The Second Parlor, Painted Black

The painting of the second parlor — it is done. Huzzah! And Emptying out the room to paint has been really good for helping me figure out how to arrange the furniture. The corner fireplace has been throwing me off, and the room has so many windows and large doorways that figuring things out took some trial and error. I think that the way I had it before, with the sofa, an armchair, and plans for two additional chairs felt a little crowded. (Good thing I was just using placeholders for those two chairs near the fireplace.)

Black Walls, Blue Sofa #makingitlovely

The color is Black Beauty, by Benjamin Moore in a matte finish. It’s a soft, warm black with more of a brown base than a blue one. I think it modernizes the house and all of its oak woodwork without fighting against it, and I love the way it turned out. The room’s three huge windows face south, so even with a dark color, it feels bright.

Black Walls with Candice Bergen Quote #makingitlovely

Black Walls and Wood Trim #makingitlovely

I ordered two tufted pink ottomans from Target, because when you see something good and cheap there, sometimes you have to just go ahead and buy it before it’s gone. (They are, of course, already sold out now.) I figured I could return them if I couldn’t find a spot for them, but that if I did find a place, I’d want a pair. They’re here and they’re cute, and I think I like them along the wall that previously had a very narrow console table against it. Actually, a console table over the ottomans would be great, but the one I had there won’t work — too narrow, and the base gets in the way.

Black Walls, Fiddle Leaf Fig #makingitlovely

The rest of the space is looking a little empty right now because I’m trying to bring in only what I know is going to stay. (This is a departure from my “let’s shove everything everywhere because I have a big, empty house to fill!” approach. You like?) The coffee table that was here is currently upstairs, and the rugs (two that were lined up end to end to seem larger) are rolled up temporarily. I think a really beautiful mirror could be a good addition to the room, either above the fireplace or in the adjacent corner. I just put together a collection of my favorites over here.

Below, either the floral chair or the colorful painting are staying, but not both. One or the other will move to the library-to-come, in the front parlor.

Black Walls and Colorful Accents #makingitlovely

Speaking of the library, the shelves are not in yet, but I am liking the view in so far with the black stripes of the antique sofa tying into the black walls. I also found a spot for my large botanical print, so more black, yay! Ha. Although I do have to say, I’m not minding the lack of color on the walls throughout the first floor as much now. Contrast is satisfying.

Double Parlor #makingitlovely

I’m even more excited now to get those shelves going. A wall of books is going to look amazing with these two spaces!

Black Beauty

I’d hoped to have a painted room to share today, but I underestimated the ability of my right arm to paint and paint and paint. I’ve primed, I’ve put a first coat on, and I’ve done half of the cutting in for the second (and final, I hope) coat of paint, but I still have a few hours of painting ahead of me before it’s done. Such tall ceilings! So many windows and doorways, and a fireplace to cut in! Such strong shoulders I will have! (On the right side, at least.) Luckily my legs are holding up just fine with having gone up and down the ladder all weekend, and I’ve finished all of the up-high work.

Black Benjamin Moore Paint Swatches - Soot, Almost Black, Polo Blue, and Black Beauty #makingitlovely

I liked the range of blacks that Benjamin Moore offered, so I stuck with them for my samples. I tried Soot (so close), Almost Black (too light), Polo Blue (pretty and nuanced, but too blue), and finally, Black Beauty (the winner!). It’s the warm black I had been looking for, and it makes the wood trim in the room look amazing. The three huge windows are South-facing, and the room is flooded with light, so it can take a dark, dramatic color. I can’t wait to see it with the furniture back in place!

Now, off to paint.

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