Monday, November 21, 2011

splashes of black

That's artist Juhl Hansen (and her paintings) above. Needless to say, I'm a fan--of her work, her house, and her name. I love how she uses space and color in both her paintings and her home.  I think her's is clearly one of those cases where her home is totally what you'd expect after seeing her paintings.  It all just makes sense together.

Her summer home was featured in the danish magazine Boligliv.  It's a black house! Can I tell you how long I've wanted a black house?  I think I must have seen one in a story book as a child.

My dream home, since you didn't ask? A black house with white trim, the inside done mostly in warm whites with lots of wood and children's art.  I want a house full of kids running around in one large, sprawling space. We've no need for nooks and crannies!  I want to watch the girls swinging indoors, riding their tricycles round and round the sofa while I set two giant tables and two wee ones with mix-matched plates, treasures collected from the forest, and flowers from the garden for a dinner with friends. We'll be watching everyone's latest travel adventures and special family moments on vimeo through some apple device that sends online films and photos through a projector to a wall-- does this device exist yet?-- before heading outside to count stars, sleeping babies tucked snugly into slings, and tuckered-out little ones lying peacefully on warm blankets, the sounds of ukeleles, banjos, and the crackling of a cozy campfire lulling them to sleep.

but back to Juhl's house...

love how she throws in tiny touches of black, while still keeping everything really light, soft and warm--not a super easy feat. It's bold, but it's not overpowering and looks really fresh and modern. My mother always told me that every room needs some black in it. I think I might agree. And the black chair above looks awfully similar to our Svan Highchair, which is a highchair that adjusts through various stages, ending with a standard seat height.  I think I'm painting ours black after seeing this. It will be our lone black chair, because doesn't this look so wonderful?  Thanks, Juhl!

Let's talk about her name!

I read that Juhl is mostly a surname, which after making it's way to the US most often gets pronounced 'jewel'. But it's correct pronunciation is 'Yule'.  Yep, as in yuletide.  I wonder if she was born around the holidays.  Some sources say the name also has similar roots as Julia, meaning 'youth'.   Both meanings are nice associations, and I love it's spelling and pronunciation.

 Additionally, her work has me focusing again on the name Painter.  

And lastly, there's my dream home, which her own sommerhus calls to mind for me with it's bold exterior and carefully placed and celebrated splashes of black throughout. This has me looking to names inspired by black.  My absolute favorite is Sable, but let's also look at some more!

Dark names:
Sable (Sable is so rich and lovely, simple, bold -- virtually every wonderful feature that a name can have.)

Odile (the black swan)

Ilta (Finnish for 'evening') 



Additional names from today's inspirations:

Using only today's names, I love the following pairings:
Julia Odile
Sable Imoo
Ilta Juhl 

As always, my sources may be flawed on a few names, so please do let me know if I've got it wrong! 

I'd love you to link to your posts relating to dark names in the comments. And I've done a very short list because I want to hear more from all of you! 

What are your favorite names inspired by the color (or non color) black?

Do you use a tiny bit of black in every room?

Tell me about your dream home! 

(images: magazine photos, all the rest)


  1. The meaning isn't black-related, but Darko's grown on me. I loved the movie Donnie Darko, which first introduced me to it.

    LonĂ¡n is a Gaelic name meaning "little blackbird," and I like the sound of Onyx though the look is a little awkward. From your lovely list I really like Ilta and Imoo.

  2. Love Juhl; fabulous name.

    Black inspired names? I have a soft-spot for Blake and Berry, and Sable is very high on my list too :), but I think my favorite is the Greek Celaeno.

  3. Ooh... I love Onyx. I recently listed it in my jewel post, but forgot to here! And Lonan is pretty; I sure love the meaning!

    Nook, Celaeno is just divine!

  4. Noir could be cool... perhaps as a middle name.

  5. Cool post! Sable is really fantastic, and I also love Ilta, Jet and Painter. My littlest sister goes almost exclusively by Imoo (short for Imogen), but apart from as her nickname I've never heard it before. What is the definition of it?

  6. I've always loved names like Brenna, Bryn, Bronwen, too.

    Juhl feels like a twist on a really common name, but one that could stick or fall flat. I've never seen it before as a female name, and I kinda like it!