For as long as interior design has existed, black and white interior design themes have been around. Thankfully as the centuries have gone by, we’ve been able to explore this marriage of opposites and make more extravagant interiors. Of course, it’s the classic yin and yang shades which represent so many different things in the world of interior design.
We invite you to keep reading to explore more about the interesting and classic world of black and white interior design.
Welcome to Black and White Interior Design
White is heavily used in today’s modern and contemporary styles. It’s the strongest standing soldier in the neutral palette which has become the norm these days. However, black has always been the sleeker and stranger of the two.
Since black is slimming and we would rather have more space in our homes, it’s very difficult to pull it off on its own. When it’s coupled with white, it becomes far more noticeable and adds balance to the home.
One thing is for sure, black and white interior design always has a dramatic emphasis, a stunning abstract message, and is almost rebellious towards other styles.
Reliving the Manhattan 90s
Before you go any further with black and white decor, let’s learn more about its popular history. Black and white decor exploded onto the home interior design scene when the Art-Deco style was popular during the 20s and late 30s.
Proportion and geometry were the main focal points but black and white were used to create an almost hypnotic color scheme. Eventually, as WWII encroached on the world, it faded away for the transitional period which some say originated in France. Interestingly, black and white decor finally came back to life when the major cities of the world were in the height of postmodern architecture.
During the 90s Manhattan penthouse apartments in high-rise buildings were full of fantastic paintings in black and white. They also displayed black and white interior design in their rugs in living rooms and tiles in bathrooms.
To relive this period, begin with your dining table in matte black as well as the chairs. This inspiration was also taken from classic farmhouses in the midwest. To offset this paint the walls in a porcelain white. Or, to get a different finish, try painting the walls in a pearl white which has a softer tone to it.
The Prime Location
Black and white decor is a bold statement to make in the living room. It does take quite a lot of artistic bravery to have this as your main theme in the living room. This is primarily why the kitchen is sometimes the safer bet.
Start off with the most noticeable structure in the room which are the windows. For the style, approach the frames in a darker tone as this makes the rest of the window more slender and impactful. Take a look at these vinyl replacement windows from Jeldwen. Slim and tall, these dark and robust frames are just what a daring kitchen needs. They’re also practical as they are tight-fit, keeping the heat in your home and repelling the elements from getting in from the outside.
To balance this tall and bold frame, you might contemplate white cupboards and drawers. However, instead of using a softer touch, use a bright white tone for lighter feel to the room. Also, consider maple or aged oak wood tones and rather than brass, try stainless steel handles so complete focus is on the white cupboards and drawers.
For a modern yet classic look, design the cupboards in the Hamilton style. They give you depth along with the wonderful look and feel of a timeless classic.
A Monochrome World
Things get more interesting when you give one color more strength and presence than the other. For instance, when you give white a larger presence in the home, the black becomes a little more subtle. Therefore black will stand out more in the background of each room.
You’ll also pay more attention to black because of this. Check out this living room approach to the monochrome idea, as the style is brought into the modern-day. The corner sofa is suddenly a more subtle piece in the room whereas if it is white it becomes the focal point.
An incredible dance of power and subtle style, the monochrome approach takes what looks to be basic and challenges you to think about the implications and perceptions of each decision you make.
A Gothic Lounge
The gothic period was extremely captivating for Europe but also for the world. Gothic cathedrals are still some of the most visited and admired buildings. It’s the classic good versus evil mantra!
To emulate this style, consider painting the walls of your room entirely black but also use wood around the room. Accentuate with wooden frames for mirrors, wooden bookshelves, coffee tables, chairs, and cabinets. Then, think about interjecting a white floor design, either through a white rug, tiled flooring, or perhaps a marble floor.
Black and White Interior Design in Your Home
The black and white interior style is very unique and there are so many ways to use it. It isn’t hard to grasp, but the powerplay, subtlety, balance, and strength of the style are refinements that are inherent in black and white designs. The best place to start is in the kitchen then branch out from there.
Please share in the comments below how you decorate in black and white! Below you’ll find other black and white design links of interest for your further enjoyment.
Image Courtesy of Canva.