Decorating in Black and White

Small white kitchen
This high-contrast combination can add sophistication and drama to any room. See how to incorporate black and white into your decor with ideas from these inspiring spaces.

How to Decorate in Black and White

How do you decorate with black and white? For any room, the first step is to decide how you want the room to feel. Words like calming, dramatic, sophisticated, classic, chic, and cozy can all be great descriptives. Find inspiration in fabulous fabric or a piece of art. Take cues from high fashion, and go for bold contrast -- but the most important thing is that you absolutely must be ready to make a statement or else it will fall flat.

Refined High Contrast

The contemporary feel of the wood floors in this serene bedroom adds a masculine touch to what is otherwise a more traditional, feminine style. It's high contrast of the best form -- not only in color, but also in style.

Black-and-White Checkerboard

The black-and-white checkerboard marble floors lend classic personality and a little whimsy to this otherwise traditional, white kitchen. The high-gloss black island and chrome hardware keep things interesting and unexpected as it infuses some drama and glamour.

Traditional Refresh

A traditional damask wallpaper is given a fresh and modern lease on life when done in a graphic color scheme. Pairing it with hot pink and loads of white walls makes it a whimsical dream come true. By altering the scales of the different damask patterns on the accessories and walls, the room remains cohesive without going overboard. Scale is everything. (Read up on how to use scale here.)

In Stripes

Black and white stripes are classic and can instantly add interest to an otherwise basic space. Keep other accessories simple to allow for maximum visual impact. Also, consider altering the shades of white. By rendering the walls and flooring here in cream, the exposed painted brick and simple painted floors feel much warmer than they might’ve with a true bright white.

Black-and-White Kitchen

This comfortable, modern kitchen is based in traditional design with Shaker-style cabinets. It's given a fresh, modern spin by painting the island a gorgeous inky black. The wood floors provide warmth to the space and keep it from feeling too stark.

More for You

Find Out What Color You Should Decorate With

How to Use White Creatively

About Rachel

Designer and blogger Rachel Shingleton has never met a color she didn't love. A self-proclaimed color enthusiast, she's on a personal mission to banish the beige and help people understand how to make a serious style statement. Visit her blog, Pencil Shavings Studio.


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