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Gothic Chic

Black is back with a vengeance. Add drama to your home with a luxurious twist. crack

While black clothes, drapes and trick or treat accessories are only for one scary night a year, you could be brave and take inspiration from this ‘spooktacular’ style and really embrace the power of black for a more lasting, striking effect. Black, according to interiors specialists, is back on the decor menu as we seek spaces that not only look luxurious but dramatic. Some designers are even flirting with the gothic style and featuring that ultimate haunting image, a skull, on new ranges of upholstered black furniture and wallcoverings. Black, monochrome and rich almost black-brown is a significant trend this winter agrees Fionnuala Johnston, Design Coordinator at B&Q.

“Our bestsellers at the moment are bold black-based statement wallpapers with accent colours so the effect’s not too dominating,” she says. “Team those with a rich mix of sumptuous, luxury fabrics in different textures, or a combination of rich cream set against the dramatic black for a stunning room.” For added glamour, she suggests using luxurious black velvet for throws, bedspreads or cushions, creating shine and glitter with sleek chrome lighting or black nickel lamp bases, and adding accessories such as a glossy black rug and a mixture of black and metallic effect cushions. Make this Halloween an excuse to create rooms with bewitching style by following our guide to clever design ‘tricks’ and choosing from our selection of interior ‘treats’.

Be bold with black
House Beautiful’s style editor, Charlotte Boyd gives her advise on using black in a scheme. To create a high quality black wall, she says that experts will avoid applying black emulsion paint and instead use a base colour like a deep red or green. Then they’ll layer black tinted lacquer on top so that the effect looks rich and glossy rather than dull and dense. Charlotte suggests using wallpaper rather than paint on walls, as this will add an interesting element of pattern, whereas an expanse of painted wall will result in a block of flat colour.

“For a pretty floral design consider Sanderson’s new A Painter’s Garden collection. Grandiflora is a big floral ideal for creating a feature wall. It comes in ebony with gold, £37 a roll. Or Rosalie, a more traditional floral in ebony with thyme, is £34 a roll,” she says. B&Q’s damask Zhivago wallpaper in black, £16.98 a roll works on wall borders or as a feature wall.

TIP: paint walls in off-white or stone and add elements of black with curtain and upholstery fabrics.

Rooms with spirit
Decor witches who love something a little different will appreciate the twist taken by iconic Sixties fashion designer, Barbara Hulanicki. She’s featured a repeating skull design for a wallpaper in her flock collection.

“I love the almost shock element that you don’t instantly see the skull design unless you really look at the paper” she says. Skulls in Midnight paper, £60 per roll is from Graham & Brown.

Tip: black can look striking if used with metallics and vibrant colours, such as hot pink, or orange. Just as dramatic as Barbara’s papers is the Skullduggery fabric used on chairs and lampshades by Georgina Brett
Chinnery at interiors specialists, Bombarock. “We’re finding people just love it as a refreshing alternative to florals, especially as just one piece makes a real statement in a room. It’s also popular with men who want style without fuss,” she says.

Black is back
Black works particularly well in bedrooms where it can give a sanctuary a rich, slightly mysterious vampy feel, and Next’s bedding range includes a highly desirable, Diamante black bed linen set.

“A black glass chandelier adds a dramatic focal point in hallways”.

Spooky style
It’s fun to enter into the spirit of Halloween night by indulging in fun accessories, and most of the supermarkets and high street stores have good selections to please those little witches and ghosts. Try Matalan’s clever light up pumpkin faces, £15, Asda’s champagne flutes whose bases resemble skeleton hands, and its gothic style chandelier, or a Pumpkin lantern garland, £3, www.very.co.uk. But if you’re a grown up fan of the black, gothic theme John Lewis has an excellent range. I particularly like its Halloween tealight tree complete with spiders web, £15. You could make a feature with Argos’ black and white chandelier candle set, £14.99, and team it with a black silhouette mantel clock, £12 from Matalan, and an Eliza Gilt mirror, £99 from John Lewis to create your own sanctuary with haunting appeal.

Tub chair, from Bombarock, £495. Silver pumpkin vase, £5.99, from HomeSense.