Nothing makes a statement quite like black and white. Classic, clean and chic, the sharp contrast between black and white creates a fantastic base off which to bounce accent colours and textures. Without any accent colours, a stark black and white colour scheme by itself is very striking—though it can be hard to pull off; the last thing you want is for your room to look bare and unfinished. Recent years have seen an upsurge in interest in black walls and floors; something decorators had shied away from in the past for fear it would bring too much darkness to a room. With modern lighting, and generous windows, however, black walls or floors can create a cosy, intimate feel; or, if they're high-gloss, can even add some light to a room. They key thing to keep in mind if you're going for a black and white colour scheme is contrast. Dark with light; monochrome with colour; smooth with rough. Browse below for some examples of what we mean, and be inspired!
Starting off with a white base, a contrasting black-and-white scheme can easily be created with judicious use of accessories. A black-framed mirror, black-and-white framed sketches, or a striking black clock—like the one pictured—will all sit in fabulous contrast to a white wall. A scattering of black cushions on a white couch or bed will complete the effect. The advantage of limiting your contrast elements to accessories is that, if and when you tire of the scheme, it can very easily be changed up—just change the accessories!
If you want to decorate your bedroom in monochrome, it can be a good idea to add the black accents to the headboard or the wall behind the headboard—black and white is a high-contrast scheme, which means it's busy and may not be terribly conducive to restfulness. It's best, then, to use it on surfaces that you can't see while you're falling asleep. A soft matte finish in a black wall can be incredibly cosy—as we can see here—and can create an embracing, nest-like ambience in a bedroom.
To add more depth to a black-and-white interior scheme you can play around with textures in accessories and upholstery. Here we see a play of textures built in to the monochrome coffee table; the smooth white panels set off against the soft texture of the dark grey squares. Further texture is added in the suede couch; the suede adding depth and warmth to its black covering. More contrasting textures are at work in the dining space with soft, gauzy curtains contrasting with a hard glossy floor and hard plastic chairs. Everything stands in contrast to everything else in this room, but because the colour-scheme is limited the effect is one of coherence, rather than chaos.
A monochrome scheme can withstand accent in any colour or pattern. From bright yellow to leopard print; baby blue to red—your only job is to pick the right accent for you. You can be as bold or as restrained as you like, adding touches of colour in cushions, wall art, rugs, or, as here, one large item of furniture in a block of colour. The cheat's advantage of a monochrome colour scheme is that you can forget about matching colour tones, and just go for a couple of splashes; it doesn't even really matter if they clash with each other—they'll all fit with the base scheme of black and white.
This is a great demonstration of how even the tiniest splashes of accent colour will stand out vividly in a monochrome colour scheme. The neon green plant pot, along with a couple of kitchen accessories are all it takes to give this monochrome room a welcoming and colourful aspect.
Tiling your bathroom with large black and white tiles is a commitment, certainly, but it creates a wonderful, classic effect. Add splashes of modernity with bright, bold colours like orange; these accents will also keep the room from seeming too masculine.
Covering your floor in all-black might seem crazy, but if the finish is high-gloss, as it is here, it will reflect any ambient light and not seem intimidatingly dark. White furniture will stand out strikingly against it, drawing the eye from its more normal resting place on the wall to further down, to the furniture and the flooring.