A mix of Karl Lagerfeld polish with Hitchcock atmosphere, a noir sensibility has slowly but surely crept into interiors. But how to embrace the dark side without veering into dungeon territory? Follow the five simple rules below.
To avoid a one-note effect, mix textures within your monochromatic scheme wherever possible; whether it's animal hide, pleather scales, glossy black floors or high-lacquer walls, a visual layering will keep things interesting, and temper any unintentional severity.
Everyone knows that black and white is the hottest couple since Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, so it's crucial not to keep these two apart. That said, rather than giving them equal billing, keep the ratio closer to the 80/20 range in favor of black, using white as a highlight rather than a co-star--and take advantage of a black background's potential to make bookcases and gallery walls pop.
This dramatically simplified palette opens up a world of silhouette possibilities--so seek out a statement piece that veers away from the usual fare. We're not endorsing a room full of spiky bean bags--admittedly, if budget permits, one might be nice--but think about a streamlined negative-space-friendly clock, or a curvilinear arm chair.
|Smeg Refrigerator, Price Upon Request, Smeg
||Jet Setter Side Tables, $1295,
||Black and Brass Paper Weights, $88, Object
Ornamenting black with brassy shine warms up the typically cold hue. It also offers a nod to classicism, for those of you who'd like to take things in a polite society direction, as opposed to a more S&M one (no judgment).
While it's important to temper black's effects in the ways described above, it's also to your advantage to winkingly acknowledge the spookiness that the shade connotes. A dash of "danger" will go a long way toward setting a mysterious mood, whether it's a stormy patterned wallpaper, or a gothic styled light fixture.
Photographs: Farrow & Ball, Architectural Digest, Jotun, Victoria Hagan, Lonny Magazine, Hazlitts Hotel, Roman and Williams, Fantastic Frank, Impressive Interior Design, Second Shout Out, House Beautiful, Murray Mitchell, Ellis House, Hotel Habitat, Grego Mellor