The last time I was at Sydney’s MCA it was a sparkling Autumn day and the view from the rooftop cafe took my breathe away ….. I couldn’t draw my eyes away from the expanse of blue sky, blue water and the Opera House sails …. so pristine and so white !!
Attending a function one evening this week …. in the same space …… I was surprised by what little impact the Opera House and possibly even the Sydney Harbour Bridge had on the skyline. It was the sparkling view back to the CBD and Circular Quay itself that this time …… literally took my breath away. Even the Cahill Expressway was barely evident.
The lights around the foreshore and wharves as pretty and lustrous as strings of pearls.
I do have to mention the impact of the beautifully lit Hany Armanious sculpture …. Fountain, by night. He was our only exhibitor in the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011.
image: likainen parketti
There is nothing as smart as black and white !! And you don’t need another colour at all if you are clever with texture and pattern. How inviting is the grey woollen blanket above, not to mention the rustic trunk …. the juxtaposition of the contemporary slick white walls with lots of texture, pattern and vintage !!
Again, a simple white interior contrasted with the warmth and texture of the linen sofa and timber table. Interestingly, it is the definite contrast of the black shade, television and other smaller pieces that create the statement.
This is an example of pure white on white with not a lot of black …… however you don’t need a lot to make the statement.
In contrast, the black in this interior is strong and bold and looks fabulous !!
The combination of the very definite black and white stripes with the softer lines of the sofa and armchair works beautifully. The detailed window architrave and rustic side tables soften the linear effect of the rug.
So be bold ….. go forth and embrace black and white for its simplicity, its inherent style and its flexibility.
Some black and white suggestions ……
almost black walls with white ceiling, doors, windows, skirting and architraves, floors pale bleached timber
white walls, ceiling and trims with black gloss timber floor
bathrooms with white wall tiles, predominantly white tiled floor with small black tile in check pattern, black vanity as a contrast with white bath and basin
all white kitchens with a very thick black benchtop … particularly good with black timber floor or even grey bleached timber
staircases in white with black handrail and tread only
charcoal to black painted exterior for timber houses or sheds with white trim on windows, doors and shutters
black and white photographs framed in black on a white wall or framed in white on a black wall
a soft black fringed throw rug on a bed made with crisp white bedlinen and doona
thick black bath towels hanging or folded in an all white bathroom
a large vase full of fully blown pink roses in any black and white interior ….
image: coty farquhar
Displaying collections of what ever takes your fancy is a satisfying and pleasurable project. It is giving a little glimpse of you and your favourite bits and pieces, old or new, precious or not to those who might admire them.
It may be more personal…..a collection on a dressing table ….. or it may be hung on a wall in a living room for all to see!!!
Either way it is a very individual and stylish way to make a statement….bringing together beautiful colours, texture, like with like.
Create attractive groupings within your spaces…. that you have put together…..your favourite things for a myriad of different reasons !!!!!!
. shells collected on your holiday on a white platter or in beautiful glass bowl (see Coty Farquhar’s image above)
. pretty china plates hanging on a wall or porcelain teas cups grouped on a sideboard…..take them out of the cupboard and display them !!!
. silver tea set or silver bowls, platters or candlesticks and of course your silver picture frames……silver always lights up a room but polishing it all can be punishing !!!
. cut glass or crystal is always so pretty… particularly if you do groupings of vases with a selection of freshly cut flowers from your garden …..just a sprig is all it takes. These look gorgeous if spaced down the centre of a dining table. A collection of crystal wine and spirit decanters always looks warm and inviting with lamp light.
. pewter has a special hue that seems to work with grey and white….it can be rustic or minimalist.
. stacked wood in or beside a fireplace has a warmth and texture that can be a design element in itself.
. bookshelves are fabulous anywhere…the more the better…..whole walls of them !!!! Books can be arranged randomly…..by subject or by colour !!!
. folded linen sheets and pillowcases in an armoire or linen press….possibly my favourite thing !!!!