HOW I FEEL ABOUT OUR BLACK LIVING ROOM

May 2, 2016

I do not like to tell my friends I painted our living room black because I feel it confuses them. The best way to explain it is when an artist does not like to have anyone see their work mid-progress. (I just more or less referred to myself as an artist, soooo pretentious.)

A black room is certainly a design challenge, which I am enjoying and also nervous about. I have an overall vision, but I do not yet know all the answers for what each element of the room should be like. By comparison, other spaces in our house are way easier and I know exactly what color and material I would want the linens or furniture or whatever to be with no question. Our guest room is going to be a very classic and traditional patchwork-quilt-on-the-bed, white-shiplap-on-the-walls deal.

HOW I FEEL ABOUT OUR BLACK LIVING ROOM from Rachel Schultz

In here, each piece of the room just has to go one at a time as I am experimenting and tweaking to achieve cozy library feelings.

For example, I had some gold candles sticks on the mantle that got a hard axe because with a black room there are so many things you have to guard against. Those were vetoed because anything intricate or gold can become too glam or really Phantom of the Opera rocker mansion (which is not us).

HOW I FEEL ABOUT BLACK WALLS IN THE LIVING ROOM from Rachel Schultz

Colors also become more intense when paired with black. I like yellow, but yellow and black scream bumblebee. (Or Steelers fan.) Green is great, but with black it can become weird, Halloween slime feeling.

So, again. Black is a welcome creative challenge. BUT WITH THE RIGHT FINESSE, I THINK WE CAN STILL LAND THIS THING.

Overall verdict: pleased and hopeful. The living room is mega-bare, so while the black feels bold, adding more art and accessories will soften it. My end goal in here was to have a picture rail for hanging art (oh, the character!), but we decided to abandon that FOR NOW and hang the art with nails like normal, modern people. For that reason I had not cut in up to the molding because the picture rail would have covered it, and now I need to go back and do that because you can see the old white/blue paint sneaking through. Lastly, I do not endorse any of our current furniture.

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