When I put on my image consultant hat, I have to tell women that black is not BFF that they think it is. It most often makes light-skinned ladies look pallid and tired. And it isn’t always kind to darker-skinned women either. But, I tell them, when used with colour or teamed with a bit of bling, black can be the best thing since stilettos. (Which, by the way, I don’t recommend unless you’re slim in the ankle department – but that’s another blog altogether.)
I have similar feelings when it comes to decor. Firstly, stilettos are not ideal to wear while you’re decorating. And secondly, black can be jaw-dropping when used judiciously.
Black and white tile floors are as classic as they come – think Audrey Hepburn’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s LBD. But, for a modern take, think about how Victoria Beckham would accessorise the look. Famed – and not a little envied for her collection of bright Birkins – her latest signature range is all about tangerine, lemon and tan twists on classic styles.
Did you know that, when she tied the knot with Matthew Broderick 14 years ago, Sarah Jessica Parker wore a black gown (Sorry ladies, I’ve lost a good few hours trying to find a photo of her wedding shoes for you.)
Her decision was, apparently, an attempt to keep the event low-key. But it actually only gave fashionistas another page for their little black books. That’s the thing about black – it’s inherently memorable … and not for shrinking violets.
It has transpired that SJP regrets this non-traditional choice. And that’s not something that most of us can afford (literally!) when it comes to our decor decisions. My advice? Don’t go goth with the look – add some complementary colours. Look to Essie for inspiration. If my job required dressing up, I’d opt for a black power suit with “very structured” heels, a “glamour purse” blouse and a “power clutch” bag for my Mac. Oh, and “carry on” nails. (Sadly, I’m writing this in my Mr P pink PJs and am badly in need of a mani.)
Black is the Madonna of the decor world. Chameleon-like and always ahead of fashion, ever-stylish and oh-so individual. It can be unforgiving, yes – remember the cone bra disaster? But it can also be beautifully feminine.
To put it another way, black can be Amy Winehouse’s hard kohl “wings” or it can be JLo’s sexy smudged liner.
And – reading this post out loud – I realise I’ve probably succeeded in alienating every male reader that The Furnishing Touch ever had. Sorry gents. Here’s an analogy for you. Black can be your favourite pair of Levi’s, perfect paired with a plain white T and a tattoo or two. Or it can be your slick Hugo Boss suit, with a charcoal shirt and onyx cuff links. D’ya seen what I’m getting at?
However you choose to use it, black is guaranteed to be dramatic. So go ahead and be daring. Just remember that, just as all-black outfit isn’t always slimming, a ceiling-to-floor black room won’t necessarily showcase your personality. And that, after all, is the point of decor, don’t you think?
- Indoor Decor