Nobody really told me to avoid black surfaces, because it was not a very popular trend until recent years. Now as black is the new white, you can find black accent products everywhere, slowly creeping into every retailer store near you.
I was very dubious when the trend of painting your wall black started emerging, it is such a strong colour to surround yourself with, and it reduces the room so much. But when more and more people started using it, and I got to experience it first hand in friend’s homes and bars and restaurants, I now start to agree, dark colour can be very soothing and cocooning when used in the right amount.
Before being tempted further to painting our walls black, I decided to introduce some black colour furnitures in our home to see how it goes.
Alas, black can be tricky after all!
We have 2 lucky escapes on major home renovation and 2 close encounters with minor decorating ideas that I will tell you all about, just in case you are thinking of getting black surfaces for your home.
Lucky Escape 1 – The Kitchen Counter
A few months back we were knee-deep in renovating our kitchen. There was a moment when we were trying to decide on the colour and material of the countertop, and we were going back and forth between black and wood colour.
We finally decided on a wood laminate countertop because it’s really the most user-friendly material and we found this nice wood impression that looks very real and we liked it very much. I wanted it to be the easiest in maintenance-wise possible and avoid stains at all cost.
Turns out that was one of the best decisions we’ve made so far. An Aunt living in the south told us that she has a mat-black countertop (actually the same one we set eyes on), and it’s always demanding wiping as black reflects water, and it looks dirty if you don’t dry it.
Another friend who came to visit us told us later that he regrets so much choosing a shiny-black kitchen counter that he is surely going to change it. (And the kitchen is not even 1-year-old!) The shiny-black reflects the slightest dust or dirt and it looks constantly dirty even though he is cleaning all the time.
However, if you are thinking of getting a dark grey granite countertop, it might be a good idea. We had something like that in our previous home, even though the countertop is dark, the irregular pattern of the stone makes it easier to conceal dirt. Not good if you are a clean freak, but it can be a blessing if you are a part-time cleaner like me.
Lucky Escape 2 – Dark Flooring
In my earlier post on parquet flooring, I’ve talked about possibly replacing the 5-finger parquet floor that we currently have. One of the choices we nearly went for was a wood floor that is a dark brown colour. The people who have installed it left some comments saying that dust is much more visible, but we didn’t really take it too seriously.
Luckily fate had us keep our original flooring, so we had a close escape as we would have most probably chosen the dark one despite what people say.
Below are the encounters with black surfaces that we didn’t escape. They are really just minor incidents, but provoke profound reflection.
Close Encounter 1 – Black Desk
We bought this desk a couple of months ago because we were tired of always having our computers on the dining table. We needed a desk at the side for working and storing some papers and our computers.
We fell for this lovely desk with a mix of industriel and traditional style.
However, I’ve quickly realised that whenever I sit myself at the desk, all ready to work, the surface is always full of dust and requires cleaning everyday.
This is how it looks like when I don’t clean it after 2 days.
Oh, well, I was a little disappointed. I love this desk very much and was very happy having it in our home. This unexpected dust problem has largely weakened my pleasure of working on this desk. This, and the fact that we cannot be 2 people working at the same time due to the position of the drawers, will make us rethink our priorities and probably change it in near future, despite our appreciation for its beauty.
Close Encounter 2 – Black Garbage Bin
This handsome guy. We bought him a few years back, we really like that it’s tall and black and a little industriel. But we quickly realised that having a 40L trash bin can have it’s complication, and especially when it’s black and shiny, it attracts dust, a lot.
This is what I’m talking about. In the above photo I’ve already cleaned the top a day before, but dust has already began to gather mercilessly. If it looks like this after 1 day, imagine after 1 week.
I love this garbage bin very much, but it’s starting to get on my nerves and I’m replacing it with another more convenient choice, which I’ll talk about in another post.
So there you are, that’s my experience with black surfaces.
Trapped between the love and hate of the colour, I’m tip-toeing my way through trial and errors and slowly adding a touch of black here and there in my home.
Undoubtedly, it will remain one of the neutral colours that I’ll continue to use, but perhaps more as vertical surfaces and less as horizontal ones.
à la vie aujourd’hui,