Back in October I posted images of the somewhat awkward built-in china cabinet.  It was encased in concrete block which served as the foundation to an upper level fireplace which was never built (in an upper level which was never built).  When the basement was gutted and walls were removed, the concrete block foundation took on a new prominence.  It was still awkward, even though the china cabinet was gone.  Since I wasn’t going to remove it (it was supporting the attic floor above via the steel beam which had been welded together out of several pieces) I could either try to hide it or emphasize it.  I decided upon the latter.

What kind of emphasis should be implemented?  For no particular reason, I looked to the mid-20th century “Chinese Modern” aesthetic for inspiration.  Perhaps it was the massive steel beam bisecting the space which begged for a coat of Chinese Red paint.

My first move was to paint the concrete block mass a flat black.  It was soon dubbed “the black hole” (thanks, Jim).  I painted the interior wall a brassy gold – also flat.  The beam supported by the black hole was painted a glossy red-orange without benefit of primer (for the purpose of adding a bit of patina to the compostition).

For better or worse, here are the results (preceded by some “Before” images to refresh our memories):


Here’s how the center of the room looked in October when it was occupied by a china cabinet:


This is how the basement appeared three months ago. The china cabinet is now gone, but the concrete block surrounding it remains.


Here is the back side of the concrete block wall encasing the china cabinet… it served as the side of two back-to-back closets:


Demo phase. One closet was blue, the other pink. The whole house was originally some variation of pink, blue, or orange.  It was the 60’s…


Fast forward to today… photo taken from the same perspective as the one above:


The black hole.


From the other side…


I’m so glad that I did not use primer before painting…


A view of the side and front…


This is the niche in which the erstwhile china cabinet once rested.


I may change the gold color in the future, but the black and Chinese Red are staying!







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