Inspiring Interiors + Music + Movies + Books

White + black.

It’s Friday, I’m exhausted, everything I’ve been working on this week has been rejected, and I think my throat is feeling kind of funny and on the edge of becoming something sickish. In other words, I need to cheer myself up with some black and white interiors and objects that I’ve been hoarding photos of for inspiration.

From Ancient + Modern, via h p n f r h p y a c d n s

Candy Black design studio, via emmas designblogg

Triangle tea towel from Bookhou, via Remodelista

Y House by NOW Architecture, Helsinki

From Light Locations

Nubby Twiglet’s office

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  • Reply Kathleen September 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I’m in love with the images from Light Locations. The wood. The glossy doors. The perfect imperfections. Love.

  • Reply Michelle September 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    You just made my day! Two posts in one day- yeay!

  • Reply Lonely Wife Project September 17, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I die for that black chair! Amazing.

  • Reply donna September 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Whenever you feel a cold coming on starting popping B vitamins (I like Sisu’s B Stress formula). I swear they help me get over a cold faster than anything else. I kicked a head cold in two days last weekend.

  • Reply Erica September 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    When did a photograph of someone being shot in the head become “decorative” art ?

  • Reply Alana September 17, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Sorry you’ve had a shitty week – that’s no fun at all. Love the pics – That tea towel has got me thinking about how simple it would be to hand print a white duvet cover with the same pattern.
    I feel a weekend project coming on.

  • Reply Anna at D16 September 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    @Erica: Have you seen Stardust Memories, the movie from which that still is taken? Out of context, it’s difficult to explain why it’s appropriately placed here, and certainly the question you raise is, in part, what the movie itself is addressing. Here’s a snippet about the movie taken from a critical essay on the Eddie Adams photograph that sheds some light on its inclusion:

    For instance, in one of Woody Allen’s movies (Stardust Memories, I think), we find that Allen’s character has hung a huge blow-up of this photo in his apartment, along with other frightful scenes. His point is both humorous and not, an example of his character’s (and probably his country’s) showy neuroses. As I understand it, Allen must be both expressing and criticizing liberal unease over the War, the guilt of those who did not go, especially those whose social status protected them. I don’t expect that anyone but an American who has lived through the Vietnam era would completely understand the complicated levels of irony in Allen’s black-comic use of those photographs. The untethered cruelty of the original scene has further escaped its own context to become, in Allen’s hands, a crudely effective symbol for an entire social and psychological malaise.

  • Reply Lara September 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I agree with Erica, i don’t find that choice of art to be much in the way of inspiring. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic iconic image but a little on the depressing side for an interior.

  • Reply rifferaff September 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    thanks for providing additional context for that second image because it really rubbed me the wrong way as well.

  • Reply puck September 17, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I find a lot of images quite powerful, but so much so that I wanted to look away. They are so amazingly explicit in their statement… yet, the message to me is just lost since I can’t bear to look.

    So difficult. ..

  • Reply Erica September 17, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I did live (as a child) through the Vietnam era, and still do not see any complicated levels of irony in this image blown up and put as a backdrop in a home. I see a co-opting of an image of someone taking the life of another human being through violence and war and being made equal as an object with stereos and a doll and other consumer wares.

    This may be the point of the film — consumer society’s utter takeover of even the most horrible experiences and the subsequent commodification of even human life. I haven’t seen Stardust Memories. I have seen the image of that man being murdered before. I find it chilling to be included in a list of black and white interiors that would “cheer up” anyone.

  • Reply Anna at D16 September 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    @Erica: Points well taken, and I appreciate you taking the time to respond. There was a similar reaction when I posted photos of Frédéric Méchiche’s loft last year (in which a number of potentially disturbing Nan Goldin photographs are displayed), and in the past I have had discussions when considering the cinematography and décor featured in A Clockwork Orange. It’s an interesting subject, the question of when documentary photography (whether real or imagined) of any kind of tragedy or violence enters the realm of art. I am often inspired by this kind of imagery when it’s used in sharp contrast to its surroundings (as in the still above), but not because I enjoy seeing what’s being protrayed—it’s more to do with the composition of the scene, and the relief I get from looking toward the white space opposite the horror.

    (And no, I didn’t think about any of this before I posted the photo. I was only thinking about the fact that this movie and its cinematography has been on my mind a lot lately. I should have been more sensitive in my inclusion of the still in this context.)

    @Lara: It is absolutely meant to be depressing. The character portrayed by Woody Allen in the film (Sandy Bates) is unquestionably depressed, and is obsessed by human suffering and paranoia.

  • Reply Anna at D16 September 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Out of consideration for those who may have been upset by the film still, I’ve removed it from this post. If you wish to see the still and continue the discussion, you can see it in my Flickr stream here.

  • Reply Dan September 17, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Great collection, LOVE the Candy Black design studio. Those sofas!

  • Reply jennifer in sf September 17, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I would like to be transported to the Y House for the rest of the weekend. Or the month.

  • Reply Nubs September 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for linking to my office! And all the link love lately for that matter. Very much appreciated!! <3

  • Reply LL September 18, 2010 at 5:58 am

    I have been into white forever and am now just getting into the white and black look. These pics are making me very happy today as well :)

    How is your flat coming along?

  • Reply Liza S September 18, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    This is totally off-topic, so I’m sorry. I recently read the archives of your apartment move and am curious about Fritz. What do you do with the pets when you stay in the city?

  • Reply Myles Henry September 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    that first photo is so perfect. i love your black and white posts

  • Reply Nicole September 18, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    LOVE it

  • Reply jessica September 19, 2010 at 11:35 am

    i love the black and white!

  • Reply Liz September 19, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for providing further inspiration on this much loved theme. (I possibly shouldn’t admit this but I was thinking of you and black and white rooms the very day you posted this as I was staying in this room in Marrakech –

  • Reply Renee September 19, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    OMG I absolutely looovve that loft space. It has my name written all over it!

  • Reply Jess September 20, 2010 at 2:37 am

    I love the first image from Candy Black studio! At first I thought it was a very cool lounge area! Although I wouldn’t replicate the look completely for my own home, I love to get ideas from spaces like this and use certain elements – thank you for the inspiration!

  • Reply Anna at D16 September 20, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    @Liza S: Fritz and Bruno (our dogs) come back and and forth with us between the house and apartment. We have a little car seat for them—here’s a photo! :)

    @Liz: That room is gorgeous!!

  • Reply JC September 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Hi Anna,
    If you haven’t seen it yet, I think you’d like this home featured on Freunde von Freunden: Ines Colmorgen + André Wyst

  • Reply Grumble Girl September 30, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    That was a good hoard…

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