Here’s something for your little black hearts. Whether you’re hooked on shadowy romanticism, Tim Burton chic-meets-creepy cool, leather-and-chains punk and metal or spooky mansions, interior design is exploring the beauty of dark colors and lower lighting levels.
LAFONCE･MAXONE, a bookstore-themed commercial space in Xi’an, China, sits at the cross-section of hospitality and retail. So, lining the architectural volume with four floors of bookshelves and black finishes was a risk. Han-Sheng Cheng, chief designer, Gonverge Interior Design added natural light coming in through a skylight to modulate the effect. No cheesy theming or nightclub-all-day atmosphere here.
The project’s location in the northern suburbs of Xi’an meant that making the space successful had to be more proactive than “build it and they will come.” The roughcast architecture had sat empty for three years before Cheng and the team were brought in. So, just like in a renovation hospitality project, they were stuck to the bones of the extant space.
Cheng and the team celebrated what they were “stuck” with. Using the confines of the space as a guide, they used the dark base colors, daylight and natural light to create an intriguingly layered experience. Hello, takeaways for hospitality. Also, Happy Halloween if you celebrate. Come to the dark side…it’s beautiful.