Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Tres Chic"

I love classic black and white movies and how the people and scenes were so elegant and glamorous. Films like "Casablanca" and "Sunset Boulevard" were unforgettable and filled with drama. Although the scenes were in black and white you still felt the drama and impact of the story being told. I really appreciate how all the characters from that era was always dressed to the nines. The homes in those movies were also glamorous and told a story. My love for black and white movies has given me a true appreciation for those colors. I began thinking about that era of style and use of colors and design inspiration hit me. There are some colors that will work well in any space and never go out of style. Those colors are black, white, and cream. Black, white and cream are strikingly elegant and chic. This color palette will give your space a modern and crisp feeling because of the contrast. Some designers like to use these colors as accents to tie a space together. But, I think you can use these colors as a main color story with pops of color to jazz up the space.

Here are some really great ways to implement black, white, and cream into your space.

black and white eclectic bedroom
Black can be very intimidating when it comes to design. But, if used properly this color will bring style and elegance to any space. If you are hesitant about this color try using this color on an accent wall. This will definitely draw your eyes to that wall and add drama.

Black & White living  room contemporary living room
Another suggestion is to paint your walls and ceilings white and by adding black accents through furniture and accessories. This will help you to control the brightness in your space. It will also give you an opportunity to showcase a variety of patterns, silhouettes, and change patterns from time to time. This will be your chance to tell a story. You can make it really fun or bold and sassy.

Gorgeous bedrooms by Europeo contemporary bedroom
If you are not afraid of color you can really go bold with your statement by painting all your walls black and using a black floor finish. Lighting will play a major role in this approach. It can make or break your room if it not done correctly. Be sure to select lighting that will enable you to perform tasks easily; especially if your room does not have an adequate lighting source (i.e. windows). You need to pick a fixture that will be proportional to the size of your room. You want to also make sure your light fixture is eco-friendly. So, you should use LED (light-emitting diodes) lighting instead of  incandescent or compact fluorescent lamps because of their long life expectancy and relatively low energy use.

Owners Bath traditional bathroom
Bathroom designed by Philadelphia general contractor Echelon Custom Homes
You can use black, white and cream as a color scheme in bathrooms as well. This color palette can be traditional or modern. There are many great choices for finishes and furniture in the market. One great suggestion is to use ebony wood or paint your furniture pieces with a black paint.

Master Bath contemporary bathroom
Bathroom designed by Minneapolis architect Charles Simmons - Charlie & Co. Design
If you want a more subtle approach you should use finishes that have hints of black. You can paint your vanities in a rich creamy color and use cream or white solid surface for the countertops. This will give your space a very glamorous look.

If you want with a more dramatic approach paint your walls black or use black colored wallpaper.

Wallpaper is a great way to bring interest into a space. If you are designing a bath, there are ways to use wallpaper to enhance its beauty as well as make the space appear larger than it really is. There are a variety of wallpapering techniques, such as using bold prints or choosing an accent wall for the wallpaper to be placed.

Using this color scheme will add drama and elegance to your bathroom. There are pros and cons with using wallpaper in your space. Using this color scheme will add drama and great style to your bath. However, it is important to use effective moisture control for the health of your home. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that rooms in your home remain between 30 and 50 percent relative humidity to avoid many of the problems associated with moisture (i.e. mold).

Bold prints are becoming increasingly popular again. If you don't want to use it on the entire wall you can install it from midway up to the ceiling.  If your bathroom walls are tiled to wainscoting height you can wallpaper the section above. If your tile is white or black, the wallpaper possibilities are limitless.

If you are hesitant about the placement of the wallpaper you can always paint above the wainscoting. You can also use the wallpaper below the chair rail as well.

If you are not into wallpaper, you can use tile or a solid surface as an option. You can use the same design ideas when selecting your material. Marble can be applied along the wainscot level, and the upper wall can be accented with a complimentary pattern and vice verse.

There are many design options when it comes to finishes. Mosaic tile is a great way to update your space. Iridescent glass mosaics can be used as an option, if you want to accent a wall. The reflection from the tile will add visual interest and light into your space.

Marble is also a great option to bring in style and elegance. Marble can be paired with other types of surfaces like ceramic, porcelain, or wood. Once you have determined your style, select a surface that will compliment your bath.

There are many ways to bring in this color scheme into your space. Flooring is a great way to pick up the color. When selecting your surface be sure to consider maintenance and durability.

Tubs are also an innovative way to add style to your design. Color can be used on the tub deck or along the tub surround.

Tubs should be selected according to your style (i.e. traditional, modern). Tub designs have come along way. However, you can use a traditional clawfoot tub or reproduction of a traditional style tub.

Black and white dining rooms are very chic. If you need a great design idea for your dining space you can use dramatic black walls and dark wood furniture. You can highlight this sophisticated look by adding pops of white and metal accents. You can keep the look fresh with flowers and vibrant colored accents.

The use of black and white is a timeless color combination when it comes to kitchens. To keep the kitchen bright you should use touches of black to accent your style.

Paton Terrace Kitchen contemporary kitchen
If you want to add drama to your kitchen you can do so with the backsplash. This will work well if you have white(cream) or black cabinetry. The contrast will play well off the cabinets and make a bold statement. You should also use a monochrome surface for the countertops as well.

Minnesota Private Residence traditional entry
Entry design by Chicago architect COOK ARCHITECTURAL Design Studio
You can incorporate black and white in lots of wonderful ways. Try to choose vibrant accents for a focal point. Sometimes the most subtle accents can add the most dramatic effects.

The use of black and white gives a fresh, sophisticated and chic look to any space. If you want drama and spark, pair your room with black and white. Don't be afraid to make bold choices.

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