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When she premiered the Little Black Dress on the cover of Vogue magazine for the first time in 1926, Coco Chanel was in on a secret shared by all style trailblazers: nothing beats black.
Why? The color crosses style boundaries, effortlessly merging the modern with the classic, the soft with the shocking, and even the feminine with the masculine. Not long after that groundbreaking Vogue cover, even the testosterone-infused automotive industry caught on to the movement with a matte black finish that effortlessly mimics the velvety fabric of Coco’s dress.
Ed Welburn, GM’s vice president of design, believes that matte black enhances design by reducing it to its “very core elements...not influenced by the surroundings at all. You don’t have the reflections of trees or buildings. You see the pure surface development and nothing else."
Style and Design Chief for Allegion, maker of Schlage locks, Ted Roberts agrees: “Where finishes such as polished brass and nickel add reflections and sparkle, black allows better visual communication of the intricate sculpture and forms inherent in these styles. In short, matte black brings out the beauty of the underlying sculpture.”
While it’s nothing new for developments in fashion, popular culture, and design to reflect one another, matte black’s ability to enhance nearly any design has caused its popularity in the home category to grow rapidly – these days, the finish is available on everything from sleek kitchen appliances to chalkboard-style walls that display the evening’s dinner menu, proving that this is a style that’s here to stay.
Can Matte Black work in my home?
There is no doubt that matte black has a striking effect upon design, however even the most casual home decorator shouldn’t shy away from this contemporary finish.
As we move through life, our tastes and styles evolve – which means that sometimes we need to shake up our surroundings to reflect our current selves. If you’re in the mood for lush contrasts and rich color palettes, matte black is perfect for you.
“Bright colors like pinks and oranges really sizzle against black,” says designer Nicole Sassaman.
Luckily, taking advantage of this provocative yet sophisticated style is both easy and affordable – just throw a coat of fresh paint on your front door and add a gorgeous Schlage handleset in Matte Black to give your entrance a truly modern pop of color.
If brights aren’t your thing, neutrals also work perfectly. Gold and silver shine and sparkle even more beautifully when accented with darker matte finishes because they are at opposite ends of the color spectrum: black absorbs light, while gold and silver reflect it.
Black on black can be gloomy, and metallics easily veer from cheerful to tacky if they aren’t grounded by richer colors and textures. These opposites are at their best when working together - especially during the wintry holidays when dark velvety textures are typically paired with a little sparkle. That means that whether it’s July or January, matte black never falls flat.
What if I'm a style beginner?
If you’re unsure about the best way to take matte black for a spin, the smart way is to start slowly. Door hardware is a great introduction, requiring minimal time and investment yet adding instant polish and elegance to any home.
“Even in small doses, the challenge with black is to keep it from looking funereal,” says designer Jamie Drake.
It’s important that the dark finish is soothing rather than overwhelming, and adding dark door hardware accents to a room’s color palette can transform a room without the risk of being too harsh.
Another important consideration is to decide whether you want a consistent look to all of the hardware throughout your home, or a diverse mingling of finishes and textures.
With the popularity of matte black rising in the design space, you can now coordinate your door hardware perfectly with everything from your kitchen appliances to the paint on your living room accent wall.
“Home design – like fashion – is about transforming minds, moods and spaces. A classic black dress is a staple as it can instantly deliver the feeling of elegance and grace. In comparison, a Matte Black finish can elevate a home’s sophistication when incorporated unexpectedly in kitchen or bath areas,” says Judd Lord, Director of Industrial Design at Delta Faucet Company. As you make your decision, consider the décor of each room and the way the various types of hardware and finishes will interact with one another.
A faucet like the one above paired with Schlage’s door hardware in Matte Black may be just what you need to pull the entire room together! Whatever you decide, starting with a hardware refresh by Schlage means there’s nothing to fear:
“For those that have not remodeled in some time, adding black to your home may seem a radical change. Though it’s a departure from the brass and nickel finishes of the recent past, matte black really is a finish that effectively coordinates with a variety of colors and textures,” says Roberts.
Okay, now I'm ready to get bolder...
Take your curb appeal to the next level by pairing a Schlage Matte Black door lock with a statement-making neon paint like lime green or yellow on the front door. To give the interior of your home a stunning new look, refresh your hardware with Schlage matte black and echo it with dark accents throughout the home.
A great way to freshen your look indoors is to try out Schlage’s Custom Bowery Knob on our Collins trim in Matte Black. Furniture with black detailing also makes for a great accessory to highlight matte black hardware. HGTV.com’s Jackie Dishner says that “black makes wood grains pop out” and suggests adding light-colored doors and black hardware for an even more polished look.
Last but not least – go with your instincts! You know what you like better than anyone, and you know which choices feel right for your home. Schlage’s Matte Black hardware helps you stay adventurous by giving you the opportunity to try out stylish accents without the hassle involved with a major project and the budget that goes along with it. Which means that you can use Schlage’s expanded line of Matte Black hardware to quickly and easily create your own style masterpiece!