30 August 2010

light on the top and dark on the bottom

I didn't realize how much I loved this....not just black & white mind you (I do love that, too), but particularly when a room is mostly white and then contrasting black or dark brown on the bottom.

I remember reading years ago (I think Gwyneth said it) that she always went darker as she went down in her outfits.  She did so because it gave an elongated look.  I have found myself following this rule (except for nude shoes...especially great nude heels) and it rings true for me.

I didn't realize how much I love this in interiors.  I find it all over my home and throughout my files.

image and design from Tracery Interiors, Rosemary Beach home

I find myself thinking about this kitchen all the time!

I find it so spectacular in its simplicity.  And the stools
make this space.  I really am not a fan of these stools alone
but any other type of seating would take away from this seamless
brown bottom and seamless white top of the room.  The ceilings, albeit
high already, just look crazy high now with the all white (minus the awesome,
singular beam).

another example:

oh, I love the white & black & brown!

Here are more images that speak to me:

Cottage Living Magazine

how fun is this one?
unknown source

This is the kitchen from Cottage Living's Idea House (2008?)

Again, I love the dark green bottom with dark countertop, contrasting
with the all white wall paint, open shelving and white bowls and serving
dishes.  If the shelves or the bowls were any other color, I don't think
they could pull this off.  Wooden or iron shelving would have
stolen the show from the backsplash.

This image from Country Living really needs no explanation.  Do you 
find it as beautiful as I do?  One of the top 5 all-time images in my files, for sure.

You take away the white uniformity, the brown chairs or the black cloth....and it
wouldn't work for me.   They all need each other to balance.  Even with all
this white, I still find this room playful, timeless and striking.  I know I have said this
before, but truly monochrome collections and backdrops act as canvases for 
the rest of the room.  

I am basing the inspiration for my downstairs office on this image.  I'll take some befores
and hopefully afters this month!!

An inspiration photo for the downstairs bath's
renovation had this theme as well:


I kept coming back to this one. 

 Here is the translation:

Boy, it is tough to shoot a bathroom shot!  I need to get
someone to take a good one of this room.

I find the same light-to-dark in our guest bedroom
(which has already changed since this photo)

I am realizing how much I love black...but I do
love it tempered with white.

in bathrooms...

in hallways...

Elle Decor

And finally, I see this throughout the stylings of Atlanta Bartlett's
spaces....she is sooo good.

I have a fun week planned for y'all!  Some guest
posts later in the week...

I hope Monday is kind to you.  Julie


  1. I completely agree. I used to love all white kitchens, but my taste has evolved and now I love the mix of white with dark. Love the kitchens you posted esp. #1, 3 and 6. Kitchen #3 inspired my bathroom reno (which is not too dissimilar to the BR you have posted)! Fun!

  2. What a fun gathering of interiors...I totally enjoyed going through them with you. I think what you're responding to is the "groundedness" of the white-on-top, dark-on-the-bottom decorating trend. It reflects the times, giving us a feeling of security in all the chaos. Decorating is such therapy.
    Looking forward to the afters of your bathroom.

  3. Great eye! The dark bottoms really ground the space and the light tops give the space an airy feel. Tres chic!!

  4. This is one of my favorite looks too. I feel the dark on the bottom really grounds a space. We are using this idea for some exciting things coming up at AG!

  5. I had never been a fan of light uppers, dark lowers until recently. Now I fall in love with almost every one I see. Love, love the inspiration for your downstairs bath!

  6. I find myself drawn to the same thing....especially in kitchens!!! I love the light on top/dark on bottom. And I love adding that dark element to ground a light and airy space. Love all the pics!

  7. I gravitate toward this style too. I love all white but the dark floors help the room stay "grounded." Great collection of images and examples!

  8. I absolutely love that kitchen from MFAMB. It's gorgeous. and I love the dark wood table in the that kitchen. It brings more texture to the room.
    Great pictures. I agree with you, that image from country living is gorgeous.


  9. It's funny I just painted our kitchen with white on the top and gray on the bottom this summer (http://gracie-senseandsimplicity.blogspot.com/2010/08/our-250-kitchen-makeover.html). I was going to go with all white but found a few inspiration photos that changed my mind.

  10. I like a mix too! Funny, I have found myself contemplating that balance for our living room. Can't wait to see what you've got coming up this week. Have a good one girl!

  11. love this look! especially in the kitchen. you posted several of my favorites here. that one from Country Living is my top 5, too :)

  12. I love the edge when you mix the white with black and then throw in some natural wood. Gorgeous!

    x C