The Art of Dark : Home Trending

I started seeing this trend a little less than a year ago, scattered here and there around my circle of artist/blogger friends. I was so intrigued and drawn to it. In a world where stark white walls had made a massive come back, it was nice to see a little bold yet subdued contrast show up on the scene. We made a move from the southern U.S. to Chicago almost three years ago, where the sun was abundant and so are larger homes. While I love our 1914 home with all it’s character and convenience to the city,  it’s a bit “cozier” than our home in Houston. As a photographer, I was challenged with not only working with totally different natural light year round, but how to utilize/maximize a smaller space with impact for our family. A few weeks back, I came across a post via my talented friend Doreen Kilfeather. Her home in Dublin, Ireland was featured via Image Magazine . I fell in love with her art of the dark and the use of color in her home. I reached out to Doreen and asked if I could feature this in a new post, since I had decided to renovate my workspace to include her signature color of Hague Blue by Farrow and Ball. Most of our home, which we lovingly refer to as our “lake cottage” is light & airy washed in shades of white and soft gray on the walls with pops of color included from fabrics or accessories. I felt it was time for my little office to own it’s coziness in a bold way. I will post a before and after when this project is complete.

Here are a few words from Doreen:

“Hi Karen, How lovely to hear from you! Good for you going to the Dark side – It’s pretty wonderful isn’t it!  Just this weekend,  I painted my under the stairs loo in Hague Blue. Its a very small dark space and while most people recommend using light colours to brighten it all up , I feel its best to embrace the true nature of a space. Many a dark space is better off owning the darkness rather than trying to be something it never can be. The other thing I adore about dark paint ( particularly Hague Blue ) is that pieces of art – be they paintings or photos – look incredible against the dark background. You must post some pictures of your office once its all done. I would be delighted for you to use the link to the article. It was a piece run by Image Magazine here in Ireland.

Looking forward to seeing your posts xx”

Outside of her kindness and stunning home, Doreen’s work is wonderful. If you want to get lost in some gorgeousness, spend some time exploring her moving images. I love her art below brought to life on a wall in such an artistic way.

Photography by Mark Scott

Image Magazine
Image Magazine


Here is an additional home featured that I love as well. Photography by: Doreen Kilfeather

Image Magazine
Image Magazine


For more inspiration in the U.S., Serena and Lily has a wonderful spring catalog that features gorgeous use of bold paint.


Up next, another look I can’t get enough of right now – black trimmed windows & doorways contrasted to white walls…

Minimalist Decor Style: You stick to a color palette of black and white, and natural and metal hues.- you sure do
Minimalist Decor


Be mine- Love actually

How are you spending Valentines Day today? We have successfully kept some traditions intact, but with three kids and a busy life heading towards forty, hey-it can be tough. We realized these traditions had become mostly focused on the kiddos. This is great, but we have to remember to keep the relationship that was the genesis of these wonderful little people a priority amongst all the hustle and bustle called life. We decided last year we would celebrate on the 13th- babysitting is easier to come by and the 14th is about family time. We had an awesome dinner at Pete Millers in Evanston last night. If you are in the Chicago area, it is a must try! While not necessarily trendy as far as decor, etc., the steak I mean AMAZING filet mignon, a great wine list, good service and there is always a weekend jazz band playing live music not far from your “two top”.

The sun rises on the 14th and our tradition is always a big family breakfast at home. My husband gets the coffee going first (we need a wake up from last night’s yummy cabernet!) and then it’s omelets, bacon and fresh orange juice. Everyone has a card waiting on their plate with chocolates and a handmade keepsake. Last year we made twine bracelets with fimo beads. This year, I chose simple foil prints (Etsy and Minted have great affordable selections) for their rooms that totaled $22.00. My mom always made holidays simple, but so special. I love that I can pass that on to my family. What are some of your favorite traditions/tips to keep the love alive?



For fun here are a few clips from my favorite romantic movies. Happy Valentines Day! xoxo