Tuesday, December 2, 2014

what’s your opinion: black or white?




Hello friends, it’s been a while since I showed you some of my projects around here and today I thought I’d get your opinion. Although I’m not actually confused about what I like.

I know I love the black, wonderfully styled bookshelves in this first photo. 

But the question for me is, how will I feel in my little office with a big wall of black behind me?

Sigh. Isn’t this what decorating is all about? It’s not that I don’t like love a lot of different styles and paint shades; it’s really a question of how I’ll feel when I’m inside my little ol’ home enveloped in a particular color or fabric pattern. Especially a strong color like black.

Do you know what I mean?

But here are a few photos that are making me seriously consider black bookshelves in my home office.



Raji%20RM%20Interior%20Design%20Library%20New%20York%20Washington%20DC.jpgRaji RM& assoc




bd_1.jpgburnham design


haus design blog





But then again….I reaaaaally love white. So. What do you think?

Ready? Here’s the room I’m talking about.



This is a photo taken when the previous owners lived here. They also used this room as an office, painting it a shade of turquoise blue. 

DSC_0868 (2) 

Now are you ready to see what I’ve been doing in this room?

Well first the easy part; I painted the entire room BM’s Simply White and immediately loved the change.

Then I decided to paint my one full wall in the room black to serve as the backdrop for my soon-to-be-built bookshelves, choosing the lazy man’s way of making the bookshelves look like built-ins. Right?

Wrong, because the black paint made the textured wall look like black cottage cheese.


So what to do now?

I decided to smooth my textured wall with a few coats of joint compound.

I’d seen my Dad apply this on walls in the past so I followed his (long-distance) directions and once I got the hang of it, it wasn’t so hard.


Once the wall was smooth, and still having that first inspiration photo in mind, I decided I wanted beadboard as a backing for my wall of shelves. But without my Dad’s help, I opted for the wallpaper version instead. I’d seen it in this dining room and liked it, so I bought the Allen and Roth  beadboard wallpaper sold at Lowes.

No, I’d never wallpapered anything before, but I thought why not?


After reading all the online comments I decided to spray on the water and then apply more glue despite the fact that this wallpaper has a glue backing.


It worked perfectly and I can’t emphasize how easy this wallpaper was to work with (my own opinion-no one paid me to say this).



In the meantime I found some black and white toile fabric at a great price and had two double width panels made for my small window. I had them lined for added weight and they immediately changed the whole vibe in the room.

DSC_1158 (2)

Here’s a another shot of the curtain panels. The rug still has to come out and the bookshelves added. And as you might notice the beadboard wallpaper is still white.

So what’s your opinion now?

After living with both colors on the wall, I think I’ve made my decision but I always love to hear your views.

Do you like black bookshelves or white bookshelves for my office?







Lori said...

My first instinct was to say no black ~ it shows the dust too bad and yadda yadda ~ then I looked at the photos and swooned just a bit ~ then I looked at your room and I think I would go for the black instead of the white ~ it is going to add some drama ~ the good kind of drama of course! What are you putting on the floor ~ wide wood planks in white by chance?

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I just spent the better part of 4 days applying 4 coats of paint to cover my terra-cotta kitchen walls, so if it were me, I'd opt for white. hehe

Either black OR white will look dramatic with your pretty toile curtains, Leslie. I love the look of the beadboard wallpaper and you didn't have to hire a carpenter! I can't wait to see what you chose!

Donna@anangloinquébec said...

My thinking as I scrolled through your inspiration pics was that the black is lovely but... You need to think about all the other elements and from size and... Well you know.
But the curtains are gorgeous and if your 3 walls are white and if you are wanting drama and warmth then I say go for black. Actually I am always attracted to darker offices and den spaces but seem to play it safe. I do think you are going white... Just sayin'

Karen said...

I've been compiling images of office space myself and several of my favorites have black bookcases, but several have white with the black appearing on the doors to the room. I love your style so I know I'll love whatever you select. Love the curtains. Oh, and we have a piece in our kitchen made to look like a black piece of furniture that serves as our pantry, I've loved it everyday! :-)

Calypso In The Country said...

First of all the fabric is gorgeous and I love the beadboard wallpaper! I think the black would look dramatic and you could definitely pull it off with your decorating skills - especially since the walls are so light. Having said that, my office bookshelves are white and I love basically I am absolutely no help! I can't wait to see what you do!

Leslie said...

I'm a fan of both too .. tough decision. I DO think the black would add drama as Lori says;) There is NO wrong decision here as both will look stunning. Your window covers look gorgeous Leslie. You've done a great job totally changing the look and feel of this room!

Susan said...

It depends upon how much you want to dust.....

cindy hattersley design said...

Go for the black!! If I were redoing my office (not!!) I would have white walls and black bookshelves. I love what you have going Leslie and yes that painting will be amazing in there!!

Mary Ann Pickett said...

Curtains look awesome…love how you hung them high.

Art and Sand said...

I love the sophistication of black. The bookcases you showed fabulous and I know you would decorate them beautifully.

BTW- my blood levels are back to normal and my trainer says he can't believe the difference in the workouts now that my oomph is back. So, I am up for a "meet up". My December is only semi crazy, but January is free.

carol jane said...

White. Definitely white. Love the curtains!

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

Since you asked...

Black. Definitely. :-) With your wonderful toile panels and white walls, black shelves will make an amazing statement and bring some warmth and presence into what might otherwise be a room with a "lightweight" feel.

Marilyn said...

I'd go with the black background for both the versatility and contrast. I think anything you put on black bookshelves will pop and make a statement. I envision plants, photographs, sculpture as well as books.

The room is looking great! Love the curtains.

Marilyn (in Dallas)

Jennifer said...

It's a tough call. I love the drama of black, but love white for everything.
I'll be anxious to see your choice!

Carla from The River said...

My vote is for black. Very fun idea.
Looking forward to the surprise you give us. :-)

karen@somewhatquirky said...

I have two black rooms and am getting ready to do a black wall in another room, so you might know what I think...go black. I find that the black makes the walls fall back or kind of disappear. Plus they're just pretty to look at. Love the fabric you found for your curtains.

michele said...

there is something so artful about a white backdrop, so if the shelves are to showcase art and pretties, i would opt for white. if on the other hand the architecture of the shelves is to be the star, i can understand wanting black. i find white to be far more timeless but there is something to be said for taking a risk and indulging in some edge! peace to you as you make this world more beautiful.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I'm looking forward to seeing what you do in your beautiful room, Leslie! You know me...I have a white hutch and a black hutch lol. Did you like the feeling of the black wall? I am thinking you didn't as you kept the pretty beadboard wallpaper white. Black could ground the space with a strong statement, but white keeps it light and airy...I see your dilemma...
I am thinking white.

Gypsy Heart said...

I'm late to the party but I would go for the black! I love it plus I think it always looks elegant, classy, "dressed up". :)

Great job on the wallpaper! Love the curtains too.


Unknown said...

Too bad about the black paint! At least the white wallpaper looks great. I think you pulled off the black and white color scheme really well. The curtains add a lot of modernistic drama. I'd love to see a black bookshelf instead. Keep us updated with the progress, okay? All the best to you! :)

Orlando Nunez @ Office & Ergonomic Solutions, Inc.

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