer. And one of the more common issues that I’ve come across is seating at the dining table.

I’m starting way outside the box from the get-go with stools and end tables. When you’re looking to pull up a few more seats look around at what you’ve already got nearby. Most of the aforementioned are a perfect height for a dining table and guests will think you’re wildly ingenious (which, of course, you are!).

Bruce Buck

The idea of adding a bench on one side of your dining room table in place of two chairs has been growing in popularity for some time now, and it’s been growing on me as well. What I really like about it – aside from the aesthetic look – is that you can squeeze an extra person in on that side with hardly any compromise.

Ashley Poskin

Adding sheepskins or cushions to a melange of “whatever you’ve already got” around the table is an easy way of unifying it all. Record crates, stacks of large coffee table books – so long as it’s moderately sturdy it will do just fine. You can even use your coffee table as a stand-in bench!

Esteban Cortez

This is one of my favorites – having an extra piece of small seating that lives in the same room, but that doesn’t have to be used at the table. Pull the table and chairs a bit away from this vintage settee and you have an extra seating area, but leave as is and you can magically seat six. Super functional decorating at work!

Kim Lucian

If you’re thinking ahead for a specific event you can bring in temporary seating that’s both cheap and innovative. You’ve likely seen hay bales used outdoors, but check out the above and see how great they can work indoors as well. You could also use stacked pallets with cushions or benches created out of cement blocks and two by fours.

The Selby

There’s also the option of going entirely bohemian and taking it all to the floor. Move all of the furniture in your living room against the walls and throw all of the pillows on the rug. You and your guests can spread out and enjoy!


For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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Perfect Plank Floors

Home Bunch
Home Bunch

Ask ten people and they’ll all have very different dreams for their home; mine is to have one type of flooring throughout. The hope is that one day the laminate flooring, tile, and wall to wall carpeting will all be replaced with one single cohesive material, preferably wide plank flooring. Entryway, living room, kitchen, and beyond – as far as the eye can see!

sara medina lind

Some of you are lucky enough to have it just lying in whatever is currently covering your floors, but I have a subfloor made of 3-inch wide wood that has most definitely seen better days in its 117+ years. If the wood were wider I might just whitewash and call it a day. The looks lends itself particularly well to Scandinavian and farmhouse aesthetics.

via decor pad

Conversely, this dark wood is a real showstopper. The kind of flooring that welcomes dings and variations because they somehow manage to give it even more character. I love the all white shiplap, built-ins, and doors that welcome all of those lovely tones in each individual plank.

Hull Forest Products

Or perhaps you’d like the best of both worlds? This plank floor is perfection, and I really like how easy it would be to incorporate other wood in the room with all of those striations. Those walnut counter stools do a great job of pulling out some of the darker bits, but overall that floor is the superstar of the entire kitchen’s design.

Sloan Architects

Plank flooring – actually real wood flooring of all types – can get pricey fast. Thankfully there are laminates and tile flooring that looks as much like wood as the actual thing! I suspect this is the route I’ll be going should my dream ever approach reality. Of course, with all of those bare floors you’re probably going to want some accent rugs to call attention to certain gathering areas.


For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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How to Keep Summer Going All Year Long

Jane Beiles

In a blink summer will be over but I’m not ready to say goodbye just yet, are you? So let’s talk about some ways to keep warm weather and vacation vibes around for the rest of the year. This first idea is the one I use most – art and books. A beachy scene hanging on the wall is a vacation for the eyes and a few coffee table books about the ocean or islands can sweep you away whenever the temperature finally starts to drop. Both are also a great jumping off point for other decor.

Henny van Belkom

When you think about the beach there are probably a lot of natural materials aside from water and sand. I’m thinking of materials like wood, rattan, and sisal. Hang a large wicker light fixture with some vintage vibes in the living room or add a dining table with a roughhewn look to it. These materials have the powers to help transport you right back to the shore.

Alyssa Rosenheck

If you’re at all into the tropics, you’re probably also into plenty of foliage. Bring a few large plants into the living room to mimic seaside greenery and add a tropical vibe to your home. If that’s not enough add a few more vining plants, like philodendron, that can be draped as they grow for that jungle-like feel.

Monica Wang

Think about the color palette of vacation – deeply saturated blues and greens with some sandy brown thrown in for good measure. If you’re not ready to pull the trigger and go all out with furniture or freshly painted walls, consider some new accessories or floor rugs to give you that beauty vibe all year long.

Summer Rugs

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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