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Black and White: Home Decorating Tips Using These Classic Colors

Black and white is one of the most classic color combinations. When searching for home decorating tips for your next makeover project, incorporating this stunning contrast in colors can have a dramatic impact on any room’s decor.

This duo is as elegant and timeless as it is bold and edgy. Variations on the black and white theme are endless. Here is a small sampling of the plethora of design ideas out there that use these colors to their full advantage:

  • Create a balance of dark and light. The more black a room has, whether in furnishing, flooring, or walls, the darker and heavier the room appears. This commonly accepted statement is often enough to make decorators shy away from using black for large areas. However, a black floor or black walls make a stronger statement if white furniture, drapery, and carpets are used to add balance. A deep, off-black wooden floor, such as an espresso, is dark enough to not add another tone to the palette, but not as severe as true black. Although it does not seem as important to offset a look that is bright, a room that is blindingly white can seem austere. If your walls, floor, and furniture are white and you’re looking to add some black, consider rugs, pillows, and shelving.

Midnight Oak, plank Article Number L0223-01763

  • Add a highlight color. It is exceedingly popular in black and white rooms to include a third color. The most common fun color pops are lime greens and bright pinks. A single piece of furniture in an unusual style, such as a retro armchair, is a unique way to feature color. For a bold look, consider painting the ceiling in a small black and white room in your third color and pairing it with a matching area rug. Deep reds or blues combined with black and white give a space a film noir Sheets and towels in black and white bedrooms and bathrooms are great opportunities for color pops in these spaces. Black and white décor works with any third color, including metallic and wood!

Transitional Living Room by Minneapolis Interior Designers & Decorators Martha O’Hara Interiors

  • Be artistic. Black and white art pieces, from ceramics and pottery, to vintage posters and prints are easy to find in antique stores, thrift shops, and on the Internet. You can create a feature wall of themed art or display single pieces on shelves. Photography, whether it’s professional or your own work, can easily be printed in black and white. This can give your home a personal touch while still contributing to the black and white theme of a room. Black and white photos can also be printed onto canvas, ceramic, and even pillowcases.
  • Try black and white in transitional spaces. If the larger rooms in your home are already decorated in a variety of other color palettes, apply black and white décor to transitional spaces like staircases and hallways. Skinny carpets in zebra, stripes, or chevron patterns can be run the length of a staircase or a hallway, leaving space of equal distance on each side of the rug. Paint or tile in black and white can also be applied alternating in color between the face and step of staircases and along banisters and railings. Horizontal striped wallpaper in hallways can create an elongating illusion. Doors painted black with white frames are a lovely, striking look for halls and landings.
  • Pattern free-for-all. When you are dealing with only two colors in a design scheme, it is fine to mix and match patterns in close proximity. If you have a large area covered in pattern such as wallpaper or draperies, introduce different patterns on smaller scale items such as throw pillows or lamp shades. Black and white patterns exist in everything from simple lines and polka dots to complex damask, and even beautiful scenic depictions. Furniture coverings, rugs, bed linens, and wall art are a few other suggestions of places to incorporate black and white patterns and prints.

Black and white décor has been around for as long as people have been decorating homes and will eternally be a mainstay in design. Patterns and prints galore exist for fun and easy combination, and it isn’t hard to find and create art pieces and photography to adorn walls and shelves. Any color can be matched with this classic duo, and as long as you find the balance between dark and light that is right for your space, you will be able to easily create the perfect classic or modern black and white décor.

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