One of their signature touches is the high-gloss black trim against a cream wall, as shown above. I've been collecting images of other spaces that make effective use of the same color scheme, like this renovation from Desire to Inspire:
Or this townhouse from the June/July 2010 issue of Lonny:
One thing all of these spaces have in common, other than the glossy black trim, of course, is a pale ivory on the walls and a brighter white on the crown moulding and ceilings. I think the subtle difference between the walls and ceilings gives it a bit more warmth without taking away from the graphic quality inherent in such high contrast.
So now that I'm about to have my own house, I'm going to try it in the older portion of the house. And the Boyfriend is completely on board! The other totally off-the-wall thing he's on board with is doing something like this to our guest bath:
So the black on the trim in the rest of the house will be both the trim and the walls in the bath. I think the only way that can work is in a very high-gloss finish, and with the white fixtures already in the room to really pop against the black. I also want to bring in some warmth and additional contrast with rich woods in picture frames, mirrors, and bath accessories. The owners of the bath above (also from the June/July 2010 issue of Lonny) said they were attempting to create an old New York men's club feel. I love it! My design sense has definitely moved to a more "masculine" place than it was previously.
More black bathroom inspiration:
And one from another of my interior style icons, Jenna Lyons of jcrew (image from Domino magazine):