Did you know that Queen Victoria wore black exclusively for almost 40 years? She turned mourning into an Art form after her husband, Prince Albert, died. New fashions were created, and black jewelry (Jet, Onyx etc) were more popular than ever before.
This trend continued until she passed away. Eager to leave black behind, the former Victorians celebrated with pretty furnishings and decadent lifestyles. But, their colorful reprieve did not last long; Wars began, and England entered a very turbulent time. Black became synonymous with grief, disease and War, extreme times of hardship.
Now, many years later, women covet the LBD (Little Black Dress), but the color black, in furnishings, is still approached hesitantly. It sounds somber, and people worry that it will be too harsh, or overwhelm a room. But, used correctly, black can be one of our favorite accessories.
Many designers swear that every room should have a touch of black, and, as I go through my decorating adventures I tend to agree with them. Black brings gravity to a room; even the smallest piece will provide an inexplicable anchor that pulls an otherwise humdrum room together.
If you are adding it to a very light-colored room, then several small touches of black may be needed, one piece may not be enough to give you balance. But, in a more colorful home a simple picture frame or a lamp stand may be just enough. Even the tiniest black, brush stroke on a painting will bring more depth to a space.
When England finally recovered from the Second World War, they celebrated with color! Black was almost discarded, and everything in their world became lighter (fabrics, colors, jewelry, shapes, furniture).
We live in a time where color and design choices are infinite; a Queen does not dictate how we decorate our homes. Therefore, be bold, add a little touch of black, and watch your room come alive.