Design in Depth: Back to Black

I was instantly smitten with the new Masterpiece Theater series Downton Abbey on PBS that started last Sunday. The first episode finds the family mourning for cousins who perished on the Titanic. The mother (who’s trying to get the eldest daughter married) comments, “No one wants to kiss a girl wearing black.â€

Outrageous, right? A belief held a century ago that is now practically comical. As shocking to that era as kissing a girl wearing black might be featuring black accessories or worse yet painting a wall or an entire room that color. It’s a daring move and one we love featuring.

Check out the black Venetian plaster walls of interior designer Claire Maestroni’s Greenwich home and the black painted shutter wall in Jim Gauthier’s apartment:

The entry hall in designer Claire Maestroni’s Greenwich, Connecticut, home. Photo by Björn Wallander. (Click to see more of this home.)

The living room of Boston-based designer Jim Gauthier’s apartment. Photo by Laura Moss. (Click to see more of this home.)

Other black faves of mine include the Black Tableware line by Juliska.

Photo courtesy of Juliska

Or can you imagine the elegant bath you could build around the black bathtub by Mastella?

Photo courtesy of Trendir

Dame Maggie Smith plays the Dowager in Downton Abbey and would surely not see it fit to feature Inga Sempe’s Ruche sofa in black for Ligne Roset in the drawing room. That’s probably what makes me want it even more.

Photo courtesy of Ligne Roset

And just for good measure take a look at this dining room by Wainscot Solutions!

Room design by Suzanna Wanicka, Ridgefield, CT. Photo courtesy of Wainscot Solutions

–Stacy Kunstel

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