Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Earthy Black and White

Today is day two of warmish rain. Ideally there would be some sun too, but I've found myself resigned and even  enjoying that particular type of earthy dampness that goes along with lots of spring rain. Not so much the mud part, but definitely that mossy-ness that's sort of fresh and dank both at once. Something about it reminds me of the earthy cool smell/sensation of unfinished old basements and cellars.

It's the same kind of feeling I get when I look at rooms that turn black and white into a rustic combo with touches of raw wood. When we think of black and white we usually think of high impact, glossy spaces, but my favorite applications of the never-out-of-style color combo classic are the earthier ones...

like this one by Atlanta Bartlett....
(Atlanta Bartlett's Easy Elegance via Delight by Design)

 Or this perfect basement apartment designed by Steve Gambrel. Before seeing it, I've never coveted the idea of subterranean living, but I love the rustic/industrial/garden feel of this one....

(S.R Gambrel)

Or this one from Domino which I love for the unusual combination of black walls and driftwood topped off by the minimalist exposed bulb sconce.....

 Darryl Carter mastered it in his Virginia getaway (featured in Elle Decor a few years ago. I can't tell you how many times I've gone back to look over the spread. Usually I tear out magazine pages and ditch the rest, but I've kept the whole issue)....

(Elle Decor)

And I've spent nearly as much time studying Eddie Ross's perfectly rustic New York retreat. The beams, the beams! I love how he punctuates the white and raw wood (already one of my favorite combinations) with punches of sophisticated black in the sconces and taper candles....

 I fluctuate between wanting a sparkling pristine bathroom and a natural earthy one, but this picture definitely sways me toward the latter....


Even black and white stripes can take on an earthy feel when paired with unpainted wood...

 (Ferm living via House That Lars Built)

 On a totally unrelated note, still no baby...but suddenly I'm feeling totally ready and even anxiously impatient to the point where so many things that preoccupied my mind for the last few months suddenly seem irrelevant. I think that's a good sign...right?


  1. wow, I had never really thought about it before but there is a huge difference between the high gloss b&w and the more rustic, muted version. I love this look and didn't realize it!

  2. Such wonderful images displayed here. They are very warm and inviting too. Great post.

  3. Amen! Honestly, I just can't believe how much I enjoy and so agree with the photos you post. I probably will steal a few of these for my 'Room Love' tab on my blog, which is full of exactly the same kind of interiors. Black and white contrast and many with some kind of wood element. I have to say that I was a teensy bit disappointed with TRAD Home for that reason. It was really hard to find photos with wood in them -- photos of rooms that looked lived in, rather than contrived. Anyway, another fabulous post!

  4. baby will come. Are you post dates?

    Love the insp pics...go eat some pineapple.

  5. Yes, that is a good thing. I think that just as we make room in our homes (nesting!) before baby's arrival - so baby starts to make room for themselves in our hearts and souls long before we meet face-to-face. It is a precious time. Enjoy the blessed distraction.

    We love and miss y'all,

  6. Ooops...forgot to say - you are in my prayers for a beautiful and peaceful delivery.

  7. Has the baby arrived yet? I'm feeling bad about my TRAD Home comment and have returned to take it back. Upon another viewing, I actually found quite a lot to like! I must have been in a bad mood the first time around!

    Good luck to you, Leah!


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