Blacks and Whites – Simple Elegance, Timeless Decor
Unlike most styles which can be traced to a certain period or country, black and white has been with us since man first began to scratch on white walls with blackened charcoal. It is a staple of design that has been used successfully in one form or another in every other style since those days:
The two most primary colors which are so basic and common that they often are not thought of as color at all. These two colors can bring an amazing amount of power and drama to any room – regardless of its design style or concept.
Using black, at least, as accents even in the most pastel of rooms can make an amazing difference in the visual appear and focus of the design you are trying to present – you may be unsure at this point especially if your room is done in shades of jewels or bright neon but think about it: adding black will create a focus that will anchor a room and add sophistication.
A touch of black in an accent, fixture or in a trim serve as the period at the end of a sentence, or the arrow pointing the way to a major intersection: it gets attention without being needy. But if you want to really draw attention and create not just an accent but a real feeling of drama you need to juxtapose our friendly black with its counterpart the bright and lively white.
Using black and white together creates a sophisticated fresh look that undeniably adds elegance to any room and is the perfect color combination to create a base or framework for any style. For instance, using a black and white tiled floor, or such an elegant one as a black marble with inlayed white marble accents or black stained wood with tall white baseboards all can create a solid and luxurious floor upon which almost any style can then be placed.
Use of white or ivory on walls make a wonderful canvas for frames artwork, prints and hanging sculpture – and the use of black frames especially when used with matting of red, gold, and black can add dramatic impact to otherwise modest pieces.
Another advantage to using black and white themes is they tend to make small rooms look larger and more elegant. Think of a small washroom with off-white walls and black marble countertops, white sink and gold fixtures and accessories. A few neutral towels tied up with black braids can make a statement far beyond what one would expect – and is easy to achieve.
In bedrooms’ white linens with black stripped bed skirts or pillows or even a black chair for sitting or reclining makes an excellent starting point. Adding seasonal colors and warm bright accents one can achieve a light and bright feeling that still is deep and comforting. Touches of black in prints or bedclothes can be used to pull the color out into the room further such as in lampshades or in the trim of tables or picture matting and hardware.
In dining rooms nothing is as elegant as white china especially with small bits of color to add a hint of sophistication. Styles such as Boch Audun and Villeroy are classics that rely on this technique, and artful placement of accent pieces with black borders or black table linens can really add to the effect.
In the kitchen common black iron skillets and other pieces which are easy to locate and normally inexpensive to purchase can add to the feeling of a lived-in and comfortable space without seeming out of place, thus adding the underlying drama in a useful manner.
The black and white style has long been a design concept both in fashion and in interior decorating and its’ recent resurgence shows that it will continue to timelessly add drama and elegance with its minimal approach to making a statement. No other combination works with any color you wish to add, nor can any other color combination portray the freshness and bright juxtaposition that these two colors in contrast provide.
When used with splashes of color as accents and with variations in tone and design as well as bits of gray the black and white approach can create truly life-long masterpieces of design. The sophistication of a simple geometric pattern in black and white or the stark contrast of one against the other never fails to capture the attention without being distasteful – and after all, isn’t that what good design is all about?