The use of black and white in decorating can create stunning and dramatic decor. Find out how to best take advantage of the combination of these two simple colors to maximize your decorating statement.
There's a rule in decorating that says that "every room can use a touch of black." You might think this is strange if you have a room of pastels or jewel tones. But think a minute.
Using the color black adds a focal point of color that grounds, anchors, and adds a sophisticated look to a room.
Black in accessories, light fixtures, trims, paint, or in one bold piece of furniture will help to catch the eye and sharpen any decorating scheme. It will serve as an outline that sets off specific areas or objects. Black by itself is striking.
But to get real drama and spark, pair black with white.
The use of black and white in decorating gives a fresh, clean, unquestionably sophisticated, and elegant look to any room.
Black and white are a perfect color combination for any decorating style. Contemporary interiors often combine black and white with sleek metals. French Country decorating style, among many others, is often set off with this color combination.
If you're afraid of using just black and white, add variety by using areas of yellow, pink, camel, red, or purple for a striking look. Keeping black and white prominent, however, preserves the elegant effect.
How to Use Black and White in Your Home
- A black and white floor is a good place to start decorating with black and white. The ultimate choice would be beautiful black marble set off with tall white baseboard moldings. Short of that, try white ceramic tiles with a black border, vinyl tiles laid in alternating black and white squares, or a painted black floor with white border stencils or white with black stencils.
- Walls painted stark white or a soft, ivory white serve as a perfect background for framed photographs, prints, and other artwork. Choose dark wood or painted black frames. Select stark black and white matting for your artwork or add a punch of color with red, gold, or black mats.
- A small room is a great place to choose to use black and white as the main color scheme. A powder room or small bathroom looks elegant with a black marble countertop, white sink, and shiny gold accessories and fixtures. Trim lush terry towels with black ribbon or braid for a custom look without much work.
- Crisp white bed linens are perfect for the bedroom. Add a black and white striped bed skirt, pillows, and a comfortable black chair. For seasonal changes, have a variety of pillows in different colors on hand. Pink, yellow, or soft green works great for summer, while red, hunter green, or even shimmering gold or silver looks great for winter.
- When shopping for fabrics, keep an eye out for colorful prints or plaids with touches of black. Then add more black to the room with lamps, table trims, frames and mats, pillows, doors, and hardware.
- Contemporary homes incorporate black and white in wonderful ways. Use dark charcoal rugs or carpeting. Don't feel obligated to paint all the walls the same. Choose vibrant accent colors for a focal point. Add colorful artwork, shiny or matte finish metal accents, and modern designed fabrics.
- Even cottage style interiors can use a black-and-white color scheme. Pair black-and-white toile fabric with gingham checks on chair covers, tablecloths, and pillows. Hang a collection of black metal trays on a dining room wall, cut black-and-white checks for picture matting, and use black-and-white ticking stripes for a bed skirt.
- Accent pieces of black iron are very popular and easy to find. Use a black metal table base with a glass top and black iron candlesticks and light fixtures in a dining room as well as black iron bookends in the family room or home office.
- To create a striking table setting, look for black-and-white china. All white or all black works well. Choose plain white china for greatest versatility. Add table linens and accessory pieces in black or any accent color.
- Add drama and sophistication to any room in your house. Use black and white alone or with other accent colors to create a style that's classic and simple.