‘High Gloss Black Doors add a note of luxury to your home…’ Heather Bates, Allied ASID

 When the renovations began on Camellia’s Cottage in 2012,  a neutral color scheme of French gray, shades of white and linen was chosen, punctuated by Black Doors inside and out.  The house is an older home, built in the 1980’s- it didn’t have high ceilings or fine molding. The floors were pine but not fine flooring, they had already been painted black with Behr™ Porch and Floor paint and covered with sisal rugs. When the black floors began to get scuffed and look old, I loved them more. The plan was to open up the entire downstairs to make the small cottage feel spacious and let in lots of natural light.  The Chinese have long associated color with certain physical attributes- neutral colors seem to create stability, inner balance, health and nourishment- these are the colors of the Earth. Black is also neutral, but Asian design has always associated Black with abundance, mystery, sophistication and even wealth. Black doors are timeless, so far- black doors have been in vogue a long time, many historic buildings and humble homes have used black doors. The odd thing about black doors is they are both reserved and fashionable at the same time, often paired with black shutters and white exteriors._DSC0264_NEF

 Virginia based designer Heather Bates agrees- ‘…black doors add a note of luxury to your home. The wealthy have known this for a long time.’ Coco Chanel used her favorite colors shades of beige, white and black, in her clothing and in her apartment. Iconic Chanel™ shops still use black doors and white exteriors.

chanel-687460_640Camellia’s Cottage cannot aspire to the high level of Chanel™ in this humble dwelling, however we could use some of her sensibility even in our own scheme. The look is crisp and clean, the neutrals add warmth and calm. Let me show you some of what we did:


A crisp white bathroom, with marble tile floors is elevated with a black door, the handrails and stair treads were painted black, to make the ceilings appear higher – white trim was run up to the ceilings to mimic transoms, French doors were painted black- they allow light to stream in but aren’t oppressive, and a guest bath had a small window installed between studs inside to let in light. Black door adds sophistication to an otherwise small and plain opening. We had to replace the front door- it had been black for years but this time we added a new door knocker from Pottery Barn®, a nickel plated kickplate and hardware to set off the front porch which is painted gray- flanked by two matte black urns.

*Please have your door installed by a professional! Your local building supply company usually offers installation services. Home Depot® sold us the door, charged a minimal amount for installer, who discovered a few issues we needed to address so the installation would be done right. Because the oil paint our painter suggested was not extremely high gloss we added a clear top coat of polyurethane. Now after all of this serious decorating advice- let me just say, I love our black doors, they are wonderful to dress up this not very fine house and a bonus- black doors disguise fingerprints! However, black doors might not work in every home- or even have the desired effect you want for your home. Now, I have to add a little bit of Alabama before I let you get back to what you were doing…I was honored to work for several years for Leaf and Petal at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens- the head gardener told me he was going to discard the cotton grown in the George Washington Carver Garden- I asked and he delivered the load of cotton to my car. I hauled it home and made a big wreath from my husband’s muscadine vines which is adorned with this very special Alabama Cotton! I hung it today…image

Now, ain’t that purdy? Thanks for stopping by Camellia’s Cottage. Please  visit my talented friend, Heather Bates at her beautiful design (I know she could have made our space even better!). If you’re down this way- visit the beautiful Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Leaf and Petal (also at their website- I hope we’ve inspired you, I know you’re getting your Front Door ready for the holidays and even for tiny trick or treaters like I am- tell me some your inspiration, too! From our nest to yours-image

Love y’all, Camellia

All images are mine- except the old home, which was photographed by Jeremy Miniard, who is always so generous with his photographs for us, see his work at http://www.jeremy.miniard.fineartofamerica !The AOL image of  the Chanel Building may be subject to copyright.

12 thoughts on “Black Doors…

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