II. What's black, white & black all over?

palimpsestJuly 8, 2014

New Jersey seems to have cornered the current market on the no-color contemporary. This is the glossier, blacker fraternal twin of the other:

Rococo updates for a daughter's room:

Bed on glass block (lit, I am assuming)

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Annie Deighnaugh

Oh that's bad. Remember Syms stores? They used to have the ceiling and all the walls painted in black...I simply couldn't shop in there...I'd be in the store for a couple of minutes and would start to feel short of breath and I'd have to leave...it was so visually oppressive it actually had a physical affect on me.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:00AM
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robo (z6a)

They found the wallpaper from the last bathroom to put in that bedroom.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:15AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if it was originally the same interior designer, although this project is obviously much higher end than the other.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:30AM
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Palimpsest, what was the design philosophy behind this style of decor?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:38AM
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I think that the first one (black, white, red) is "contemporary" and they were going for a certain amount of post modernism, and keeping a restricted palette. It's hard to say what it looked like with furniture but I would say the furniture was also black white and red and maybe other primary color. I think it's kind of a Patrick Nagel Poster come to life.

The second one, on the surface, sounds the same, but is really a lot different. I would call it a sort of "High Glamour Contemporary" more in a "disco" inspired kind of way. It's not postmodern although some of the elements have roots in post-modernism. I have an idea of what sort of person wants something like this. I had a friend who had a client who came home from the nail salon one day and wiggled her heavily tipped and manicured talons at him and said "I want my Dining Room to look like this".

Personally I could deal with the first house on some level, because it's a relative "blank" except for the Memphis-y wallpaper and the bathrooms.

I would be extremely uncomfortable in the house in this post. I do think the kitchen in this house is more successful than the one in the first house, which just looks sort of tired and non-committal with the grey instead of black.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:03AM
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robo (z6a)

I admire the commitment and I do admire period pieces, but this doesn't appeal to me aesthetically. I guess I find it very stark and uncomfortable, very hard edged seeming (even with the curves), and non-cozy.

Although this is NJ, it seems to me this very "cool" feeling type of decorating might be more successful feeling in a warmer climate ÃÂ la Miami.

Right on with the nail salon reference. Although I could also picture this feeling of dining room coming from that (but I think this is kinda cute and fun)

This post was edited by robotropolis on Tue, Jul 8, 14 at 12:00

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:34AM
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Are some of these B&W photos or is it just a bizarre form of trompe l'oeile? In any case, I think the black helps define the shapes a little better in this case, giving a little order to the sharp angles and curves. And @robo, good call out on the wallpaper.

In this case, we have angled mirrors surrounding the tub.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:03PM
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Nope, these are all color photos. It reminds me of a "Designers' Challenge" once, where a daughter wanted her room to be something other than white and gray. The house was so colorless that unless there were people in the shot it looked like black and white film.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:14PM
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I remember that episode. I couldn't believe that the house had absolutely no color. I think the homeowners, at least the mother, needed some psychological help.

When I asked about the philosophy, I meant the theory behind the style like arts and crafts was a response to industrialization, a way to celebrate individual artisans.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 2:12PM
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I don't think there is a theory behind the décor other than "I like black and white and shiny, and I want it to be [flashy]" although the client probably said "classy" or "elegant" instead of flashy.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 2:46PM
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I was being slightly facetious with my B&W comment -- but some of the pics remind me of a B&W video in which things have been selectively colorized. (See the the Garnier Fructis bottles in the shower).

I'm guessing 1981?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:06PM
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There was a show home all done in black and white that someone posted photos of maybe 2-3 years ago and I loved it. This one doesn't thrill me in the DR but I could live with and modify it, then I get to the kitchen and I want to buy a candy apple red KA mixer and plop it on the counter. Then the more I look the more I can't take it. And I like B&W!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:41PM
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Thanks for responding, Palimpsest, re: the philosophy behind the design. I asked the question because sometimes if I understand the reasoning behind an action, I can find the results more palatable. I may not ever make the same choice, but at least I can understand why the owner/designer made the choice. In this case and other houses of this ilk, I find it difficult to find anything to like about them.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:57PM
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Heck no to the black, white & black. Plugly.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:36PM
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