They say it is all in the details right?
And when it comes to a bold design decision like taking a can of rich, saturated dark charcoal paint to your bookcases and wall- well, the details really make a difference.
I have gotten a ton of questions about the color, type of paint, design elements and why I chose to go bold in the little cottage. And so today- we are delving into a couple of those questions.
This was a hard one. Do you know how many different beautiful colors of charcoal, gray, black and even navy blue paint talked to me? I can appreciate each of them in different ways. But really- from the first time I thought of doing the bookcases a dark moody paint- I was picturing a dark, rich saturated black color.
I found these beauties: Farrow and Ball Pitch Black , Farrow and Ball Soot & Benjamin Moore Black Beauty – which are very close in color to each other and considered a good ‘dupe’ or alternative for one or the other.
If you like a tad more ‘blue’ undertone- Farrow and Ball Railings was another that looked good.
I think I would suggest that you get samples of several and try them in your space. If your room has a ton of natural light- or not much at all- that will absolutely change the saturation and feeling of the color you choose.
I have to be honest- I tend to go against most sheen advice and always go with a semi-gloss or even a gloss paint. I think it is because with the wood plank walls in our house- the eggshell, satins, etc just don’t do well. They seem to absorb much too much light and feel flat and dull. The sheen on the bookcases is a semi-gloss- love the ‘bounce’ it gives to the candles and lights.
I did not use a primer. But if you wanted to- I would have your primer tinted to the color you choose to help layer that rich saturation on. This is also just 2 coats of paint in here- I think if you use a good quality paint- you will get far more reach than a drippy one.
Why a dark color?
My mood. haha.
Recently, I have been a bit ‘moody’ and feeling dramatic with everything going on in the world. Plus- staying home means spending a lot more time looking at walls and dreaming up ideas.
And I love black. I wear black all the time- and I love pops of black in design- especially when paired with golds, brasses, and blush. I feel like it just makes everything feel so rich and elegant- and I LOVE that drama it brings.
Did you paint the whole room?
Just one wall. The bookcases and fireplace are all on one wall- the other walls stayed regular old off the shelf white color. The layout in the little cottage is really one big large shared space- the dining room and kitchen are both in here as well. So this is more of an accent wall.
How did you decide to commit to it?
I woke up one morning and told my husband I was painting the bookcases in the cottage. He guessed another shade of white- since that is pretty the direction I usually would go in. When I told him I wanted to do the whole wall black- he stared at me. Then he asked- AND the bookcases? As in EVERYTHING?
I said yeah. Everything. The fireplace, bookcases, back of bookcases, Everything – it is going to be AMAZING. 🙂
He brought a can of paint home and I just went for it and painted the entire wall and both of the bookcases in a couple of hours.
I did know that I would be painting it for a specific project- but originally- that was going to be more of a charcoal gray than charcoal black paint-I just decided to go for the ‘bold’ at the last minute. 🙂
Where did you get all the books?
I have been collecting books for several years. I pick them up at the thrift stores, tag sales and flea markets- etc. I actually love if they are missing their covers or are on the more faded side also- I won’t pass them up and bring those beauties home. I love the faded and worn books and the texture they bring.
The colorful leather books were my grandparents. They had them all in a bookcase in the living room and I can remember staring at them while I was growing up and thumbing through favorite titles.
I would love to have a collection of vellum books- and enough to fill both bookcases – but they are on the pricey side.
Will you leave the dark bookcase color- or change it back?
I am leaving it for now. For one- I don’t want to get out there and start covering it all up- and I have some holiday photography projects that it is a fantastic backdrop for. And for two- I actually really love how it looks and feels in the room. It adds a chunk of personality.
Are the chairs comfortable?
I have gotten quite a few questions about the chairs. I do think they are comfortable- they are firm and on the small side – the back is not tall for relaxing back into for example- so you could use them for dining chairs.
I love them in the seating group- they really do have such a simple yet charming look with the marble fireplace and gold accents. (side note- They are On Sale through August 14th)
Is the chandelier heavy?
This gorgeous chandelier is made out of a cast metal- so yes it is definitely on the heavy side- but my husband and I put it up ourselves with no issues.
Bold & Beautiful
All in all- using a rich dark saturated color in this room absolutely changed the look and feel- from the moment you walk down the steps – that bold library color envelopes you and makes you feel like getting cozy.
While I generally keep things like wall color fairly neutral- I also have been known to have wallpaper an entire room- ceiling and all- so I am guessing it is that pattern, texture loving side of me that is loving this color in here.
If you are considering doing something like this- I say Go for it.
Paint is one of the easiest ways to change the look of your room- it doesn’t require a ton of money to try it out and it isn’t a huge commitment like taking down a wall or changing a floor plan. If you absolutely hate it- you can paint over it. Yes, a dark color paint will require a bit more paint and effort to go over- but what if you love how it turns out? What if it inspires even more bold design decisions? It might be the thing that makes you find you love a bit of sass on the wall and bold style you didn’t even know you would.
I hope this helps answer some of your questions! I am working on the next room update share – and that should be coming your way very soon.
Nancy A Reed says
Mary Ann says
I LOVE IT!! Thanx for sharing.
Aussie Jo says
Love it. Another great black paint is by Ralph Lauren. I cannot remember the exact name, sorry but a great cinder black. I painted a fireplace and it was beautiful!
Linda Shukri says
I LOVE BLACK! I use black in my Etsy shop and blog banners. I wrap my shop items in black vinyl paper (i got it on Amazon) and tie it with pink ribbon. Our new house came with all grey walls which is not my thing, so I am slowly changing things up with warmer colors. Not sure I could use a black wall anywhere as the house is average size and doesn’t have high ceilings like yours. But my kitchen is partlyl re-painted in a dark red (dozen roses by Behr) amid white cabinets. Which is what my previous kitchen was painted in our last house. I love your chandeliers!
Jane lange says
LOVE IT! It’s my next rainy day project, thank you for the idea.
Marz lochman says
mmm! How dreamy! Ive been thinking of painting my china cabinet a glossy black.
Amanda Shelata - 3 French Hens says
Looks awesome! I like the books turned out ( pages facing out) the paint adds a modern touch , while the books ( turned out), keeps it just enough vintage! The new modern touch added to vintage style..You Nailed it Courtney!,
Anne Kistinger says
Thank you for answering so many questions. It is very inspiring. I have a room that I want to add a “moody look” to, so thanks for the tips.
I love it. it is a bold move but it is beautiful.
Miche Ortega says
GORGEOUS! You made a fabulous decision, as usual.
Alice GenzlingeR says
Thanks for answering my question!
Nancy Brantley says
I LOVE THIS WALL PAINTED!!! GIVES A RICH, ELEGANT LOOK!! a friend of mine painted her formal dining room black years ago and it was GORGEOUS. She put GOLd, blush and green colors in that room.
The black bookcase.. and surround has added so much to your space! Great call! Love the look, immensely! BRAVA Courtney! ~ Shari (Goat Hill Fair)