It’s that time of the year again when we go to cemeteries en masse to honor our dear departed. We call it “Undás”, “Todos los Santos”, “Araw ng mga Patay”, “All Souls Day” (celebrated on November 1 instead of 2).
Days before November 1, the living clean up mausoleums, crypts, graves, buy candles, flowers, food, arrange to have a mass said at the Church, organize events at the cemetery for the clan. Those who live far away go back to their provinces so we all can expect huge crowds at airports, piers and bus stations. If you live close to a cemetery, you may have to organize your daily life around the traffic in your area. If you’ve got the time, please let us know in the comments section below what other rituals your family does which I didn’t mention here.
We posted a Halloween Quiz recently. You can try it together with family members when you meet, after you’ve all prayed for the souls of your dearly departed. Share your results with each other and just have some fun.
Dark Inspirations for Interiors
In the Philippines, really dark interiors, like black, are seldom used. Most of us prefer to have light neutrals for our walls, especially in urban areas where living spaces such as condos are usually small in size. But there are more and more people who like to experiment with colors like those found in the Boysen Color Trends. Do check out the website and if Color Trend 2018 does not resonate with you, look at the past Color Trends because they are still very appealing and relevant to the times.
If I were to choose which room in my home would be black, I would choose the bedroom. I can imagine turning it into my bat cave. Any time I feel like having some rest or recuperation, then I’d take myself to my cave. Black gives a space a feeling of intimacy and privacy, perfect for bedrooms.
The colors of the gold lamp and the wooden side table are the only ones standing out against the black canvas. Walls, bedding, even the sculpture behind the bed are all in black. There is hardly anything that distracts the eye. The message in this room is very simple: SLEEP.
This loft bedroom is more my style because of its color palette. I like it that it is not as dark as the first bedroom. There are more lighter elements, like the light grey carpet that covers the floor, the grey bed cover, the metal lamp and the wooden elements like the tray, the headboard, and the step ladder which is used as a side table.
I had a black and white kitchen once with really thick granite countertops, about 5 inches in thickness if I remember correctly, and black Italian stone tiles for the floor. However, I opted to have white kitchen cabinets and a backsplash made of white metro tiles. I have no regrets about that color combination in exactly that configuration. One of my main consideration then was easy maintenance so I chose robust materials that are easy to clean.
Tip: If you have an open kitchen, make sure that the kitchen colors would make it seem like a separate space but would not be too different from the rest of the living space.
The color palette of the kitchen above works very well because the all-black cabinetry is balanced by the white ceiling and wooden floors.
Tip: Carry the color story throughout the space. In this case, the black metal frames of the glass walls and sliding doors tie the kitchen to the rest of the indoor space. You can also see the color story carried outside in the terrace with the use of black upholstery for the outdoor furniture.
The black textured stone tiles for the backsplash works very well with a wooden countertop. The wood not only relieves the heaviness of black but also provides a warmth that is wonderful to have in kitchens. The wood element is echoed in the open cabinet used to hold spice canisters. Black comes back in many elements — the beautiful matte color of the kitchen sink, mixer/faucet, the lids of the spice canisters, the fruit bowl and the reflective stove.
Tip: Have a mix of textures in the space to make it interesting. Also choose reflective surfaces for some accessories to allow the light to subtly bounce off.
Black Living Rooms
Imagine coming home to this living room after a long, hard day at work. You come in the door, take off your shoes, and walk into your home with your bare feet on warm wooden floors. You head for that standing lamp with the red shade that has tones of brown in it. You turn it on and then you see your very inviting, comfortable dark grey sofa that seems to say, “Hey, you, welcome home!”
Tip: You don’t need expensive art work to liven up your wall. You could hang your spirit animal to bring a smile to your lips. Do you know what a zebra stands for? “The zebra symbolizes the free and wild spirit that lives in everyone. Because of this trait, the zebra spiritual totem is a symbol of freedom.”
If you prefer drama and sophistication, this living room just oozes that. It has that elegant black and white combination that is timeless.
Tip: Be spare in your choice of accessories especially if you want the room to have a calm, understated vibe. You already get all the drama with the black and white palette. The floors are made of huge highly-reflective tiles so smudges and smears can easily be seen. However, cleaning would not be difficult with just soap and hot water and a lint-free fabric.
If black and white is too stark a combination for you, try the many shades of grey.