above image from The Design Files.

i have some pretty big news… we bought a house! this has only been a few months in the making, we certainly weren’t planning on buying a new house and moving with a baby on the way. we’ve even done a few renovations in our flat (new parquet floors, new bedroom cupboards) with the intention of staying for possibly a few more years – even though we knew that there was an expiry date on our lovely little one bedroom home.

but then we saw THE HOUSE. and we took a gamble, and it payed off. now our move in date is early April: one month before kiddo is set to hit the scene. we won’t be doing any renovations just yet, apart from painting all the walls white, but that doesn’t mean i haven’t been dreaming about what i would want to do. the new house has two bathrooms (!) and somewhere down the road i’d love to redo them completely – or at least just have some new tiles and cool floors put in.

this is, partly, fuelled by my new TV obsession: Fixer Upper. do you guys watch it? i am really considering moving to Waco, Texas just so Chip & Joanna can redo a house for me (apparently something some couples have actually done!) you can see all their before and afters on Joanna’s blog. while watching this past weekend i was reminded of how cool black hardware is when they revealed this bathroom renovation. this is a trend that’s been popping up a lot for the past year (at least) and when paired with a mostly white bathroom it has a distinctly Danish vibe about it.

i know i’m going to have a seriously hard time finding black fittings like this in South Africa – but i have seen a few taps on Amazon here, here, here and here.

Black Hardware - Tom Mark Henry Black Hardware - Tom Mark Henry Black Hardware - Tom Mark Henry Black Hardware - Tom Mark Henry

above: various projects by Tom Mark Henry

Black Hardware - Whiting Architects Black Hardware - Whiting Architects

above: Kerferd House by Whiting Architects

Black Hardware - Amber Interiors Black Hardware - Amber Interiors Black Hardware - Amber Interiors Black Hardware - Amber Interiors Black Hardware - Amber Interiors

above: various bathrooms by Amber Interiors

Black Hardware - Amee Allsop Architect Black Hardware - Amee Allsop Architect Black Hardware - Amee Allsop Architect

above: Red Dirt Rd House by Amee Allsop

Black Hardware - Redgen Mathieson Architect

above: Bondi House by Redgen Mathieson

Black Hardware - Dornbracht Tara taps Black Hardware - Dornbracht Tara taps

above: Tara fittings by Dornbracht


  1. Congratulations! I can’t wait to see your new house!

    My story with black taps- I just redid my house in Gordon’s Bay and I was SERIOUSLY lusting after some black fixtures because of the above photos. I looked everywhere in South Africa for them- I even went so far in my mania after dozens of hours of research to place an order of the Jason We/Brizo black taps and shower fixtures to have shipped from the US and then sourced the adaptors that would make them compatible with the EU pipe threading standard so they could be hooked up in my house. I had my whole family in the US involved in this scheme, my boyfriend rolling his eyes endless and swearing at how I had gone mental, and I was generally OBSESSED until my contractor and plumber were voicing their severe disapproval that the job was getting stalled due to parts in my order being delayed (and not even accounting for the SA customs clearance process)

    I also looked into having taps specialty coated myself in SA because I read on the Amber Interiors blog how she did brass plating on some off the shelf taps in the US. (Did i mention my insane obsession during remodeling?)

    I ended up cancelling the whole thing and going with the chrome Axor taps I could get locally at CP&B. I really mourned this dream for a while- it was a little disheartening and I was somewhat embaressed at my silliness and design obsession.

    My bathroom turned out lovely and I added black accents in other ways. Secretly I think it was for the best- since we are on borehole water I had some fears that the calcium rich water would those lovely black fixtures spotty after a while needing lots of cleaning and maintenance, and the world did not end. I am still happy with the results.

    FYI- if you do a special order of Kohler or Axor in SA you can get them special ordered in black- just save your money and order long in advance. Also Italtile had a few black fixtures that they could source as well- not a huge selection, but some things i considered.

    All is well though- since i Caved on my importation of bathroom fixtures, it was much easier to convince boyfriend that the Schoolhouse Electric lights from US was much more realistic. :)

    Again- congrats and best wishes on the new house!

    • WOW! i’m so glad you commented – great to hear a local perspective. you sound WAY more obsessed than me hahaha!! i would probably have given up after a week and just gone with, like, normal taps. well done on your perseverance…. i would be interested in seeing your house :)

  2. Still Bathrooms in Green Point has got exactly what you need lady – all them black black hardware!

  3. Aw man, two and a half years ago I really waned these for our reno in Perth, Australia. At the time, only serious high-end manufacturers were making them. Like, the only ones I found were $1000/ set. Actually, maybe now I think about it it was possible to get cheaper tap sets, but only high end places made showerheads in black. And I couldn’t bear the thought of a chrome showerhead with black taps.

    My husband and I each ended up with our own bathroom obsession, and we each gave in to the other to get what we wanted… Me, the custom-made recycled-timber vanity with twelve tiny drawers. Him, the VIllery & Bosch basin. Seriously. V&B make bathroom fixtures. The stupid basin was four figures! But it did mean I got a custom vanity base on it with drawers the exact size for shampoo bottles and makeup…. (also please note: we made up for these luxuries by doing the laundry on the crazy-cheap. Floor sample fixtures, toilet off Gumtree(!), scrap timber for framing…)

  4. I love the sleek minimalism of this. Very soothing looking. I also loved a remodel of a house in Melbourne, where they did something similar with an added touch of brass. {http://www.remodelista.com/posts/melbourne-remodel-by-david-flack-of-flack-studio-in-australia}

    Congrats on this! How fun to think of new inspiration.

    Caitlin Confidential | Caitlin Confidential

  5. Biggest congratulations to you Diana. It’s such a wonderfully exciting milestone. We’d love to see your house one day, when you’re ready ;)

  6. How much does it cost for the view in the “Bondi House”? Hopefully it’s including in the price of the taps? But big congrats to you guys! Where abouts are you headed?

  7. I love Fixer Upper! Those guys are my life idols. And yes, I have considered moving to Waco just so they can make me a beautiful house (not a stretch, because I’m in Houston, Tx).
    And congrats on the HOUSE. I’m looking forward to more decor posts (maybe?)!

  8. Isn’t amazing how Fixer Upper sucks you in?!? (Like literally 12 episodes later…..)

    I l-o-v-e this design trend – great round up!

  9. Congrats lady! Fabulous news. Like you, we scheduled our move into a new house 4 weeks before my daughter, our first baby, was due. Less than 4 hours after the movers got everything into the house my water broke and within 24 hrs my daughter was born. My Uncle (an OB) and my Aunt (a labour and delivery nurse) have since told me that they’ve heard similar stories more times then they can count. The stress or maybe just the extra activity and excitement seems to encourage little ones to make early appearences it seems. But Despite the craziness that ensued, we never regretted moving at all!! Hope you guys have lots of time to get settled, but just in case, be ready for an early arrival!

    • oh GREAT Amy hahaha!!! no that you mentioned it, my brother came 4 weeks early because my mom decided to dig a hole for a tree when she was 8 months pregnant… ? i’m determined to take it easy and just order people around on the day. here’s hoping he can stay in there a bit longer.

  10. Congratulations. I’m about to start building my first home and the decisions of things like taps are killing me! Forget the bi things like final wall openings etc, and how we haven’t even got the final building approval yet – it’s all about the details!
    What I really want to know is how do they look with daily use and in 5+ years time!? Does the black chip off? does it show up toothpaste splatters like nothing else in the bathroom? HELP!

  11. We’re doing the move/have a baby insanity too!!!

    We picked out these fixtures in oil rubbed bronze from Elements of Design and they actually are closer to a matte black finish. I love them! And so affordable though I’m not sure where they are available outside the US.

  12. Couple of places you can source in Cape Town, worth having a look at Italtile as they have a range called Morelli available in black, we using it in the renovation of our house which is a Heritage project, the freestanding bath spout and shower head from Hansgrohe we are having chemically blackened to fit in with the rest of the black fittings. Good luck and enjoy the process!

    • @Stephane B – Please could you share where are you getting spout and shower head chemically blackened?

  13. Mark le Roux Reply

    OMG everyone! Where have you been all my life! I’m renovating an old neglected guest house in Newlands, Pretoria, which I definitely want to have featured in local magazines when we’re done. My builder asked to me to go buy all the fittings for the 7 bathrooms in the house…so today is Saturday and I’m googling like crazy for alternative shops other than Italtile/CTM/Bathroom Bizarre and their standard commercial likes. I’ve been planning designs for 17 months already. I’m also planning a white and black bathroom and definitely going to make use of these suggestions!!! Flying down to Cape Town next week so I’ll try and swing by the local shops there too. Thanks for the post and suggestions…

  14. We are also about to start renovations/additions and I have my heart set on oil-rubbed bronze taps for both kitchen and bathrooms! Did you by any chance find these in SA? As you did…..I have seen them on American sites and am seriously considering ordering from there. As the renovations only start in about 2 months time I will hopefully have enough time to get the necessary fittings etc. Didn’t think it would be difficult to find the necessary changes to the taps to fit to SA standard piping etc! Do you have any idea on what the customs duties would have been had you imported your taps from the USA?

    • Ita Darling Reply

      oh girl- do not even try to buy the adaptors to changes US threading to EU threading (as it’s used in SA).. it was complicated it was expensive, and duties were going to be about 30%.. trust me.. I tried to justify it- I tried to order it all and justify the extra aggravation and expense.. I ended up cancelling it all and buying Axor locally and altering my design to fit it.

      Your best bet is to special order the Kohler or Hans Grohe which is available in custom finishes.

  15. Thanks for your blog and all the helpful comments.

    I just decided to change my bathroom design from Hansgrohe taps to Black Matt Brass taps and my Hansgroge Ibox is installed already.
    I found Black Matt taps at http://lavo.co.za/ and waiting for a quotation.
    Will have a look at the other suggested retailers.
    I inlove with this look.


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