That Old Black Magic

I know that there are people who count Halloween as their favorite holiday. I hope this doesn't come between us, but I don't like Halloween. Never have. I don't like to be scared. And, surprisingly, for a drama-queen like myself, I don't like costumes, especially masks.

But, as you know, I love black.

Architectural Digest, October1979, featured designer Eric Bernard's apartment in Manhattan.

The grid of slate squares was rubbed with shoe polish (!), a striking backdrop for the Scalamandre leather-clad sofas.

"The lacquered storage cylinder" (upper left) "conceals a bar and sound system." The tea service is Josef Hoffmann.

"An opulent study on canvas, by Albert Moore, counterpoints the bedroom's sleek platformed simplicity." This image was also the issue's cover. Saying this room is simple is a bit like me trying to sell Mr. Blandings on how low-maintenance I am. I can make the case, but complexity abounds.

My other little vintage Halloween treat is a 1984 creation from Bob Patino and Vicente Wolf. Appearing in the March issue of House and Garden, the clients report that they wanted the apartment mostly for entertaining in the evening. The wall, above, is black glass.

In the slate-tiled dining room (no mention of shoe polish here) the walls are upholstered in gray flannel. The chairs are Mies's "Brno" chairs, circa 1930.

This is the wife's sitting area. Her chic cashmere throw has jazzy red leather piping to highlight the original aniline red of the Eames chair. Notice how the television is placed in the built-in so it's flush with the wall.

These rooms are dark, but not dreary; sleek, but not scary. No tricks, just treats.

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