If you’re at all tuned in to decor trends, then you know that bold colors—regal purples, dazzling teals, and vibrant corals—have made their way into our homes, replacing the all-things-neutral look that’s reigned supreme for years.
But when you think about bold colors, you might be forgetting the boldest combination of them all: black and white.
In a home decor market that’s been flooded with greige for too long, black and white are emerging in a big and bold way, perfect for homeowners who want to make their space stand out.
“Black and white is a high-contrast departure from all the soft neutrals,” says Janet Lorusso, owner and principal designer at JRL Interiors in Boston. “It injects a note of excitement and drama while still remaining neutral. Plus it works with nearly any other colors as an accent.”
Ready to get in on the black-and-white game? Here’s how to use it in your home in 2019.
In the kitchen
“Black counter stools against a white kitchen island with a black countertop creates a strong visual impact,” she says. “An island is usually the focal point of a kitchen, and the black-and-white contrast just diverts your attention even more to this space.”
Not looking to do a big renovation project? Consider painting the cabinetry black with white accents for a chic look that doesn’t break the bank.
“In the kitchen, I’m seeing an uptick in interest in painted black cabinetry with brass hardware,” says Donna Garlough, style director at Joss and Main. “Both are looks that can be achieved on a DIY budget. Black pendant lighting is also a popular option that can lend the space a fresh, modern, or farmhouse feel without a lot of expense.”
What to buy:
In the dining room
Photo by Elena Calabrese Design & Decor
Gone are the days when dining rooms needed to be stuffy to be sophisticated. A black-and-white dining room can look mature—and oh so modern.
“Graphic patterns in black and white really show up on dining room flooring and rugs,” Lorusso explains. “And there are now many options for textiles and wall coverings in black and white, ranging from classic toiles to geometric statements.”
As for your dining table, it won’t get more show-stopping than a black-and-white combo.
“Consider having black dining chairs against a bleached wood or white table,” Kuo says. “This combination can look great in any design style; plus, tablescapes stand out better on a bleached or lighter white table.”
What to buy:
In the living room
Photo by Houzz
The rule that living room walls must be some shade of white is so 2018. This year, it’s all about black paint set off by beautiful accents. That’s why Justin Riordan, founder of Spade and Archer Design in Portland, OR, recommends black walls with white trim, plus a statement rug to pull the look together.
Already happy with your living room’s neutral color scheme? You can achieve a modern update without too much effort by incorporating black and white pillows, decorative accents (like vases), and graphic artwork or a statement mirror.
What to buy:
- Tricorn black paint, Sherwin-Williams
- Black and white geometric throw pillow, World Market, $25
- Optic striped vase, West Elm, from $12
In the bathroom
Photo by Becki Peckham
Perhaps one of the best places to try the black-and-white trend? A powder room. It’s the perfect small space to make a big statement.
“Powder rooms lacquered in black with white porcelain fixtures and metallic accents in gold or silver exude glamour,” Lorusso says. “Black-and-white floors can be anything from bold geometrics to classic mosaic hex tile, and now even faucets and fittings are showing up in a new matte-black finish.”
Don’t shy away from black-and-white wallpaper, either, Riordan says.
“I’d recommend a black-and-white, highly graphic, large-print wallpaper for a bath,” he says.
What to buy:
- Linear black and white wallpaper, Graham and Brown,$85/roll
- Fresca Manchester black vanity, Wayfair, $339
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