12 Reasons to Embrace the Elegance of Black and White

Well suited for both bold graphics and delicate details, black-and-white color schemes are gaining popularity in rooms throughout the house.

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  1. Checkerboard Floors


    Checkerboard floor patterns are a classic way to incorporate black and white in a kitchen—or any room in the house. Here, the bold graphics underfoot ground the black cabinetry up above. A delicate floral wallpaper and curvy metal chandelier offer a counterpoint to the strong lines around the room.

    Related:  Kitchen Flooring: 8 Popular Choices


  2. Sophisticated Dining


    This dining room takes on a sleek, clean look with its black Parsons-style table and chairs, utilizing accents and furniture to build the black and white theme. Furnishings, artwork, and stripes on the bottom of the drapes could continue the black-and-white theme. Use a dark charcoal gray on an accent wall if you want to bring another shade into the mix.

    Related:  8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Dining Room


  3. Rustic Entryway


    Often viewed as sleek and modern, black and white can also possess rustic charm, as this sunny foyer illustrates. The heaviness of the distressed doorway is balanced by the floor's small-scale tile work.

    Related:  10 Design Inspirations for Mudrooms and Entryways


  4. Great Graphic


    A botanical-print wallpaper makes a statement in this inviting bath. Black floors, curtains, and lampshades are balanced by white beadboard and fixtures. The old-fashioned style of the sink complements the room's romantic atmosphere.

    Related:  15 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Big


  5. Chalkboard Paint


    Add some functional black to any room with chalkboard paint. This simple kitchen was given a huge boost by its single chalkboard wall. The paint and chalk fit right in with the black-and-white theme, while the custom drawings and etchings add a little down-home personalization to the space.

    Related:  10 Reasons to Go Crazy for Chalkboard Paint


  6. A Single Wall


    If you are afraid to go all out, consider painting an accent wall black. This bedroom reveals just how dramatic the look can be; the black headboard disappears, and the white bedside table and linens add the punch.

    Related:  10 Unexpected Spots for an Accent Color


  7. Photo Wall Finesse


    A collection of black-and-white photographs is an easy and timeless way to bring this color scheme into a room. Here, family photos in black frames of varied size and style add visual interest to this bedroom's white-painted walls. 

    Related:  5 Favorite Picture Hanging Tricks


  8. Artful Accents


    The simplicity of black and white lends itself to use in a home office—even one that is built into a closet. Compact and well-organized, this space belies its size with its whitewashed walls and black detailing and accents. 

    Related:  10 Ingenious Alternatives to a Traditional Home Office


  9. The Softer Side of Black and White


    Anyone under the impression that using black and white in decorating results in a hard-edged appearance need only look at this charming sitting room to see the color scheme's softer side. White walls and furnishings are punctuated by a strong pedestal table, a graphic fabric pattern on the stools, and a wide border on the drapes.


  10. Sweet Dreams


    If even a single black wall in the bedroom seems a little too much, consider the reverse: Keep the walls white and let the furnishings and accents introduce the black. This bedroom serves up this scheme with charm, thanks to interesting headboard panels and alternating black and white luggage.  

    Related:  9 "Dreamy" Headboards You Can Make


  11. Mix-and-Match Patterns


    Zebra rugs may seem like an obvious choice for a black-and-white interior, but in this home office the effect is anything but ordinary. The addition of other bold prints on the wall, chair, and curtains creates a lively interaction of pattern.

    Related:  How To: Clean an Area Rug


  12. Color-Coordinated Collections


    A kitchen island is a great way to introduce black—or any other color—to a kitchen design. This island's black beadboard facing complements the sleek, clean lines of the cabinets, and its oversize black granite countertop offers a generous work/dining area.

    Related:  12 Outstanding Kitchen Island Options


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