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Black and White Rooms: Ideas for Tasteful, Elegant Decorating

Updated on December 9, 2011

Classic Chic

Think pretty. The starkness of the color theme is toned down with floral or vine pattern, with a cozy look and soft lines. Smaller polka dots can be effective too, though you have to be careful to not make them look juvenile. Throw in pillows and cushions, lampshades with designs that fit the theme, and a few more things to add visual interest (see trunks at foot of bed in picture at right).

Wall art is also personal, with pretty frames and unique hangings. An accent color can be added in for more flair in whatever shade you want.


We're not talking about two beds in the room here, but rather an old school style-- not modern, but far from traditional.Retro has become the new Modern in recent years, with a slightly funky twist. Bold patterns like large polka dots, zigzags, or stripes add lots of visual interest. Furniture pieces like oddly shaped bar stools or round ottomans and beds give off an old Hollywood glamour feeling, along with very basic furniture with simple lines but a unique twist make a room very retro. The glamour element can be played up with something metallic.

Another fun element you can add to bring back decades past is throwing in a familiar face to your wall art. Large vinyl murals of people Audrey Hepburn can be found on line, prints of any of your favorite old stars can be found at, or throw in something more original like a few LPs of Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin. Whatever you do, have fun! There's nothing formal about this style, so make it as quirky, homey, or fashionable as you want.


This style is minimalistic, characterized by straight, clean lines and angles. There's nothing plush about modern style-- it gives a clean, neat feel to a room, with no "extras" or knick knacks about. The downside to it is that it can start to seem stark and and overly simple, almost as if there was little to no thought put into a modern room, making it cold and forbidding.

To avoid this, add a few pops of color here and there, something in a vivid, deep, or bright hue. A few silk flowers in a geometric vase, a coffee table book of Picasso paintings, or a bed or sofa cushion can take your space from drab to interesting. But whatever you do, make it bold and daring-- this style is not for the faint of heart. Whatever you do, have fun with it. Put your personality and taste all of the details, and all the flair you've got!

Polka Dots

They're so lovable that they deserve to be their own style. They are classic, retro, classy, pretty, or just about whatever you want them to be. Oh polka dots, let me name the ways I love thee...

I know that they're just a pattern, but they have so much personality and style, who can't love them?

What's your style?

Which of these styles is your favorite?

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    • collegatariat profile image

      collegatariat 6 years ago

      Thanks vocalcoach! I know the bathroom will turn out beautiful, and I'm glad you found this helpful. Best wishes!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I am doing my tiny bathroom in black and white. Your hub came at just the right time. The advice you are sharing is so very helpful. Thanks! Voted up!


    • collegatariat profile image

      collegatariat 6 years ago

      Wow! With 5 pets and 3 kids, any decorating is impressive, but modern cleaners are wonderful things. :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • wordscribe43 profile image

      Elsie Nelson 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Wow... I LOVE that kitchen, I like black/white/red combinations a lot. My daughters' room is black/white/light blue and I must say it's pretty darn cool. It's a soothing color scheme for a bedroom. I'd love to do more black and white in our house, but I have to be careful of too much white since we have 5 pets and 3 kids... sigh. Thanks goodness for steam cleaners.

      Anyway, this is a well done hub. No doubt will be an inspiration to people looking for ideas.