There are many wrong ways to decorate using the black and white palette, which is one of this season’s biggest design trends, but—if you can execute it with sophistication and subtlety—it can absolutely add a chic touch to pretty much any room in your home.
“When we think of the black and white combination, it can lead to highly graphic, glam-y decor—think black on white damask or a black and white check floor, à la Kris Jenner,” says New York City-based interior designer Jenny J. Norris. “This look can feel a bit outdated.” Um, yes.
“Instead, go for a more Scandinavian take on the aesthetic, to modernize and simplify the palette,” says Norris. “There’s nothing chicer than an all white space with black bucket Eames chairs around a white dining table, completed with a black industrial pendant light hanging overhead. If Scandinavian is too minimalist, try black grasscloth on your walls for a more luxe vibe with white sheepskins draped over your seating.”
Like the sound of that? Check out 10 more excellent black and white spaces for more inspiration on how to pull off the trend in your space.
Mirrors, white window frames, and bedding in different shades of white help strategically offset the slate walls, so this bedroom is soothing, not dark.
A whitewashed stone fireplace becomes extra-welcoming when accessorized with black and white pillows, candles, art, and flowers.
Sometimes more is more: Here, lots of tables, chairs, pillows, lamps, and picture frames all work together because most stay within the restrained, simple palette. And the white rug cozies up a dark floor.
Huge windows, tons of sunlight, white walls, and some in-between shades of silver, gray, and slate keep this living room from being austere.
Go 50-50 on your black-white balance: One black wall, one white; two black chairs, one white couch...
Wallpapering a single accent wall with an intense black and white print has a less dizzying effect. Gold accents here and there are also a sophisticated touch.
Place a mix of different styles of black and white chairs around your dining table.
The right lighting—plus an accent wall of white tiles—makes it a lot easier to pull off black kitchen cabinets and appliances.
Large pieces of statement art in black and white can bring drama to a basic hallway or foyer.
A black couch with white throw pillows (or the reverse) is an easy way to work the look.
Use plants to bring a bit of color and life to a space.
Black is a versatile backdrop for a home office space and a cool canvas for hanging black and white art.
Black carpets or floors contrast with white coffee tables, furniture, and walls to give a space a large, open feel.