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If you’ve watched a few trends come and go like I have, you might remember all the black sofas and shiny black entertainment units in homes everywhere in the 80s. Well black is back. Right now, anything black is flying off the shelves: black window frames, black faucets and other hardware, black paint for accent walls, exteriors, even kitchens. Black just seems like the no-brainer current choice, but will it stand the test of time? You’ve probably heard the expression “Every room needs a hit of black, and there’s a lot of truth to that. Black is completely neutral, right? Well yes, and black is also powerful, chic and glamorous when it’s done right. So what’s the problem? Black is also the visually heaviest colour that exists. So the overuse of black quickly becomes masculine, harsh, flat and predictable. And it’s important to be aware that black is high contrast, especially when most spaces are still dominated by black’s opposite, bright white. So tread lightly with this trend. An overload of black is much too heavy, and sprinkled around randomly it gets busy and exhausting to look at.

Black is such a powerful colour, you don’t need a lot of it to create a focal point in a room. A simple tablescape with black objects, black frames on a wall, or even using black and white photos are some of the ways you can bring a sophisticated touch of black to your space.

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In our eDesign department, where my team and I assemble paint and finish packages for clients all over North America, we used to get panicked inquiries from customers who needed to choose their window frame colour. Now, they’re simply assuming black is the correct choice, so the inquiries we’re receiving are more like “Help! I chose black windows but now that I’m choosing colours for everything else, I’m worried it’s wrong and I don’t know how to pull it all together.” My point? Let’s not make the mistake of defaulting to the latest trendy neutral colour of the moment yet again — because this is truer than ever with weighty, attention seeking black. So what is the best way to indulge in your love of the black trend? Recognize that black is a trend with an expiry date. Do your future self a favour by using restraint and introducing variety. Black is beautiful in the company of colour. It works well with fresh, clean colour as well as warmer accents such as trending gold and cognac brown. Mix that black lighting and hardware with other finishes such as chrome or brass for a more layered look.

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A touch of black goes a long way to ground the bright whites and fresh colours. If you are in love with the black & white trend like most of us, keep it timeless, and don’t forget to include some colour!

Mix that black lighting and hardware with other finishes such as chrome or brass for a more layered look. Here are some photos from a recent client project, just before the black trend really took hold of the collective imagination. We chose classic black countertops in her white kitchen. And black became a colour theme we repeated lightly.

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