Black is a color which results from the absence or complete absorption of visible light. It is an achromatic color, without hue, like white and grey. It is often used symbolically or figuratively to represent darkness. Black and white have often been used to describe opposites such as good and evil, the Dark Ages versus Age of Enlightenment, and night versus day. Since the Middle Ages, black has been the symbolic color of solemnity and authority, and for this reason it is still commonly worn by judges and magistrates.
Black was one of the first colors used by artists in Neolithic cave paintings. It was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as the color of the underworld. In the Roman Empire, it became the color of mourning, and over the centuries it was frequently associated with death, evil, witches, and magic. In the 14th century, it was worn by royalty, clergy, judges, and government officials in much of Europe. It became the color worn by English romantic poets, businessmen and statesmen in the 19th century, and a high fashion color in the 20th century. According to surveys in Europe and North America, it is the color most commonly associated with mourning, the end, secrets, magic, force, violence, fear, evil, and elegance.
Black is the most common ink color used for printing books, newspapers and documents, as it provides the highest contrast with white paper and thus is the easiest color to read. Similarly, black text on a white screen is the most common format used on computer screens. As of September 2019, the darkest material is made by MIT engineers from vertically aligned carbon nanotubes.
Shades of black are colors that differ only slightly from pure black. These colors have a low lightness. From a photometric point of view, a color which differs slightly from black always has low relative luminance. Variations of black include what are commonly termed off-black colors, which may be considered part of a neutral color scheme, usually in interior design as a part of a background for brighter colors. Black and dark gray colors are powerful accent colors that suggest weight, dignity, formality, and solemnity.
In color theory, a shade is a pure color mixed with black. It decreases its lightness while nearly conserving its chromaticity. Strictly speaking, a “shade of black” is always a pure black itself and a “tint of black” would be a neutral gray. Unlike these, many off-black colors possess a hue and a colorfulness (also called saturation).
Black symbolized both power and secrecy in the medieval world. The emblem of the Holy Roman Empire of Germany was a black eagle. The black knight in the poetry of the Middle Ages was an enigmatic figure, hiding his identity, usually wrapped in secrecy.
Black ink, invented in China, was traditionally used in the Middle Ages for writing, for the simple reason that black was the darkest color and therefore provided the greatest contrast with white paper or parchment, making it the easiest color to read. It became even more important in the 15th century, with the invention of printing. A new kind of ink, printer’s ink, was created out of soot, turpentine and walnut oil. The new ink made it possible to spread ideas to a mass audience through printed books, and to popularize art through black and white engravings and prints. Because of its contrast and clarity, black ink on white paper continued to be the standard for printing books, newspapers and documents; and for the same reason black text on a white background is the most common format used on computer screens.
In the early Middle Ages, princes, nobles and the wealthy usually wore bright colors, particularly scarlet cloaks from Italy. Black was rarely part of the wardrobe of a noble family. The one exception was the fur of the sable. This glossy black fur, from an animal of the marten family, was the finest and most expensive fur in Europe. It was imported from Russia and Poland and used to trim the robes and gowns of royalty.
In the 14th century, the status of black began to change. First, high-quality black dyes began to arrive on the market, allowing garments of a deep, rich black. Magistrates and government officials began to wear black robes, as a sign of the importance and seriousness of their positions. A third reason was the passage of sumptuary laws in some parts of Europe which prohibited the wearing of costly clothes and certain colors by anyone except members of the nobility. The famous bright scarlet cloaks from Venice and the peacock blue fabrics from Florence were restricted to the nobility. The wealthy bankers and merchants of northern Italy responded by changing to black robes and gowns, made with the most expensive fabrics.
The change to the more austere but elegant black was quickly picked up by the kings and nobility. It began in northern Italy, where the Duke of Milan and the Count of Savoy and the rulers of Mantua, Ferrara, Rimini and Urbino began to dress in black. It then spread to France, led by Louis I, Duke of Orleans, younger brother of King Charles VI of France. It moved to England at the end of the reign of King Richard II (1377–1399), where all the court began to wear black. In 1419–20, black became the color of the powerful Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good. It moved to Spain, where it became the color of the Spanish Habsburgs, of Charles V and of his son, Philip II of Spain (1527–1598). European rulers saw it as the color of power, dignity, humility and temperance. By the end of the 16th century, it was the color worn by almost all the monarchs of Europe and their courts.
In the 20th century, black was the color of Italian and German fascism.
In art, black regained some of the territory that it had lost during the 19th century. The Russian painter Kasimir Malevich, a member of the Suprematist movement, created the Black Square in 1915, is widely considered the first purely abstract painting. He wrote, “The painted work is no longer simply the imitation of reality, but is this very reality … It is not a demonstration of ability, but the materialization of an idea.”
Black was also appreciated by Henri Matisse. “When I didn’t know what color to put down, I put down black,” he said in 1945. “Black is a force: I used black as ballast to simplify the construction … Since the impressionists it seems to have made continuous progress, taking a more and more important part in color orchestration, comparable to that of the double bass as a solo instrument.”
In the 1950s, black came to be a symbol of individuality and intellectual and social rebellion, the color of those who didn’t accept established norms and values. In Paris, it was worn by Left-Bank intellectuals and performers such as Juliette Gréco, and by some members of the Beat Movement in New York and San Francisco. Black leather jackets were worn by motorcycle gangs such as the Hells Angels and street gangs on the fringes of society in the United States. Black as a color of rebellion was celebrated in such films as The Wild One, with Marlon Brando. By the end of the 20th century, black was the emblematic color of the punk subculture punk fashion, and the goth subculture. Goth fashion, which emerged in England in the 1980s, was inspired by Victorian era mourning dress.
In men’s fashion, black gradually ceded its dominance to navy blue, particularly in business suits. Black evening dress and formal dress in general were worn less and less. In 1960, John F. Kennedy was the last American President to be inaugurated wearing formal dress; President Lyndon Johnson and all his successors were inaugurated wearing business suits.
Decorating with black is a wonderful way to make a bold statement. A strong, robust shade, black is guaranteed to bring drama and impact to interiors and is becoming increasingly popular as we become more confident with color.
‘Black adds drama, strength and solidity to a space. It can also portray edginess and creates a contemporary look even when paired with more a traditional furniture,’ says Justyna Korczynska, senior designer at Crown. ‘Dark colors have become more mainstream – they can really give a room a feeling of luxury and sophistication and work surprisingly well in a small area to give it some grandeur,’ she adds.
If you’re tempted to venture to the dark side and decorate with black then you’ve come to the right place as we’ve rounded up an array of beautiful black room ideas to help you get inspired alongside some handy advice from the experts.
Black holds a controversial position as a color, with many experts unable to conclude whether black should be classed as a color or a shade when it comes to interior design. So, is black a color?
Decorating with black may not be the most popular of room color ideas, however, the tone finds a place in every room no matter the scheme. Its grounding effect means that it makes both an excellent accent and statement feature.
Here, we ask experts for their opinions on black and how they choose a shade for black room ideas.
Black kitchens are a fabulous way to create a contemporary yet elegant look and have grown in popularity in recent years as homeowners and interior designers alike become more daring with color and seek to create unique, engaging looks.
‘Color completely alters the mood of a kitchen,’ says Leisha Norman, designer at Harvey Jones(opens in new tab). ‘Used cleverly, darker shades of grey, green, blue and even black add sophistication, like in the Arbor kitchen here, especially with statement handles and well-positioned lighting.’
Decorating with black in the living room needn’t leave the space feeling cold and lifeless – with the right accent colors and plenty of sumptuous texture, black living rooms can feel wonderfully cozy and cocooning.
‘Using dark charcoal greys or black shades can create a sense of intimacy, and an encompassing feel when used in an all-over scheme. Don’t be afraid to use darker shades in spaces lacking natural light, these can often be great places for creating impact and a real wrap-around feel,’ says Ruth Mottershead, creative director of Little Greene.
Decorating with orange accents is a great way to bring warmth to black rooms, while tactile fabrics such as velvet and printed fabrics will help add softness and interest.
‘The pop of orange on the upholstered velvet sofa is in a pleasing balance with dark grey,’ says Vanessa Arbuthnott(opens in new tab) of this scheme. ‘The paint, curtains and chair really need the orange to enliven and warm up the contemporary space.’
If you’re after a sophisticated, urban look then you can’t go wrong with pairing black cabinets with metallics and marble say the experts.
‘Black is our new love, we introduced it a few years ago here at deVOL and I think people were a bit scared, but it’s in full flow now! Think late night bars, speakeasies and restaurants in New York City for the look,’ says Helen Parker, creative director at deVOL(opens in new tab). For a look with impact she suggests to, ‘think big grand kitchen cupboards and especially big islands painted black with some brass for the foot rails or aged copper for the worktops and certainly a splash of softly rounded Carrara marble, which just isn’t ever going to go out of fashion.
Black makes a brilliant accent color if you are thinking of decorating with white. A classic pairing, decorating with black and white brings a sleek and sophisticated look.
To add interest and depth to a black and white living room try adding in pops of gold to liven up the look, as well as layer printed fabrics in different scales and designs to add texture.
Decorating with black alongside marble in the bathroom is guaranteed to bring a dramatic and sophisticated look. In this luxury bathroom designed by Meyer Davis(opens in new tab), a black painted ceiling idea co-ordinates with the black veining of the marble while drawing attention to the height and architecture of the room.
‘The walls complement the blackened steel at the leg of the vanity, and at the same time the coolness in the black adds contrast to the warmth and fiery qualities of the brass. We tried to search for the darkest vein in the marble and chose a shade to match,’ says William Meyer, co-founder and interior designer and co-founder of Meyer Davis.
When it comes to designing black and white bathrooms, ‘a pop of black against light colors, especially high gloss black paint, can give a space a memorable and strong impact, and the glossiness means light will bounce and reflect the room,’ adds William Meyer.
If you love to entertain, then decorating with black in the dining room is a fabulous way to bring a sense of drama and occasion to dinner parties.
When thinking about your dining room paint ideas, ‘consider deeper darks such as Hague Blue or Railings for an elegant yet surprising saturation of color, even take it over your woodwork in Modern Eggshell to lose any contrast between wall colour,’ suggests says Patrick O’Donnell, brand ambassador at Farrow & Ball(opens in new tab).
This ‘color drench’ approach to decorating with black will bring an enveloping feel and add to the atmosphere of the room.
‘This client wanted their bedroom to feel like some of the high end European hotels that they’d stayed in and all of their inspiration images were high contrast, mostly black and white rooms. Their bedroom is relatively small, but I wanted it to feel grand which was why I selected a four poster bed. It doesn’t take up any additional floor space than a regular bed but demands attention by the vertical volume,’ says interior designer Corine Maggio of this black and white bedroom design.
‘Black was an easy decision because we knew we wanted white walls and high contrast. To draw attention to the bed white bedding was the obvious choice, plus, it supported the hospitality feel we were working towards. The high contrast pillows give additional depth and evoke classic European motifs.’
Black makes a great accent color for bringing depth to a room and can be introduced in many ways, from paint ideas and wallpaper to furniture, lighting and flooring ideas.
Being a pure pigment, black makes a brilliant accent color as it pairs easily with many other colors. It is a great shade for using as an accent if you are decorating with white or with light colors, especially in a kitchen, as it can help anchor and bring depth to the space.
‘If you incorporate black into your kitchen scheme in a subtle way, such as painting kitchen cupboards, it will give the scheme definition and add depth to the room without having to completely change the space. It’s a classic tone that can be easily brought into an interior scheme and used alongside existing pieces already inside the home,’ says Justyna Korczynska, senior designer at Crown.
There are many ways to use black in a living room, being a pure pigment it works well with most colors. For a bold, contemporary look you can’t go wrong with decorating with black and white and channelling a high-contrast two-tone approach.
Alternatively, if you’re after something a little easier on the eye, ‘black works well with white and soft greys to create a classic or monochrome look and it also surprisingly works with soft muted pastels for a calmer take on this dramatic trend,’ says Justyna Korczynska.
Used wall-to-wall black can bring a cocooning and intimate feel to living rooms which is perfect if you you are seeking to make a large living room feel more cosy and welcoming. Alternatively, for a gentler take on decorating with black that won’t dominate the space, consider introducing the shade through furniture or accessories – this is a good ay to bring a contemporary edge to a calm or traditional scheme.
It is common knowledge in design that lighter colors can help to make a room feel bigger while darker colors, such as black, can make a room feel smaller as it absorbs most of the light in the space.
Clever use of darker colors can help to keep room feel spacious, however. Using color drenching and painting both walls and ceilings in the same color blends the corners of the room to make the space feel seamless, visually expanding it.
Black paint is a daring choice for a room, however evidence suggests that black paint will make a statement in a compact space or help you sleep if used in a bedroom. Black can help to make you feel more grounded which can help you to relax but can also make art and other objects stand out in the space, making black an incredibly versatile shade for any room and any atmosphere.
source : wikipedia _ wikipedia _ homesandgardens _ homesandgardens
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