Friday, November 11, 2011

A Touch of Black: Decor Inspiration!

The inspiration to change often starts as a whisper (this is true in life as well as interior decorating!). We sit and ponder our rooms (or our lives) and list the things in our heads we "still need to do" (if we are lucky to be that conscious). But in a way, I don't mind not completing my projects. I like that rooms evolve and change as I change.

So I am always open to new directions.

On our recent trip to Washington DC, I visited a flea market and fell for this fantastic engraving. I bought it on the spot (and had it shipped) as it satisfied a deep taste I have for classical elements. You don't get more classical than Roman warfare:
The antique engraving is based on an old painting called Die Hunnenschlacht (The Battle of the Huns) by Wilhelm von Kaulbach, depicting the Huns battling the Romans

The engraving (which needs to be reframed) solidified a whispering desire to add more black to my interiors. I already have a lot of black and white art (which I must share in another post), but I need to add a few more dark elements for their crisp contrast with my often-pale rooms.

After visiting the American Art Museum in Washington, I feel in love with American artist Abbott Handerson Thayer. I researched him upon returning home and just fell upon this beautiful painting, which takes me further in the black and white direction:
I plan to frame a print of this for our bedroom or perhaps my bathroom...

Speaking of which - our bedroom already has some nice dark notes, with our dark console table, the drapery rod, and some small accessories:

But I'm now planning to add this gorgeous fabric (the chevron pattern in the middle) by my friend (interior designer and textile designer) Lauren Liess, which I just won in her giveaway here!!!:
Photo: Helen Norman

Her black and oatmeal filagree chevron (which I will likely make into pillows), suits my classical tastes perfectly and will add a modern note to the room! is just the touch of black I was looking for! I also love her Queen Anne's bouquet pattern at the top...

By the way, if you have not seen her new textile designs, they are simply divine. Check them out at her shop here. I am just so proud of Lauren (an early blog friend) and see her star shining brighter each day.

I also recently acquired this lovely simple light fixture (for another room, but I think I prefer it for our master bedroom). I like its simplicity and the curvilinear quality I always identify with (the same lines I notice in much of my furniture):

I love when a new decor inspiration comes along, particularly when it's subtle and I don't have to completely redecorate the house to accommodate it!

I will report back when all the changes are made.

~ Happy weekend ~


  1. I admire your ability to edit so well. It is so calming to have negative space in a room. I think it makes what is there so much more special. I like so many different things that I often don't know when to stop.
    The engraving is really stunning.

  2. I, too, like a bit of black to ground a room. Yes, I'll be interested to see it comes together. I am a bit surprised by the engraving, but I know that it must look wonderful in your home.

  3. I think your Lauren Leiss print will look beautiful in that room.

    The Thayer print is really beautiful too!

  4. Terri,
    The Thayer portrait is beautiful. I agree with you about that touch of black. High contrast forces an examination of forms and how they interact in a space. We recently adapted an all-white kitchen scheme to include some large black elements to focus and ground everything. One of the photos you included on your blog (and were kind enough to provide the source for me later) was part of our inspiration to use soapstone for our perimeter counters.

  5. Lucky you! Lauren's designs are lovely. I liked the Queen Anne's Lace also.