Inspiring Interiors

Black houses, again.

Photo: Tsao & McKown (Rhinebeck, New York)

I’m long overdue (um, it’s been six years—oops) for a black house roundup post. I chose to lead off with a gorgeous Victorian farmhouse renovated by Tsao & McKown, primarily because it’s in Rhinebeck, NY—my hometown! Rhinebeck (in my extremely biased opinion) is the most beautiful town in the Hudson Valley. The houses there tend to be very well maintained for the most part, and while they generally have retained their historic character, they do definitely tend to be on the conservative side aesthetically. It’s very exciting for me to see that someone has done a renovation as dramatic and bold as this one! I have no idea where in Rhinebeck this farmhouse is, but next time I’m up there, I’ll certainly keep an eye out.

Photo: Simon Conder Associates (Kent, England)

Photo: This Is Colossal (Möhringen, Germany)

Haus in Schwarz was a 2008 installation in Germany by Erik Sturm and Simon Jung. The house was painted entirely black for five months prior to its planned demolition. Black windows might be a little too intense even for me, but aside from that, I could move right in if it still existed…

Photo: Thinking Outside the Boxwood (Detroit, Michigan)

Photo: Bruce Damonte, via Dwell (San Francisco, California)

I’m bummed that I didn’t go to Stable Cafe when I was in San Francisco. That white lettering on the all-black facade…siiiiiigh. Next time. (Check out this cool photo at Dwell taken during the repainting!)

Photo by Alec Hemer for Lonny (Sharon Springs, New York)

This upstate New York beauty belongs to Roger Hazard and Chris Stout-Hazard, who have a custom furniture line. I liked Roger a lot when he was on Sell This House, and I’m not surprised he and his husband have such a cool house. The Roger + Chris website is cool, too—they have a GREAT blog for their renovation work that’s really informative. My kinda guys.

And yeah, this Hornbach ad still makes me cry…

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  • Reply susan // fleurishing July 2, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I would love to paint our house black – I just painted my office black (and have it scattered throughout our home) and am obsessed. It’s soothing + dramatic at the same time. I’ve yet to see Rhinebeck – long overdue!

  • Reply Fiona July 2, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Lauren Liess (a designer who lives outside DC) painted her house black and it made SUCH a difference. I was dubious, but it modernized it.

  • Reply Jule July 2, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Loving the roger + Chris website. Love the black houses!!! I’ve been dying to paint something black for awhile….maybe my office/craft room will be the winner.

  • Reply Lorrie July 2, 2015 at 11:41 am

    I thought they all looked amazing. But, I also wonder how hot they must be in the summer?

    Loved the ad too. My husband calls Goths ‘coffin kids’. I really, REALLY hope our daughter goes for it when she is old enough, I will be right there with the black dye and purple lippy!

    Lorrie x

  • Reply Cheryl July 2, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    I need to send you a picture of the black cabin style house in our neighborhood. It’s fantastic.

  • Reply Ceri July 2, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I saw the one in Kent last year in Dungeness (our only desert in Britain! It’s a really unusual landscape and has quite a lot of black wooden houses including one that was owned by Derek Jarman) It’s incredibly striking in person – it’s so matt it looks almost rubberized. I’d love a matt black house…

  • Reply Lorrie July 2, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    P.s. Just found you on Ello, but you are not active now. Ello now have a pretty good IOS app if ever you decide to come back.

    Here is me.

    Come bacccccckkkk!


  • Reply Jessica Funaro July 2, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    You should look into the black houses and buildings in Olympia, WA. The wacky story is perhaps better than the aesthetics, I’ll warn, but they are all allegedly owned by someone referred to as the Death Metal Dentist.

  • Reply Amelie July 2, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Yeah, that Hornbach ad is great.

    • sofia July 6, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      hornbach has some great ads. the ones with blixa bargeld are hilarious.

  • Reply Ashley July 2, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Ana – The rhinebeck house is right next to the miglorelli?( I always get them mixed up) farm stand by the bridge. Easier to see in winter but you can still notice it. It’s stunning.

  • Reply Victoria Smith July 2, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    my new house will be black someday soon!! come see. xx

  • Reply Jenn July 2, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    We were denied our application for a black house by the heritage society 🙁
    But these guys – Scott & Scott Architects, just 20 blocks down the street were able to do some excellent work with their place (which is their office), it really is beautiful

  • Reply Alex - The Interior DIYer July 3, 2015 at 6:07 am

    I gasped at every house. Especially the house via Thinking Outside the Boxwood. It’s so beautiful.

    When I grow up enough to own a home, I would adore to paint it black. And maybe the daintiest of pink hydrangeas somewhere out front.

  • Reply Becky Harris July 3, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Oh we have the coolest black bungalow in our neighborhood (in Atkins Park section of Va-Hi in Atlanta). I’ve never been able to get a good photo of it or I’d try to share it.

  • Reply Roger + Chris July 3, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Woohoo! Thanks so much for including our house. As to how hot it is in the summer, not much worse than before we painted it…and we have no air conditioning, so we’d feel it! That said, it IS a little bit warmer during the very long winters of Upstate New York.

    • Lorrie July 6, 2015 at 4:07 am

      That’s interesting. I think that the weather in upstate NY is quite similar to parts of the UK. There are quite a lot of black houses in the UK, not in the art trend as such, but can be found in small villages in Wales and Scotland etc.

      Where I live, there is something referred to as the ‘Sussex House’, which is very particular traditional design, the windows are picked out in Yellow. There are few of them left now though. Also, many old houses in the UK are still painted according to the estates where they are located, in that I mean liege/feudal colours.


  • Reply Rita July 6, 2015 at 1:48 am

    You should into the Scandinavian version: black with white
    window frames and doors. Admitted. it is less dramatic but
    also friendlier to look at.
    In Scandinavia the houses are well insulated so it doesn`t
    make a difference whether it is black or white painted.

  • Reply sofia July 6, 2015 at 10:45 am

    i’m not one for hyperbole (as everyone rolls their eyes), but that rhinebeck house is the greatest thing like, i have EVER seen. if they were selling, i’d be buying. holy jeez!

  • Reply Anita Fowler July 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I think I have photos of a great historic house that I visited several years ago in Salem (as in witches) that was if not black then Charcoal. It was situated so beautifully on the property. Can’t remember name of house. Have you any memory of seeing that one?

  • Reply Amy July 8, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    We painted our house dark brown/black…by mistake…but we love it!

    • Anna @ D16 July 8, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      DUDE, yes! That looks amazing.

  • Reply Caroline July 9, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    I know the one in Kent. It’s back is made of glass and it faces on to the sea. It’s in a really moody landscape, overlooked by a nuclear power station – the local fishermen call the sea ‘the boil.’

    You can rent it out, I keep meaning to with friends!

  • Reply Caro July 12, 2015 at 5:49 am


    I found this wonderful black house on Dwell:

    Maybe you like it…


  • Reply Dave July 20, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Still love mine! BM #2135-10 “Blacktop” :^)

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