It’s now getting dark in our kitchens and dining rooms. Pots and pans, crockery, cutlery and even table decorations are all trending to black. We’re loving the unfussy monochrome approach and relaxed minimalism. We also enjoy the elegantly designed kitchen accessories and mood-enhancing atmosphere, with colourful, tasty dishes that light up our plates. Simply perfect.
Lights out! We put the spot on the new, dark interior design.
Designers are taking a dim view these days. The colour white has been everywhere for decades, but now there’s a new, dark contender. Interiors are no longer content to luxuriate in light, friendly tones – they now don an air of mystery without being in the least gloomy or dusty. Maybe we’ve all had enough of the pale, neutral ‘nothing colour’? And anyway, our associations of white with transparency, openness and space can apply just as well to our trend colour black. Job Smeets, a Belgian artist and designer, recently said: “Not everyone is desperate to live in a white, modernist box.”
He says it’s getting dark, and you can see it happening in hip bars, cafés and restaurants. Mesa in Antwerp is clad in black wood, and the hip hangout Bravo Bar in Berlin’s Mitte district also has black walls. The night-time mood really makes them stand out. When applied at home, dark can be cosy and relaxed in a different way. Emerging from this deep, mystical darkness are wonderful ideas and innovations with a distinctive design character.
Cooking with all five senses.
Colours are dimming in the kitchen. Black pots and accessories promise users a sensory experience. They make deep red tomato sauce or fresh green broccoli and beans look luminously inviting. Ambiente exhibitor Dutchdeluxes advises customers to serve gratins and casseroles in their oven dishes. Each one has its own cork coaster, which also protects the lid when they’re stacked away afterwards.
Black is functional.
The dark trend has given designers a creative boost and their new kitchenware and tableware products are wonderfully expressive. Of course, the design and innovation in these dark kitchen accessories and appliances appeal – but they’re resourceful and functional too. This lacquered bamboo bowl from French manufacturer Bibol is asymmetrical, which makes it convenient when pouring. You could use it to serve bread, fruit or hot food, or add some servers and convert it into a salad bowl. A kettle by Italian brand Casa Bugatti can be carried like a bag, and it really would look good anywhere in the home.
Is black the new white?
It’s interesting to note that Scandinavian designers aren’t shy of this shade. Many dark kitchen accessories come from the far north. While Scandinavian interior design is associated with light wood, lots of white and pastel shades, Danish producers like CrushGrind and Dottir will show us in the Dining area at the next Ambiente, if not before, how a minimalist approach and austere black can make eye-opening statements.
Black trend colour: a minimalist pleasure.
On the subject of minimalism: consciously paring items down to the essentials isn’t just a design choice, it’s a way of life. Black has long played a major role in pared-down design. This is the colour that shows off clean lines perfectly. Take for instance Bauhaus style, which breaks down forms into minimalist prototypes and prefers solid metals. The Bauhaus Dining Table by Scandinavian designer Kristina Dam has the makings of a timeless classic.
Tone-in-tone: black table settings.
Once dark tones entered interiors in general and kitchens in particular, it wasn’t long before they reached table decorations and settings. Minimalist use of a colour doesn’t mean you can’t add other hints too. Dark design also uses shading, materials and structures to make it really stand out. A contrasting yet monochrome backdrop of matt and shiny, blues and browns, and warm and cool black set the stage for the most important element – the food itself.
These designs should be a feast for your eyes – and your hands. Interesting surfaces make top quality tangible, like these salad platters and bowls by French firm Degrenne, black porcelain by Kühtaya from Turkey and cutlery by Portuguese manufacturer Belo Inex. Dark needn’t always be paired with dark. Lighting, serviettes, and accessories like placemats in coordinating colours, or fresh flowers, will relax the black table decor without ruining the overall look. North American designer and influencer Athena Calderone has staged a sleek, very atmospheric Valentine’s Day Dinner on her prize-winning platform Eyeswoon, using black tableware and cutlery on a grey tablecloth.
Dark design, elegant and relatable.
Wood of any type, stained light or dark, makes for a winning combination with black. Patches of grey and graduated colours combine with black to cultivate coolness. Gold gives black table decorations a fine air of luxury – as with this crystal vase by Italian manufacturer Duccio di Segna. And what may look like a small modern sculpture made of black silicone and stainless steel is in fact a floating tea strainer by Ambiente exhibitor Viva Scandinavia, perfect for premium loose tea. The strainer sinks into the water with the tea, but the silicone ball stays on top and can be used to remove the strainer easily. If you’d rather serve wine, try this corkscrew from L’Atelier du Vin. Its patented, functional design will always cut a fine figure.
Black tableware: a hit at any party.
Never forget which bottle, glass, plate or place at the table is yours: IVV Glassmakers Italy have designed their Unforgettable tableware with a special black glaze so you can chalk your name on it. They are just one of many exhibitors who will be presenting their wares in the Dining area at Ambiente 2022 – from light, colourful and dark kitchenware and accessories through glass, porcelain and ceramics to table decorations and textiles. Exhibitors will be showcasing their latest products, innovations and trends, including in the trend colour black.