Black houses

There is something inherently sophisticated and unassuming about a black house. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE white houses (our own home is white), but I’ve also been not-so-quietly-obsessed with black houses for a really long time.

They look particularly beautiful when constructed in timber and set amongst the greenest of countrysides. From a distance, you could almost mistake a black house for a row of trees. Spot the black house below????

You often see black houses in Scandinavian countries, where interior schemes are predominantly white. I myself tend to favour a light, bright, and mostly white (a.k.a neutral) interior, so the contrast of a dark exterior provides perfect balance. This could explain why so many Scandinavians go for a dark exterior – to counter balance such light interiors.
I adore the traditional design of this gorgeous summer house just north of Copenhagen in Denmark.
Images courtesy of
Black houses are also really popular in New Zealand and there’s a place where you can see (and stay in) an assortment of stunningly beautiful black houses: Hawkes Bay. It’s a truly magical part of the world and my family and I have been going there for many many years. Craggy Range has a couple of cute black cottages you can rent. We haven’t stayed in these but friends of ours have and loved it. The cottages at Craggy Range Winery
I love the black corrugated panelling and how they’ve been softened and integrated into the landscape by greenery and vines.
Black Barn Retreats (managed by Black Barn Winery) have a large selection of stunningly luxurious “lodges” you can rent and we have stayed in almost all of them! Below is Black Dog Cottage and this is one of my all time favourites!! It only sleep 4 people (2 couples) but I absolutely love the interiors; elegant, unpretentious and chic, with a beautifully light Scandinavian feel.
Did I mention the view???
The house below is Riverside Lodge 1 It’s big which is ideal for larger groups. Our family stayed in this house one Christmas (before children came along!) and it was one of the best holidays we’ve ever had.
Lighting up a black house at night is very important (for obvious reasons) but I think the effect is pretty damn elegant and classy.
The house below, Poplars 3, is one I haven’t stayed in but I am in madly in love with the architecture. The barn style exterior is just astonishingly beautiful to me and is slightly different to all the other Black Barn Retreats.
The interior design is pretty spectacular as well.
This beautiful black house below in Tutukaka in New Zealand is by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects.
This traditional black timber siding and shingle house below is by Ike Kligerman Barkley Architects in New York. I particularly love the windows and doors – the contrasting white but also the style.
I love this gorgeous entertaining space below by M.elle Design with the beautiful dark roofing detail, stone fireplace, fabulous chandelier and touches of purple for some colour.

Would you ever considering painting your house black?

Nicki x

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