Tag Archives: black,

Black And White Rooms

Why did I write a post about Black and White rooms on a blog called Color Sizzle?

ca homeanddesign


You all know that I’m crazy for color.  Black and white is achromatic — meaning void of color — so what gives?  Well, I’m always moved by color, but I also love contrast. Sometimes, it’s the contrast in a room that speaks louder than anything else.  And a black and white ‘color’ scheme creates the most powerful contrast of all.

black and white room


black room with white sofa


Black and white is not only visually striking, but it’s also a classic look {think Art Deco} that has real staying power {like Modern Glam}.  Black and white is tried and true when other trends have come and gone.

kelly wearstler_bathroom




Another plus with this achromatic ‘color’ scheme is that you can add any other color or pattern to it, and it always works.  That’s good news for those ADD types {like myself} who get bored easily and want to change things up a bit.

martha stewart


black curtains in white room


black white and gray bedroom


black and white bedroom

Although, there is no real color with the Black and White combination, this duo offers a ton of energy, {from the contrast} balance, and the presence of perfect harmony…sort of like Ebony and Ivory…and maybe that’s the next best thing to color.

Online Design: Working With Yellow Walls

yellow walls design board by kelly porter

If you’ve ever bought a new home or remodeled one, then you may have had this dilemma:

  • You have no furniture for the room, so you decide to paint first.
  • You select a great color and have the room painted.
  • You love the color, but now you’re stuck…
  • You don’t know what furniture pieces to get, and you don’t want to make a mistake.

Sound familiar?  This is exactly what happened with one of my recent clients Vendell, who lives in Detroit.  When she contacted me, she had just painted her living room/dining room with Melted Butter by Behr, a warm, welcoming and vibrant shade of yellow.  Vendell’s home is older and has tons of character, but she wanted a more contemporary look that would fit her young family.  This post features the DIY Design Plan that I created for her.

color scheme by kelly porter


Aside from glam gray, black and white, this design also introduces green, which is a color that Vendell likes when it’s paired with yellow.  The Chester Sofa is from westelm.com, the Bailey Chairs are from zgallerie.com, and the Aggie Beaded Lamps are from homedecorators.com.


Vendell also wanted ideas for accessories.  Among the ideas shown above, I suggested that she purchase dinner and salad plates from the Labyrinth dinnerware collection to hang as a group in the dining room.

living rm

{this is now a room with a plan!}

Vendell was so excited about her DIY Design Plan but she was even more relieved to finally have a starting point and strategy.  If your room needs fresh colors or a new look for the new year, email me at kelly@porterhousedesigns.com to find out how I can help!

Color Trend: Black And Bright

Black rooms {and black accent walls} have been gaining in popularity over the past couple of years.

{Porter House Designs}

Black walls have been on a slow ride to the top, and with good reason:  It’s a bold choice.  Plain and simple.  Black was my first choice when I recently re-styled my sitting room {shown above}.  I painted just one accent wall and left the other ones crimson, at the request of my husband.  Even painting one wall black was a bit scary…

…but I love it!  Using black is very tricky.  Unless your room gets a ton of natural light, has ample artificial lighting or is open to other rooms — I strongly suggest painting just one accent wall.  Yes, this is where an accent wall really makes sense.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with an extremely dark room.

Some designers like to use white furniture and fabrics in black rooms.  That’s OK, but I think using bright, vivid colors looks much better and it’s way more fun!  In my sitting room, I used my red chairs, and brought in splashes of orange, pink, yellow and wasabi green.

Here are a collection of other black rooms that I love:

{mix and chic}

{casa sugar}

{hgtv canada}

{vanessa and valentine}



{the style files}

If you decide to paint a black room or wall, here’s an important tip:  Unless your room is very low-traffic — meaning no one will ever go in there — do not use a flat finish.  Black paint in a flat finish is like a chalkboard.  You will not be able to even brush up against the wall without a smudge showing.  For the best results, use either a high-quality, cleanable matte or satin finish.  And bold as it may be, you’ll love having a black space in your home!

Go Dark With Wallpaper or Paint

I’ve gone over to the dark side this week by sharing tips around the web on how to use dark colors in your home.


{wintercreative via houzz}

Over at Houzz, you can find my Ideabook on using wallpaper to create dark and dreamy bedrooms.

{habachy designs via houzz}

Then, at Sherwin-Williams STIR I’m dishing out ways that designers can help clients feel comfortable using darker paint colors {but I think this info is useful for anyone — not just designers}.

{the lennoxx}



Dark colors and wall coverings bring elegance and sophistication to your home like nothing else can.  Be daring in 2012 and give ‘em a try!