"Every room can use a touch of black" is so true and is something to remember when it comes to interiors.

Bright colors are taking a back seat to black.

Back to Black, the name of Songstress Amy Winehouse's soulful vocal, is enough to inspire the return to

classic, forever black.  Amy's song (listen to it here) is my inspiration for The Return to Black, in fashion as well as in Interiors.

Think style, think sophistication, think timeless.

image   image image

The little black dress,or LBD as it is known in fashion shorthand, is an timeless classic. 
Tory Burch left   Philip Lim center   Vince right


Amy Winehouse 

A room needn't have a total makeover to make a statement with black - punctuate a neutral interior with a sleek black table lamp.

Porta Roma

A TOUCH OF BLACK in a room can act like a punctuation mark!

This gourd lamp with black silk oval shade is from the stylish Porta Romana lamp company in the UK and is a timeless classic. 

night hotel new york lobby 

The Night Hotel (pictures above and below) in New York is a study in black and is decorated in "Modern Gothic Gotham"

night hotel new york

  pophamdesign com tile1
A bold black stripe down the back and seat of these mid-century chairs creates added interest. Popham Design 

Black & White photos line the walls of this stairwell, and the black geometric "David Hicks" inspired carpet
adds drama and lots of glamourEric Cohler 

InstyleMarch 08 

Hollywood Glam - black patent headboard & bench - InStyle 

Jaime Haydon image

The black marble floor is another timeless classic (left) Jamie Haydon / Kitchen with black slate floor (right)

Mary McGee NickyHiltonIinstyleMarch 08
Black & white dishes (left) / an iconic Chanel tray (right). 
When I think of Chanel, I think Black, I think timeless, I think classic, I think unforgettable!

  Mary McGee1 suzanne kasler 

Timeless black sofas add drama and are a grounding element in the above rooms.
(left) Mary McGee / (right) Suzanne Kasler 

colorama se

Want to add drama to a room quickly and inexpensively, try painting or wallpapering a feature wall black.


NY Times 

Paint your house black.  My favourite black paint is Benjamin Moore Black Beauty - photo NY Times

Black can act as a neutral because there is no color it doesn't go with.

buffalo horns from z gallerie

Accessorize with these buffalo horns from Z Gallerie 

To see more posts on colour trends click here



Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design, architecture,
and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© Patricia
Gray Interior Design Blog, 2009

south end open studios

: : don't miss the south end open studios this weekend Sept 20-21st. It's a great day to be out and about in the .south end. checking out artist's work and the south end open market.

red house dreams

: : I'm leaving on thursday to head home to Sweden for two of my best friends weddings. The days in between the weddings [when I'm not helping out with wedding preparations] will be spent at my parents torp [typical Swedish red cottage] with my mom and sister. I'm hoping to be able to help with some decorating since they just moved in. I found some great inspiration images in the Swedish design magazine .sköna hem.

mamma mia!!

: : I've seen the movie .mamma mia. twice now. I'm a Swede, that's enough of an excuse. *smile*
I loved the movie! the music is great; of course, my Swedish friend and I sang along in every song. The actors are great; .Meryl Streep. really carries the movie, .Pierce Brosnan. is terrible at singing, but brave for trying, .Mr Darcy. my all time favorite is very lovable even in this movie, and the one Swede in the movie .Stellan Skarsgård. adds a lot of humor.

In addition to all this I was LOVIN' all the attention on Swedish Design in the movie. An overwhelming amount of beautiful .Josef Frank fabrics., but even the cross stitching details on Meryl Streep's bed cover, the stitching on her dresses, the colors......everything reminded me of Sweden.

Lastly, it was filmed at what must be one of the most beautiful place on earth, the Greek island of .Skopelos., which is probably getting invaded by mamma mia fans as I am writing this. the photos above are a few of my flickr favorites of the island.


: : I like this photo. maybe because it's apple season and I want to go apple picking this weekend. the photo is from one of my favorite people's story blog .sweet juniper.

that .perch bowl. looks so good with those apples in it.

: : Swedish classics : :

: : bvd is a design and branding bureau in Sweden. they've done packaging work on some classic Swedish products. blossa 2008, .glögg. [Swedish mulled wine] got a face lift with these colorful bottles.

above them, a Swedish post-war icon and headache tablet .treo.

Obama for change

: : hello friends : :
I don't usually like to share my politically viewpoints on the blog. but it is election season, and a very important, historical election. since I can't vote, sharing my opinion is the only way that I can participate in this election. .Obama. is the natural choice for me. NOTHING else makes sense to me. maybe it's cause I'm the cab driver in Geneva told me two weeks ago;"if the election was going to be held in Europe today, there would be no question about who would win". OBAMA. The fact that it is not a clear cut choice in this country amazes and scares me. Most of all, Sarah Palin scares me. I want to share a brief quote from an email I received this morning.

Perhaps like us, as American women, you share the fear of what Ms.
Palin and her professed beliefs and proven record could lead to for ourselves and for our present or future daughters. To date, she is against sex education, birth control, the pro-choice platform, environmental protection, alternative energy development, freedom of speech (as mayor she wanted to ban books and attempted to fire the librarian who stood against her), gun control, the separation of church and state, and polar bears. To say nothing of her complete lack of real preparation to become the second-most-powerful person on the planet.

You can view women's responses to this email on the blog womenagainstsarahpalin

The Obama buttons above are by New York Visual design shop Trollbäck. Email them and you might receive your set of free buttons. [via notcot]

Obama for change!


: : I went to .trader joe's. [my favorite neighborhood grocery store] today on my way home and didn't have a backpack or a bag with me. I felt guilty about using yet another doubled-up-paper-bag. it will never happen again because I just bought a .baggu bag. [in hot pink]. and it will live in my purse for all those unexpected trips to the grocery store.

if you haven't already boycotted plastic it now!!

sweden summer pics

: : these will be the last Sweden summer pics for now.
.iz. and .farmor. [grandma] relaxing by the sauna.
the sunset from our bedroom.
successful mushroom picking and...
a spontaneous crayfish party

Swedish weddings

: : two of my best Swedish girlfriends are getting married, a week apart from each other, at the end of this month. I am so thrilled and happy that I will be able to be home for their weddings! In fact, .louise. did try to make it easy for me and planned her wedding close to .tina's. I've been helping them both with design inspiration here and there, and for .louise & erik. I made their invitations. they'll be getting married outside in a beautiful garden. .tina & hans. will be getting married on cliffs by the ocean, on an island in the Swedish westcoast archipelago.

Hot or Not? Sarah Palin’s Alaskan Office Décor

Are Grizzly Bears and King Crabs going to be the new trend? I certainly hope not!!

Take the reader survey in the right hand column. Poll closed see results below.


This image appeared in The New York Times, accompanying the story Sarah Heath Palin, an Outsider Who Charms.

November 5, 2008
Here are the statistics of the Poll


Patricia Gray writes about Interior Design inspirations, emerging trends, and the world of Design.
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finally home

: : Sweden and back. then Switzerland and back. and now finally home in Boston again. I'm sorry that it's been so quiet here.

I haven't had much time to find inspiration to share, apart from the photos from my vacation, which I still look through every other day or so. from top left. my parent's own little [it is adorable], two typical fishing villages on the Swedish westcoast and a delicious Swedish meal, strömming [a type of fish] with potatoes and raw lingonberries. yum!

New and Hot Interior Design Books

"You are the same today that you are going to be five years from now except for two things:
the people with whom you associate and the books you read."  -- Charles Jones

Check out some of the new books on Interior Design below in the new Amazon Widget at the bottom of this post. I am a lover of books and images and I can hardly wait to receive a new batch of books hot off the press. I am most excited about Michael Taylor Interior Design which hasn't been released yet but is available for pre-order on Amazon. I have done a post on Michael Taylor's work, which you can read here: Michael Taylor - Good Design is Timeless.

The James Dean of decorators is how Diana Vreeland described West Coast designer Michael Taylor.

Michael Taylor: Interior Design

I was a student in Design School when the picture below of Michael Taylor's work was published in Architectural Digest . I was totally in awe of his work. Nothing had been done like this before. It was revolutionary and very fresh. I became totally mesmerized by all things "Michael Taylor".  He is still a big influence in my work.

Consistently denouncing the cluttered and pretentious, he had a simple ethos: "When you take things out, you must increase the size of what's left." This spawned the widely emulated California Look, which in the latter part of his career was characterized by oversize furniture and signature elements, including Yosemite slate and fossilized stone; plump geometric cushions; logs; wicker; and lots of mirrors, all against a muted backdrop of white on white or beige on beige.

This is a room Michael designed circa mid 1950's in Modesto, California

Syrie Maugham, the British decorator who helped create the all-white look popular in the 1920s, provided another source of inspiration to him which can be seen in the above picture of a living room Michael Taylor designed. "Schiaparelli sofa"



Taylor rivaled the legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland in his use of maxims - "Red and green should never be seen!" was one of his favorites. "If in doubt, take it out!" was another. Taylor believed that white was the most efficient color for capturing natural light.


"I cannot live without books."
Thomas Jefferson

What books are you going to be reading??



Patricia Gray writes about Interior Design inspirations, emerging trends, and the world of Design. 
While you're here, subscribe to this feed so you don't miss out.