Trend Forecast for 2018: Back to Black

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What makes me excited for 2018?

There are a lot of trends posted out there for 2018, speculation on what is going to be popular and what designers like the most. I have to say, I am no different. What excites this designer most is the opportunity to get creative with a space; I'll always love making things look cohesive, but also enjoy adding fresh, innovative concepts with touch of something new a twist on a timeless classic.

What am I most excited about?

Adding dark colors back into cabinetry, specifically, more black. Welcome to the dark side, friends. 

In the last few years, white kitchen cabinets, white walls, and bright spaces have totally taken over. And don't get me wrong, they are still beautiful and timeless. However, there is something so striking about bringing back intense contrast.  Here are 3 creative ways we've incorporated darker hues into previous projects:

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I first painted a whole room black for the first time about 2 years ago for a young boy Gideon who was our Savvy Giving by Design recipient. He wanted a Batcave-themed bedroom so it made sense. I was a little nervous, not wanting the space to feel too cave-like, but in reality, the black helped the other elements pop. 

*Designer Tips for Black Bedrooms:

  • create contrast with bright white baseboards and light floors
  • use larger scale artworks with large mats and frames to break up bigger walls
  • bring in colors that pop against the darker background

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I’m still all about the light and bright. I like the severe contrast between black cabinetry and lighter uppers. I really want to do a kitchen with black base cabinets and light or natural wood uppers. (any takers?) I got close to that in this laundry/mud room when it was remodeled in 2016.

We selected the paint color Black Panther by Benjamin Moore and chose a simple shaker door. To compliment all of the dark, we designed the rest of the space to be extra light. Pure white quartz counters and acrylic pulls with aged brass accents from Schaub and Company. I opted for open wood shelving to break up the otherwise overwhelming dark cabinetry. These shelves hold the same items that would be in cabinets, but they are staged for display. Dog leashes, vases, baskets of light bulbs and electrical cords. The functional items become part of the décor.  You will notice, everything else is light and bright. That’s where the balance comes in. 

*Designer Tips for Dark Cabinetry:

  • keep other materials like counters and backsplash in bright white
  • utilize open shelving to lighten up the space
  • accent with light hardware
  • pack a punch with graphic tile

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Powder rooms are a great way to add that black pop of color. Dramatic, innovative, modern, these spaces can be fun, especially if you are willing to pair it with a great wallpaper. Bold choices will make the black seem neutral. Adding gold gives an instant glam effect. 

For this project, we wanted something that would work with an existing travertine counter. Choosing white would have been a poor choice (don't do that) and cream would have been too ho-hum. Black and tan is always a winning combo. 

*Designer Tips for adding Dark Graphic Patterns: As we have outlined in other blogs (Modern Spanish Glam: Using Graphic Tile Tastefully, What is Spanish Modern?) Pattern is successful when used purposefully. Don't overwhelm your space with too much pattern, instead let it shine by keeping all other materials simple and refined. 

So, be bold in 2018. Mix it up. If you hate your dark espresso cabinets now, maybe split it. Black base cabinets, winter white colored uppers and add some natural wood or iron accents. Break black into your decor with furnishings and accessories for a more temporary fix. Pair with pastels or bolder shades for an impactful punch. 

Black colors, like white shades, can be tricky. We suggest skipping straight black and going for one of these variations instead. Too afraid to go totally black? Try one of our fave dark shades: Hale Navy!

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Interested in bringing out your inner dark side? Work with us!