Dezignare Interior Design CollectiveDESIGN DIRECTIONS Vol. 11.3




By Noemi Zarb

Sharp. Linear. Confident. There is something sublime about black and white (except for foxy prints or spots) because it makes the statement of statements. In fact the combination of these extreme polarities: black negating all colours/white encompassing all colours can never be casual. As in the couture world, the monochrome look in the world of interiors is seriously architectural and requires a lot of poise.

Sleek Black Floor, Undulating White Walls, Black Steps Soaring Skyward

Tag Farnborough Airport, LONDON, Photograph Anthony Weller - Archimage

So working with these two colours requires heaps of time/thinking/self-criticism and, moreover, an intrinsic bon ton which you're either born with or … forget it. Having spelt out this tall order, anyone who feels black and white fits the bill or dares to take the plunge is in for a décor that emanates infinite nuances of feeling stark yet in control, serene but open to suggestions - if you get it right.

Elaborately Carved White Rococo Chairs, Black Floor, Dark Backdrop
Habachy Designs, The Royal Nightclub, ATLANTA, Photograph Alex Martinez

More than any colour combination, the basic prerequisites of space and the amount of natural light available plus the shape of the room/s and what you intend using them for are crucial.

Like any dark colour, a black overdose will make any space look smaller so it's best to keep it to a minimum if your rooms are undersized and dim. Here your monochrome options may translate into black accessories such as a light fitting, ornament, small occasional piece of furniture, or a black touch in upholstery, duvets, throws and carpets - all emphasised by splashes of white and more white.

Long Senuously Hand Carved Black Bench with 4 Legs

Hand-carved Manta Bench by Phases Africa

The more adventurous might experiment with a series of black geometrical lines painted on the walls/doors or simply paint wooden beams black. This effect can be really stunning if you live in an old house blessed with very high ceilings.

Space and light considerations apart, the idea of black ceilings is far too intimidating for most people, though I have seen it work quite well. However, I feel that all-black ceilings in many spaces are the answer, only if you want to give full vent to a vampire personality or live like a mole. (Besides, they will be difficult to paint over with another colour.)

By contrast, using black in flooring is easier and more versatile though what you choose to cover your floor with tends to be one of the more permanent features in your home. Again you have to be careful if you're faced with limited floor space. Still this should not stop you from going for a speckled or mosaic effect or better still polychrome stones that combine a variety of textures.

Large floor areas of course can take an expanse of black whether glossy or matt surfaces; or the delicious sinking into a super soft and luxuriously thick carpet if you're thinking main bedrooms. (Practicality and the need for low maintenance preclude the use of dark carpets from frequently used areas.) Once again there is something definitely stylish in monochrome floors laid out in large rooms or open plans.

Classically Designed Oval Tub on Black and White Checkerboard Marble Floor

Serenity 11, Aquatic Industries, Inc.

The winning ticket of black and white also relies on the play of textures and the spot-on focus of introducing bits of colour, especially if you want to heighten the elegance of this colour scheme without undoing its balance. Heavy black drapes and black bulky furniture unsurprisingly create a sombre feel despite being set off against an all-white interior. You can avoid this by teaming up both stout and delicate furniture with ephemeral drapes.

But the ultimate in monochrome magic is to keep it light and uncluttered, complemented with sleek glass and sleeker mirrors.

- Neomi Zarb, Freelance Feature Writer Specialising in Design and Interiors

Additional Dezignare' References: Draper, Dorothy (1889 - 1969)

Impact Designer Project Management and Accounting Software IMPACT Designer software offers complete project management and accounting solutions.

Impact I.S. Inc.

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Website Additions

African Nupe Palace Door, ca.1940
Defining Elegance Fine Bedding and Accessories
Modern and Contemporary Furniture Classics
Pfeifer Studio

Industry News

27 Architectural Digest Comes to Los Angeles on Its Nationwide Open Auditions Search for New Interior Designs
26 Las Vegas-Based CLEO Design Earns Best Casino Space at the 2007 Images Included
25 Luxury Summit 2008 to Address Trends and Forecasts for the Luxury Market During the Fluctuating Economic Climate
25 Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods: Housing an Ageing Society - Blears
25 California Luxury Homes Holding Their Value
25 HGTV's Libby Langdon Learns How to Turn Her Design Styles "Green" Images Included
25 NorthStar Moving Unveils Star-Studded Services, Setting the Bar for Luxury Moving
22 International Design Guild Announces Winners For It’s William Stampes Memorial Award and Luxe Giveaway Images Included
22 International Design Guild (IDG) Poised For Growth in 2008 Despite Economic Concerns Images Included
22 Lincoln Design Team Brings the Luxury of Contemporary Home Design to the Road Images Included
20 The Alliance to Save Energy Invites You to Mark Your Calendar Today for the Fifth Annual Great Energy Efficiency Day
20 Call for Entries: LACDA 'TOP 40' JURIED SHOW Images Included
20 2008 Trends Conference Speakers Announced
20 CleanRest(R) Announces a Groundbreaking Invention, The World's Cleanest Pillow(TM)
19 NexCen Brands, Inc. Marks 85th Anniversary of Waverly Brand with New Products and a Strategic Celebrity Partnership Deal Images Included
19 World Market Center Sets New Global Standard for Home Furnishings Industry Images Included
18 Minnesota is “Officially” Zhen Images Included
18 Best New Skyscraper of 2007 Stands in The Hague
16 Cambria Announces Winner of Cheryl Tiegs' 'Beautiful Design Giveaway'
15 SullivanKreiss Announces Launch of Executive Search Blog Images Included
15 Top 10 Ways to Be More Energy Efficient – and Green – in 2008
15 Recognizing the Finest Interior Design Achievements Within the Texas Chapter
14 Casino Design and Construction in Spotlight at 4th Annual Pennsylvania Gaming Congress & Racing Forum, February 25-26
13 HGTV Design Star Season Three Kicks off Competition with Online Vote
13 Nation's First Feng Shui Inspired McDonald's Restaurant Opens its Doors in Hacienda Heights
13 Boston Magazine Selects The Green Company To Build Design Home 2008 at Five Lanterns at The Pinehills in Plymouth, MA Images Included
13 Pella(R) Creates a Better View With New Wood Entry Doors Images Included
13 Gelberg Signs Wins New Projects Throughout DC Metro Area; Announces Hire of Nine DC Employees
12 Media Décor's Newest Offering in the Q-LIFT Series Images Included
12 The WCAA Phoenix Chapter Presents The Designers/Workroom Expo Wednesday April 9th 2008 - 9am to 4pm Orangetree Golf Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona Images Included
12 Amenities in Exclusive Heber Valley Community to be Designed by Award-Winning Architectural Firm
12 Select Comfort Creates Sleep Number Quality of Life Advisory Board to Improve Lives, Enhance Well-Being
9 Black Interior Designer Showcase (BIDS) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Co-Presents Diversity Focused Educational Sessions at Interiors ’08 Conference
8 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Lauds Inclusion of Taliesin, Taliesin West, Other Wright-Designed Buildings on U.S. World Heritage Tentative List
8 Euro Cast Design Will Feature Ultra-Light Travertine Hoods at the 2008 KBIS Show 'New Product Pavilion' in Chicago April 10-13, 2008 Images Included
8 Lois Macaulay Interior Design Presents Seminar at Interior Design Show IDS08 Images Included
8 HAI Joins U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Expands Energy Management Product Offerings Images Included
7 New York City Interior Designer, Danielé Perna Launches New Website Images Included
7 Benjamin Moore Names AKQA Interactive Agency of Record
6 Las Vegas City Council Gives Final Approval to World Jewelry Center Images Included
6 MGM Grand Detroit Named 'Development of the Year 2007' by Americas Lodging Investment Summit
6 Kent Displays Launches Reflex(TM) Displays
6 Global Lighting Leader Energy Focus, Inc. Partners With Eco Engineering, LLC to Bring Energy Efficient Lighting to Businesses
6 Sunburst Shutters Introduces Remote Control Shutters Images Included
4 Energy-Saving Material Takes Top Prize in Design Contest
4 JN+A Opens West Coast Office to Serve 12 States and Pacific Rim
1 New Energy Law for Dimmers and Lighting Control Systems Images Included

Events Calendar

MARCH 2008

1 / Pakistan - International Conference on Textile Industry - ICTI 2008 will be held at the Karachi Expo Centre, in conjunction with textile Asia 2008 Exhibition. The theme of ICTI 2007 is "Prosperity in Textile Industry from Emerging Innovations to Global Business." Visit for additional information.

7 - 11 / Jakarta, Indonesia - JIExpo Kemayoran International Furniture & Craft Fair Indonesia 2008 will explore the best products from all over Indonesia made of solid wood, rattan, wicker, cane and other materials with advanced design creating a new trend in furniture. Visit for additional information.

8 / Austin, Texas - NCIDQ Study Group Comes to Austin - The NCIDQ Study Group will be held at ProSource Austin, 2315 Rutland Ste 104, Austin TX 78758. The weekend meetings will be from: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 8th and Sunday, March 9th, 2008. We ask that you bring your own lunch, snacks and beverages. The book and supply list email will be sent separately. This class focuses on speed drawing in 1/8th" scale using elements found on the test. We help class members to gain confidence as they confirm their knowledge base. The ASID STEP class focuses on review and we focus on finding knowledge gaps, filling them and re-enforcing ADA vs. TAS information. Contact Julie Reynolds, ASID for additional information.

8 / Atlanta, Georgia - Atlanta International Fine Linen & Home Textiles Market together with the Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market offers three lucrative days to enjoy elegance at your fingertips during the most impressive and extensive collection of fine linens and home textile showrooms and temporary exhibits. The selection goes on and on. With every category you'll discover a wealth of luxurious products. The acclaimed interior design Kathryn M. Ireland will share her knowledge of textiles and new industry trends. She will aslo present and sign her latest book, Classic Country. Maximize your time. While you're here, shop the Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market(SM) - together with the March Fine Linens Market. Visit for additional information.

13 - 16 / New Orleans, Louisiana - INTERIORS 08: The ASID Conference on Design will be held at the New Orleans Marriott. Build professional relationships with hundreds of design visionaries and experience the power design has to inspire, transform and protect. Learn from proven leaders on the forefront of the creative landscape like JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU, educator, environmentalist and film producer and ROSEMARIE ROSETTI, PH.D., president of the Universal Design Living Laboratory. Create new business and financial success by selecting from a variety of keynote, classroom, experiential and peer-to-peer learning opportunities focused around the issues you need to know about right now including: Business Expertise - Generational Design - Luxury Markets - Future Trends - Society & Environment. Visit the website at to sign up for email updates. For Your Spirit. For Your Clients. For Your Future. For New Orleans. INTERIORS 08- A New Experience

21 - 23 / Nairobi, Kenya, Africa - 11th Buildexpo Kenya International Trade Exhibition '08  - (KITE) The annual event, to be held at the Sarit Expo Centre, attracts visitors from all over East & Central Africa while exhibitors participate from over 30 countries. Visit for additional information.

26 - 29 / Atlanta, Georgia - International Window Coverings EXPO will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center. Grace McNamara Inc., producer of the International Window Coverings EXPO, Announces Keynote Speaker for 2008 Industry-Wide Event in March.


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