Black & Gold Office - James Bond 007 Style!


Sexy Meeting Rooms

Sexy and investments are not two words normally found in the same sentence.  These rooms look more like James Bond 007's bachelor pad than investment firm.

i29 Architects created a meeting & lounge areas for All Capital Investment Group,  that are prestigious and opulent without being pretentious or stuffy.

The meeting rooms are black and gold, whilst the lounge areas are simpler in various tones of greys, black and white.

Clever Design

The captivating features of the meeting rooms are the shapely elliptical gold features that are inset into the black wall unit and furniture accents.

The egg-shape motif is also inset into the black office furniture and pattern of the carpet.  The space is punctuated with large half moon pendant black light fixtures with a gold interior.  

The room's success with the black and gold wall unit is dependant upon the counterposition of the white walls, ceiling and full width window wall.  Also, aided by the light grey carpet oval cut into the dark grey strié carpet. Texture is further enhanced with the linear vertical striping go the painted black rift cut oak.

Upon first viewing, the meeting rooms looks sultry and powerful.  But, upon further review I feel that the use of black can become morose and depressing.  Especially during the long grey winter with lack of natural sunshine. A lot would depend on lighting.

These rooms are appropriate for short meetings versus a long-term work environment. 

Scientifically Speaking

William Lidwell, PhD, who is an acquaintance of mine and has a video lecture series called How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals, gave his thoughts on this office: 

"There is no intrinsic problem with predominantly black interiors, assuming proper lighting, etc. However, when black is matched with high-contrast colors like red or yellow, you start to run into threat combinations that are hardwired in the brain—i.e., the kinds of color combinations you typically find in poisonous snakes, insects, and plants that we have evolved to identify as potential threats. The result can be an environment that produces stress and fatigue at a subconscious level, and correspondingly impairs performance. And I think your comment about short meetings versus a long-term work environment is dead on—darker environments generally result in lower productivity and emotional wellbeing vs lighter environments. So, to the extent that productivity and happiness are factors, you would not want to spend a lot of time in that office."

It's always gratifying to have my professional opinion validated.

Black - Tips & Tricks

Although black can dramatic in its appeal, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing black:

  • Black can be depressing to live and work in.  An all black room is difficult to live and work in. It must be counter balanced with a bright colour or white.  Mix-up your walls.
  • Black sucks all the light in a room.  Install dimmer switches so that you can control lighting levels to suit your needs.
  • Black ceilings - NO!  Painting a ceiling black will make it look lower and can be very claustrophobic.  Even if it's a very high ceiling.  (See William Lidwell's comments above.)
  • Black shows dirt. Dust and dirt will show up on black as a white haze. And scuff marks dull streaks. Dust and clean regularly.
  • Black paint quality and coats.  To achieve hide and coverage, tint primer black.  Or… your black walls may require 3 to 4 coats of paint to get proper saturation, make sure you buy a good quality paint such as Benjamin Moore's Aura, which allows you to paint fewer coats. And, remember, painting can be labour intensive. 
  • Black high gloss - beware of glare.  Shiny black gloss produces glare and have high reflectivity.  You may notice it acts like a mirror and start reflecting the light fixtures above.
  • Black matte is the best. The glossier the paint, the more imperfections show. This is true for paint of all colors, but imperfections are especially noticeable on a black surface.

Black - exiting - yes!

But -  manage the location and the quantity.  

Black is fickle.  What's dramatic and wonderful on a whim, might be depressing in truth.

Design to enhance your personal power and your happiness.


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Disclaimer: The views expressed on Spaces Custom Interiors Blog are solely those of the blog post author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the persons or organizations with which the author has described or is associated.