Color can be a wonderful instrument to bring emotion and feeling into a room. Black and white can do the same, since there’s something timeless about a black and white interior design. A checkerboard tile floor, old photographs, black and white marble: all of these elements offer elegance to a room’s design.
It can be easy to overthink such a simple color palette, but decorating with black and white doesn’t need to be complicated. Black and white designs can be executed in modern, traditional and transitional homes and in every style, from French country to contemporary, proving that black and white design is as classic as it gets.
Here are a few ways to incorporate black and white design into your home.
Warm it Up
One of the challenges of black and white interior design is that it can often have too great a contrast, making the room stressful to eyes rather than soothing. Test out a variety of shades of blacks and whites—whites especially have warming properties that can help lift a room. There are many shades of black, too, as well as greys that can help the two colors meet in the middle to achieve a visual balance. Don’t forget about warming up with wood tones—they can also be instrumental in bringing a black and white room to life. For example, a black and white kitchen can go from stark to warm by incorporating creamier white cabinets with glossy black countertops and wood stools, accented with kitchen-safe Sunbrella fabric. There are no rules when it comes to which black and white shades work together, so do what works best for your particular lifestyle and aesthetic.
Rely on Texture
Texture is your best friend when it comes to decorating, especially with a black and white color scheme. Whether hard textures like stone and wood, or soft textures like blankets and pillows, the more textured a room is, the more it feels fully designed. Even small touches like embroidery or trim can make a black and white design feel layered and rich. For black and white living room ideas, think about incorporating fabrics like Essential Granite or Frequency Parchment that provide texture without weight. Don’t forget that walls and floors can add texture as well through wallpaper, paint, rugs and flooring.
Go for Scale
When a color palette is restricted, you can make a large impact by using scale to your advantage. For example, a fabric such as Scale Cloud can instantly help bring personality into a room. Its fun, mens-ware inspired stripe can also help draw your eyes around the room. Try using it in a playful, unexpected way, such as banquette fabric for a dining room or shades in a bedroom. Don’t forget to consider smaller patterns as well—a smaller, repeating pattern like Midori Stone can have just as much impact as an oversized pattern. Be thoughtful about scale in every place possible, from a penny tile in the bathroom to wallpaper on the ceiling.
Make It Work for You
Black and white are classic colors for a reason, but they don’t necessarily work for everyone as a stringent scheme. Be sure to put your personality and lifestyle first. Design today is all about mixing, so don’t feel like you have to be beholden to one particular style, or even to black and white themselves—mix it up by adding in touches of color that suit you. If you start with a black and white design, you can easily build out with color, scale and texture to create a signature style all your own.
How do you bring black and white into home design? Show your #SunbrellaMoment with us on social and share your own striking black and white designs!