Decorating in Black and White

There's a zing to a room done in black and white. Do you love the look? Then try these rooms on for size and hue.

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CottStyleSp05_Bedroom close up of corner of bed and night table black and white patterned decor
In Love with Black and White

    Our first room is classic black and white. Be sure to balance large, medium, and small scale patterns with a few touches of plain black and white fabrics.

Adding Features

    Architectural details and interesting shapes keep a black-and-white palette from being boring. Black wainscoting adds elegance, black and white tiles lend graphic appeal, and the curvy black claw-foot tub is the jaw-dropper.

One Print

    Even an all-white or beige room can benefit from a few well-placed dollops of black and white. This striking toile print turns the window into a focal point.

Print + Checks

    Checked and striped fabrics make perfect companion prints for larger-scaled florals or toiles. In this powder room, a makeup counter takes on cool sophistication with a black box and silver vases.

All Plain

    Plain black and white fabrics are punctuated by a few small patterned pillows in a room that could be duplicated easily. The crystal chandelier and china service sparkle over a tailored table skirt in black.

Tuxedo Stripes

    Look for ways to dress up black-and-white prints with details. These toile drapery panels were topped off with a pleated band of fabric that looks like a tuxedo cummerbund.

Contemporary Style

    Sleek black sink cabinets look fabulous with brushed nickel hardware. The mirror-on-mirror effect not only makes the space seem larger, but provides a focal point for this bathroom.

Black Furnishings

    Toile print wallpaper and vintage furnishings surround a table and chairs in glossy black. A vase of limes adds a bit of color to the centerpiece on a tabletop set with black-and-white plates.

All in the Fabric

    The black-and-white combination in this dining room shows up only in the fabrics for window treatments and chair slipcovers.

Contemporary Cool

    Black leather and contemporary shapes create a cool room in black, white, and gray.

Dressed in Black

    Though plain black upholstery is a bit unusual, it can make an important statement in a room. A few black accessories show up in high contrast to the balance of the room in creamy white.


    Except for the painted checkerboard tub, all of the black-and-white accents in this white attic room are removable -- towels, rugs, and a bench -- making for an easy way to update the look.

Highlight Molding

    Black crown molding underscores the linear look of the artwork and the raised dining platform. As in most contemporary rooms, line and shape are kept neat, uncluttered, and slightly sculptural.

On the Wall

    Harlequin wallpaper has a stunning effect in this small-space bathroom. Keeping the colors to simple black and white gives it dignity, not disorganization.

All Ruffled

    Kitchens are generally filled with straight lines and cold-looking countertops, so the sumptuous ruffled shade is a welcome contrast. Coordinating fabrics are a nice edge detail to further emphasize the arched hem.

Go Graphic

    Think black-and-white photos when you want to make an artistic, graphic statement. Thin black frames let the images stand on their own.

Classic Tiled Floor

    Want a pop of interest for an entry? A black-and-white tiled floor should do the trick. Almost any color will combine easily with this look, though the furnishings can be as glamorous as you like.

Hollywood Style

    Welted seams in black recall old Hollywood. Though nary a pattern was used, the textured chenille sofa, beaded pillows, and silver accessories all call to mind a room fit for Bogie and Bacall.

Toile Revisited

    Give toile walls a contemporary edge with modern art and parson's tables. Bedding features a tailored look in keeping with the modern sensibility.

Tiny Bath

    All-white baths can be dull as dishwater, yet they offer the advantage of a clean backdrop for striking accents of color. Black-and-gold pictures provide a major shot of interest in this room, though the one spark of aqua color over the window also draws our eye.

Stylish Porch

    Several patterns in black and white combine to create an eye-catching porch. Wide stripes, checks, plaids, dots, and toile mix easily due to various sizes and a common color theme.

All-Over Pattern

    Wallpaper and matching fabric is a great way to envelop a space in a pattern you love. Again, use of plain colors (the white coverlet) and even some tiny doses of an accent color (red flowers and lampshade) add a little spark.

Sweet Niche Seating

    Striking black-and-white fabrics, antique chairs, and an antique wine-tasting table combine to give this banquette French-country charm. The large windows bring in plenty of light and a view of the garden to this out-of-the-traffic-flow dining area.

Molded Style

    Glossy black crown and base moldings outline this bath with style. The mirror frame and bordered rug add more black, relating to the toile fabric panels visible in the mirror.

Pop Up a Powder Room

    The walls in this powder room say it all -- with pizzazz! This is wallpaper, but a similar look could be achieved with a stencil or by using painter's tape and accurate measurements.

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