Design Ideas > Decorating > The Easiest-To-Read Color Scheme

The Easiest-To-Read Color Scheme

Black & White || The ultimate contrast creates a timeless look that’s effortlessly chic

Black & White || The ultimate contrast creates a timeless look that’s effortlessly chic

Few contrasts, if any, have a knack for staying classic more than black and white. In both fashion and home interiors, black and white can go from basic to “wow” depending on how they are used together. When you see a black and white photograph or film, for example, it often evokes a sense of nostalgia – a lasting memory of a simpler, less-complicated world, perhaps. The contrast can also be vivid and sharply expressive, taking on a graphic, art exhibit quality that commands attention. Think of a Man Ray photograph or dramatic op-art painting with dizzying geometric shapes, for examples. In a room setting, you can use black and white in tonal variations that achieve both relaxation and artful intrigue. If you want to create calm, tone down saturation by using charcoal grey and ivory, so they act more like neutrals. Or, soften the contrast by using textures, which can be found in upholstery, rugs, and throws.

Black and white can go from basic to “wow” depending on how they are used.

Go The Gallery Route || If you start with white walls, it’s easy to create a gallery look with black and white artwork, a black leather tufted sofa, black and white rug, and even accents like lamps with black bases and white shades. You may like sharp contrasts or prefer more muted tones like light grey, ivory, and ecru. Depending on how many elements are involved, your space will have a minimalist, serene feeling. To keep it from skewing too masculine or stark, add soft textures and lighter tones to reduce contrast.

Accelerate The Contrasts || Make a truly bold statement by using black and white patterns in pillows or artwork, mixing in pops of bright color like red, magenta, emerald green or yellow, or adding metallic gold or silver for glam touches. The best thing about black and white? Used in combination or alone, they never go out of style.

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Shift Into Neutral || Another great advantage to using black and white is that they mix easily with neutrals such as beige, tan, and every shade of grey. All of these neutrals together create a beautiful layered effect that’s calming, yet sophisticated and lively at the same time. You can also add metallic accents of silver, gold and brass, either in upholstery (nailhead trim) or furniture hardware, and still create a look that reads as neutral.

Jordan's Furniture Life and Style Blog

Jordan's Furniture Life and Style Blog

Power Up With Pattern || The simplest way to make a dramatic statement with black and white is to have lots of contrasts, easily found in bold wide stripes, houndstooth patterns, and animal prints. In addition to patterns, you can incorporate contrasting textures, such as a sofa with matte black upholstery, and a cocktail table with a shiny finish. For a maximalist approach, add accents or artwork with saturated colors like cobalt blue, acid green or Day-Glo pink and orange. Include a glossy black chandelier and lots of mirrored surfaces if you want a show-stopping space.

Categories: Decorating, Living Room
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