Categoría: Guide 21/02/2023

Decoration in black: drama and sobriety as protagonists

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    The colour black has always been synonymous with elegance and sophistication in fashion and design, and, of course, in the world of decoration. Although many may think it is a dark and heavy colour, it is actually quite the opposite. Black is a timeless and versatile colour that always adds a touch of mystery, drama and elegance to any space. From architecture to interior design, black has become an iconic shade that is increasingly popular in modern décor. Whether on walls, furniture, accessories or textiles, this colour can be used in many ways to create a modern and sophisticated ambience.

    Using black in decoration is not just a matter of trends, it becomes a form of personal expression. It is an opportunity to challenge ourselves and play with the possibilities this colour offers. Whether you are looking to create an elegant and minimalist atmosphere or a more cosy and relaxing space, black can help you achieve the effect you want. Therefore, from Dune, as experts in ceramic decoration, we want to address relevant aspects that influence the use of black as a powerful decorative element. Let's get started!

    The colour black in interior design

    At this point, and taking into account all the above aspects, it is clear that the colour black is a very interesting element in interior design. It brings elegance, sophistication and a touch of drama to any space. However, it is important to use it with care, as overuse can create a dark and oppressive atmosphere.

    The colour black influences a wide variety of decorative styles, as its versatility makes it suitable for different tastes and preferences. The decorative styles in which black has the greatest influence are analysed in the following paragraphs.

    The influence of black in modern style

    The colour black is often used in the modern style of decoration, as it adds a touch of elegance and sophistication. In this style, black is used in furniture, accessories and decorative details.

    The influence of black on the industrial style

    The industrial style often uses black, as it is a style inspired by the aesthetics of factories and industrial buildings. In this style, black is used in furniture, structures and decorative elements such as lamps or shelves.

    The influence of black in the minimalist style

    The minimalist style is characterised by simplicity and the absence of unnecessary decorative elements. Black is often used in this style to create a clean and elegant atmosphere, using furniture and accessories in this colour.

    The influence of black on the bohemian style

    Bohemian style is characterised by being eclectic and colourful, but black can be used to create a contrast and balance the excess of colour. In this style, black is used in textiles such as cushions and blankets, or in decorative details such as lamps.

    The influence of black in the classical style

    The classic style often uses black, as it is a timeless and elegant colour. In this style, black is used in furniture and decorative details such as lamps or mirrors.

    It is clear that black can be used in a wide variety of decorative styles, bringing elegance, sophistication and a touch of drama to any space. Don't forget that it is important to use it carefully and balance it with other decorative elements to create an attractive and balanced environment.

    How can we use the colour black in architecture and decoration?

    If you are thinking of including this colour in your next project or renovation, we offer you some options for black to take centre stage:

    • On the façade of buildings: black can be used on the façade of buildings to create a sense of elegance and sophistication. Black is a timeless colour that can be used in any architectural style, from modern buildings to historical structures.
    • On the roof of buildings: the use of slate as a building element is associated with areas with low temperatures. This element serves as an insulator and has also gained popularity in decoration thanks to the rustic effect it brings to rooms.
    • In interiors: black can be used in the interiors of buildings to create a sophisticated and cosy atmosphere. Black can be used on walls, floors and ceilings to create a dramatic and elegant ambience. In addition, black can be used to highlight design elements such as mouldings, arches and decorative details.
    • In furniture design: black is a popular colour in furniture design, especially in modern and minimalist pieces. Black can be used in chairs, tables, lamps and other furniture elements to create a sleek and sophisticated look.
    • In lighting: black can also be used in building lighting to create a dramatic and sophisticated ambience. Black lights can be used to highlight architectural elements or to create a theatrical atmosphere.

    How to decorate with black tiles?

    Black tiles can give an elegant and sophisticated touch to a room, but it is important to bear in mind that black can make the space feel smaller or darker and, therefore, as we have already mentioned, it is essential to find the right balance.


    At Dune, as avant-gardists in ceramic design, we are clearly committed to black tiles in all their versions, from small format (Altea or Flat), to large format (Black Calacatta or Caronte) or those with volume (Shapes) or textures (Diurne).

    Ideas for decorating with black tiles

    Take note of these ideas for decorating a living room, bathroom, kitchen or bedroom with black tiles:

    • Contrast with light colours: 

    To avoid making the room feel too dark, you can combine black tiles with light colours, such as white or beige. You can cover the walls in a light tone and add furniture and accessories in neutral tones to create an attractive contrast.

    • Black walls and floors: 

    If you want to create a dramatic and sophisticated atmosphere, you can use black tiles on the walls and floor, such as large format marbles. To balance the space, you can use furniture in light tones and add some decorative elements in bright colours to create an attractive contrast.

    • Combination of textures: 

    To create an interesting and textured environment, you can combine black tiles with other materials, such as wood or stone. For example, you can use black tiles in 3D format on a wall and add wooden shelves or a stone fireplace to create a cosy and textured atmosphere.

    • Gold or silver accents: 

    To add a touch of glamour to rooms with black tiles, you can add some gold or silver accents, such as lamps, cushions or mirrors. These elements can add a touch of sparkle and sophistication to the space.

    • Brightly coloured accents: 

    To add a splash of colour to a living room with black tiles, include accents in bright colours, such as cushions, rugs or pictures. Bright colours can add an attractive contrast and make the space feel more welcoming and cheerful.

    In short, when decorating a room with black tiles, it is important to consider contrast to create a balanced and appealing environment. So feel inspired and don't be afraid to incorporate black into your décor - the possibilities are endless!


    The colour black and its chromatic nuances

    Although black is considered a neutral colour and has no chromatic nuances in the strictest sense, it is true that in practice there are different shades and variants of black that can influence its appearance and perception.

    Thus, we have a series of variants of the colour black which are very commonly used. These tones, which we list below, mix small quantities of other colours to give rise to an undertone of black that is always conditioned by visual perception..:

    • Pure black: this is the most intense black without any mixture of other colours. It is obtained by mixing the three primary colours of light (red, green and blue) in equal proportions.
    • Greyish black: refers to shades of black that have a small amount of white mixed into the ink or pigment. This makes the black look a little softer and duller.
    • Bluish black: is the result of adding a small amount of blue to pure black. This can make the black look colder and deeper.
    • Greenish black: is the result of adding a small amount of green to pure black. This can give a warmer, earthy tone to the black.
    • Brownish black: refers to shades of black that have a small amount of brown or orange mixed into the ink or pigment. This can make black appear warmer and earthier.

    The meaning of the colour black 

    The colour black is one of the most significant and symbolic colours in culture and society. It is often associated with darkness, death, elegance, sophistication, formality and seriousness. But its meaning can vary depending on the context in which it is used and the culture in which it is found, as it is a complex and deep colour. Thus, in many cultures, black is associated with mourning and sadness and is used for funerals and mourning ceremonies.

    However, as we will see below, the colour black can also be used in more positive contexts, such as in fashion and decoration. In fashion, black is associated with glamour, sophistication and style, while in decoration, the colour black symbolises elegance, sobriety or formality. 

    Black in architecture

    Black can be used in architecture in many different ways, from the façade of buildings to interior design, furniture or lighting. Black serves to create a sophisticated and elegant ambience, as well as being a timeless colour that has a place in any architectural style.

    However, throughout the history of construction, there are many architects who have used black in their buildings. By combining materials and design elements, such as exposed concrete, black glass or black panels, there are relevant architects who have managed to create distinctive spaces. For example, the Japanese architect Tadao Ando is known for using the colour black in many of his buildings. Ando uses exposed concrete, which has a dark colour, in many of his projects, and also uses black glass and black panels to create a dramatic and elegant look.

    British architect David Adjaye is known for using black in many of his buildings, including the National Library of Ghana in Accra. This building is notable for having a black façade with a series of openings that let in natural light. The late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid also used black in many of her buildings. Hadid chose black for buildings such as the MAXXI Museum in Rome and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku.

    The colour black in painting

    The colour black has been used in various styles of painting throughout the history of art and, therefore, has influenced the development of the plastic arts. Here are some examples of painting styles that use black in a prominent way:

    • Baroque: 
      The Baroque was an artistic movement that took place in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. During this period, many artists used black prominently in their work to create dramatic shadows and contrasts. Examples of Baroque artists who used black in this way include Caravaggio and Rembrandt.
    • Romanticism: 
      Romanticism was an artistic movement that took place in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. During this period, artists focused on feelings and emotions, and used black to depict melancholy and sadness. The Spanish artist Francisco de Goya is an example of a Romantic artist who used black in this way.

    • Expressionism: 
      Expressionism was an artistic movement that took place in Europe in the early 20th century. During this period, artists sought to express their emotions and feelings more freely and directly, and used black to create dramatic contrasts and depict pain and despair. Examples of Expressionist artists who used black in this way include Edvard Munch and Vincent van Gogh.
    • Abstraction: 
      Abstract painting is a style of art that focuses on the expression of shapes and colours rather than depicting recognisable objects and figures. Black has been used in abstract painting in many different ways, from as a dominant colour to create a dramatic effect, to as a design element to create contrast and balance. Abstract artists who use black in their work include Kazimir Malevich and Mark Rothko.

    The colour black in film

    We cannot talk about the colour black without a nod to cinema. Undoubtedly, black and white cinema is an important milestone in the evolution of film culture because of its aesthetics, its lighting and its implicit narrative. Directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Billy Wilder made the most influential films of their careers in black and white. Likewise, artists such as Charles Chaplin or Audrey Hepburn would not be understood in cinema without the use of this colour, just as the adventures of the Addams Family would not make sense without black.

    On the other hand, in more recent cinema, you will surely remember the film "The Black Swan", which catapulted Natalie Portman to fame and won her the Oscar for best actress. This adaptation of the classic ballet "Swan Lake" shows the disillusionment suffered by a young ballerina when she has to perform an artistic role in which the duality between good and evil is the dominant axis.

    The colour black and its importance in animated characters

    Similarly, black is used in cartoons or animated films as a stylistic and narrative device. In animation, black is used to create shadows and to emphasise the volume of characters and objects. It is also used to create contrasts and accentuate certain elements, such as the eyes of characters or the details of clothing. In addition, this colour is used to represent darkness or to create an atmosphere of suspense or mystery. Finally, it is interesting because it adds drama, depth and elegance to stories and characters.

    As a result, black is associated with malevolent characters in cinema, such as Cruella de Vil, Ursula, or Maleficent. However, this colour is also associated with famous animated characters such as Mickey Mouse, Batman, Sylvester the cat or the skeleton Jack Skellington. 

    The colour black in fashion

    The colour black is an icon in fashion, and has been used by many designers and couturiers throughout history. Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld are two very relevant examples of designers who have used black as a hallmark in their creations.

    Coco Chanel, the founder of the Chanel brand, was one of the first designers to use black in fashion. In the 1920s, when black was associated with mourning and sadness, Chanel used it to create elegant and sophisticated dresses that defied the conventions of the time. The "little black dress" (or LBD) is one of Chanel's most iconic designs, and has become a staple in many women's wardrobes.

    Karl Lagerfeld, who was Chanel's creative director for more than 30 years, continued Chanel's legacy and made black a hallmark of the brand. Lagerfeld used black to create elegant and avant-garde designs, which have been highly influential in fashion. He is also known for his black tweed jacket designs with white detailing, which have become a Chanel classic.

    In addition to Chanel and Lagerfeld, many other designers have used black in fashion in innovative and creative ways. Alexander McQueen, for example, used black to create dramatic and theatrical designs, which often had a strong emotional charge. Yves Saint Laurent also used black in many of his designs, and is known for his famous women's dinner jacket, which included a black jacket and matching trousers.

    Similarly, shoes and black have also been two sides of the same imminently united coin. Louboutin. Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Manolo Blahnik or Valentino have designed black shoes that are a must in the wardrobes of celebrities and fashion lovers.

    Similarly, and linked to this concept, the most prominent designers have also chosen black to create the most iconic bags. Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Balenciaga or Dior are the luxury brands that mark the street style of this accessory.

    Fashion icons in black

    Here is a list of black basics that have set trends and, in one way or another, influenced design:

    • Chanel's "little black dress
    • High black leather boots
    • The black leather trousers
    • The black leather jacket
    • The women's dinner jacket
    • Dr. Martens boots

    Without a doubt, the latter do not go unnoticed in street style. These tough and durable leather boots have been worn for generations.  Dr. Martens became a staple of punk and goth fashion in the 1980s and have since been worn by a variety of aesthetic movements. The boots have a rugged, rebellious aesthetic and are a symbol of toughness and individuality. They are also known for their comfort and durability, thanks to their sturdy soles that make them ideal for walking long distances.

    The importance of the colour black in psychology

    On a psychological level, the colour black can convey various emotions and feelings. Some of the sensations associated with the colour black are the following:

    • Mystery and secrecy: the colour black can evoke a sense of mystery and enigma, often associated with the unknown and the occult.
    • Elegance and sophistication: black is often considered an elegant and sophisticated colour, and can add a touch of refinement to any design.
    • Seriousness and formality: black is also associated with seriousness and formality, and can be used to create a professional and rigorous atmosphere.
    • Protection and security: black can also convey a sense of protection and security, like a protective layer that envelops us.
    • Sadness or mourning: in some cultures, black is associated with sadness and mourning, and is used for funerals and funeral ceremonies.

    In short, the colour black is an elegant classic that will always be present in many artistic fields, from interior design to fashion, architecture, cinema and art. If you want to know more about how to apply black to your interiors, we invite you to contact us, we will be happy to help you!


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