Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Black is the new black

Add panache and character to a plain setting

  • Print

The vignette featured today is a good example of how a plain setting can be upgraded to dramatic by including a few simple design elements. What once was probably a simple window in a plain hallway is now a stunning focal point with loads of character.

Basic black

Just like a tuxedo or simple black dress can elevate your wardrobe, basic black in the décor can add instant panache. The fact all of the elements in our featured vignette are black really makes the point. The classic accent chairs and chest of drawers set the tone here. The patterned drapes add the element of height, which always adds to the drama.

Last weekend, we looked at symmetry and in this example, symmetry is used to create balance and focus, which helps catch and hold the eye. Symmetry is introduced here not only through the matching chairs but also in the drapery panels, the artwork and even the three-and-three split of drawers on the chest front. Each of these matching elements brings focus to this setting.

Balancing that with a medium-toned wall colour and accents on the furniture in a softgold colour adds a dimension of regality.

How to pull it off

If you don't have a similar setting to work with, then use a taller piece of furniture as the centre focal point in place of a window. A china cabinet could work well.

You don't have to run out and purchase new, expensive accent chairs and black accessories in order to get this look. Any two matching chairs could work. If you have wicker chairs then paint them black. Even two kitchen chairs can be covered with black/charcoal slipcovers to start you off. If you are working with a window, then curtain panels -- while a little hard to find in black -- can be found at an affordable price if you're patient. Remember too, you can make your own curtains with discounted fabric from a fabric store and some hemming tape or clip-style curtain rings. Even the curtain rod can be fashioned out of wooden dowelling (even a wooden broomstick handle) painted black with simple craft paint, or you can spray paint a rod that you may have on hand in black.

If you had an old desk, table or hutch that can be used in place of a chest of drawers (like the one in our photo), then try it on for size. Paint it black if acceptable or even just paint accents on it in black, like drawer or door fronts and the horizontal surface. For example, if you have a wooden desk in a reddish stain, painting the top of the desk jet black with a bit of sheen will add enough drama without having to paint the entire piece. If you have a piece that you want to use, but don't want to paint, then try using a large, black serving tray on the top and accent it with black accessories or put black fabric under glass if your item has a glass-covered top. This would be a great way to display petit-point artwork.

Black picture frames are plentiful and affordable at most thrift stores, or you can paint ones that you have on hand. Instead of trying to find artwork, use your own photographs and print them in black and white for a contemporary and personal touch. You could also frame pieces of black and white fabric or wallpaper, like toile for instance, to add some dimension to your artwork display.

I'd probably go larger with the photo frames than the ones in our feature photograph and also add a splash of red or other vivid colour through tall flowers in the large white vase.

Consider including an area rug or carpet runner with a black background to ground the small furniture grouping. While the chairs may not be used as they are set in a vignette, they can be pulled up to a dining table when additional seating is required. While they are not being used, they will look lovely in a stylish vignette.

 

connieoliver@shaw.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 14, 2014 F3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Glenn January won't blame offensive line for first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Someone or thing is taking advantage of the inactivity at Kapyong Barracks,hundreds of Canada Geese-See Joe Bryksa’s goose a day for 30 days challenge- Day 15- May 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on a report that shows violent crime is decreasing in Winnipeg?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google