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Paint it Black...



Good Tuesday! I hope you're still enjoying your summer, even as some are heading out to fetch school supplies and new outfits for their kids as they head back to school. Let's let that float for now...


The Rolling Stones say it well in their song...Paint it Black! I just have to say that this band is not just a band...they're an institution...still going...in their 70's!!! Let's try to follow that lead. Anyway...about black:


I love the color Black! It's austere, elegant and chic! It is a staple "color" in my wardrobe and I feel good anytime I wear black. In fashion, it is considered a neutral. But, we are here to talk about the color black as it relates to decoration of the home. So where do we start?


First, an interesting thing about black is that it really isn't a color; it is actually void of color. Black is really an undertone of color (I'll explain this further) and it is not on the color wheel. The color wheel as we know it consists of 12 colors: red, Red-violet, violet, blue-violet, blue, blue-green, green, yellow-green, yellow, yellow-orange, orange and red-orange. And, if you remember from one of my earliest blog posts, color is lightwaves. Simply said, it is the light that travels into the eye to the retina (located on the back of our eyes). The retina is covered with millions of light sensitive cells call rods and cones. When these cells detect light, they send signals to our brain. But, it is the CONE cells that help to detect colors. Our brain and eyes work together to translate the light into color. It is the light of different wavelengths that produce HOW we see different colors. Interestingly, the longest wavelengths produce the color red and the shortest produce the color violet. There is so much more science that could keep us all day on the subject. For now, we will just say thanks again to Issac Newton! Back to Black (oh, I just related the song by Amy Whinehouse...I can be funny at times)...


As I said above, the color black is the absence of color! Pure black is the very opposite of the "color" white. Black absorbs light and white reflects it. White (the "color") is achromatic, meaning it has no hue. In decorating, hue refers to a color. Thus, white has no color. Now to really confuse you...black, white and brown are considered undertones. They are the base of colors. So, for instance, blue, green and purple have a black undertone. Red and orange have a brown undertone. Lime green and yellow have a white undertone. What this means is if you add more of an undertone to a hue (color) it will deepen that color. Lime green and yellow with more white will get lighter with a white undertone.


Okay, enough science for today. Here are a few of my favorite paint color if you are looking for black:

  • Benjamin Moore Mopboard Black

  • Sherwin Williams Iron Ore

  • Farrow & Ball Off-Black

  • Little Greene Lamp Black

  • Behr Evening Hush

These hues, although black, are nice for outdoor shutters and doors, indoor doors, furniture and, if you are brave, small guest bathrooms, libraries and dining rooms. You might paint black in a family room (if you like to live dangerously). Another idea is to paint an entry hall ceiling in black to add a little drama. In any case, make certain you have enough natural sunlight or you might feel you have entered a tomb. The suggestions above are not so "Jett" black, they are a bit softer. I have used Farrow & Ball - Off Black and also Benjamin Moore - Mopboard Black (a few of my clients used this as well indoors). So...go ahead and paint it black!


Have a great week...Jeanine


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