Fashion understands black and white. It’s strong, clean and provocative. Cultural icons know. Interior designers too. A look as smart as a tuxedo-sporting beauty has arrived.
This style begins with low lustre white-toned walls, ceiling and trim, the tabula rasa or blank slate of interior design. Just a little black is introduced, like Emma Watson’s striking gown. Wallpaper with painterly black lines is the bold edge of the trend. The most artistic of the genre are Porter Teleo Wallcoverings, available through Primavera Interior Furnishings.
Furniture that’s light, as opposed to heavy, is added with care: translucent, black, white and gold pieces. This small entry hall points the way. I love their Kintsugi paper too.
Going back to our tabula rasa, a subtler dark line comes from applying mouldings to the walls that create shadow lines, then carefully building in shades of white, shapes in black and lines of gold. I’ve been writing about sculptural lighting. Imari from Cameron Design House is a perfect example.
Marina Vanteeva incorporates all the elements in this exciting room. I posted versions of the amazing black/white orb lighting designs a year ago at Instagram.com/loismacaulay. Also love the tall alabaster-white drapes. They look like my own cashmere ones from Holland and Sherry.
Speaking of fashion, the Coco Chanel Suite at the Ritz fits this style (with a Jean Michel Frank cabinet!) even if current designs might use more black. Do you long to add a bright colour to the mix? I began by including it, but black and white with a strong colour wants its own report.
Black lines detail my linen pillow designs, some I hand embroidered after Picasso plates. The other pillow picks up a graphic detail from a Braque painting. It’s appliqued using the finest linen I’ve ever touched, from renowned fashion designer Loro Piana, available through Theo Décor.
Be well, engender calm and carry everyone in your heart, dear Diva at home.
A long standing member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Lois Macaulay holds a 1st place award for residential design 2018, 2nd place for 2017 and 2 presidential citations for contributions to the profession from ASID. “I love creating beautiful settings for extraordinary women--and men,” she says. The strong fashion/design connection in these posts owes its source to her first career as a fashion designer, coordinator and national fashion magazine editor.
These rooms are so sophisticated! I love the detailing with the mouldings and those alabaster drapes are stunning… just like your beautiful cashmere drapes, Lois. I am not usually a fan of black and white but the way you have presented your various offerings makes it so appealling… very warm and ultra luxurious!
Love the article. Beautiful language. You have a gift for expressing yourself. Love the hand painted wallpaper from Porter Teleo.
Thank you Peter. Your custom styled and coloured Stencilled Walls are amazing too. I’m planning to feature the new focus on ceilings. You probably have gorgeous images of your gold leafed, silver leafed and decorative paint finished ceilings!
Thank you Carmela for the thoughtful review. You’re right, black and white could be very stark, but the new “maximalism” design style’s warm environments are filled with interesting and meaningful detail once again. The decorative arts are repositories of myth and ancient symbols that stimulate living pictures in the human psyche.