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How to Decorate Your Home with Black and White
I have always been a sucker for the timeless combination of black and white in fashion and interior design. Is black and white considered classic elegance or a nod to hip modernism? The merging of these two color extremes does seem to imply a split personality. On one hand, black and white design conveys drama and on the other, pure whimsy.
Walking into any furniture or clothing store, I feel an irresistible attraction to any black and white object, piece of furniture or fabric. Apparently, I am not the only one suffering from this affliction. The graphic intensity and versatility of black and white make it a popular design choice season after season.
In most circles, black and white style suggests chic simplicity for the home. This duo is equally comfortable in retro, eclectic, contemporary or traditional rooms. Whether you choose a little or a lot, black and white style will definitely make a design statement in your home.
For Your Walls
The next step when decorating with color typically involves vertical surfaces. Walls and windows are the perfect canvases. Make a trip to your local home center and check out the selections of black and white designer wall covering. Quality wallpaper can be expensive, so look for discontinued patterns and wait for sales. Black and white paint also allows you to achieve big impact inexpensively. Think about vertical or horizontal stripes, stencils or a daring solid black accent wall.
Make it easy on yourself with a paint or wallpaper project in the powder room. This will give you an opportunity to decide if the black and white look is right for you. If you really like it, you can move on to a larger room. A smaller space also translates into a smaller investment of time and money for the job.
Use Curtains to Create Drama
Not ready to fully commit? Try black and white curtains against stark white walls. This is the perfect solution for apartment dwellers. Choose from stripes, damasks and polka dots in a variety of fabrics and price points to create instant drama.
A tip when decorating with black and white: consider injecting an accent color to create visual interest. For example, a small touch of yellow, red, fuchsia or lime green will give your eye a place to focus in a sea of black and white.
For Your Bedroom
The subtle introduction of black and white in the boudoir will give your ordinary room the ambiance of a chic boutique hotel. Picture your bed with crisp white sheets and pillowcases. How about adding black euro shams with white trim and a white throw pillow with a black monogram? Top off your bed with a comforter and coverlet to create layers of black and white. Dress your windows with black and white curtains to finish the look. Don’t forget to add that pop of color!
Think Outside Your House
Take black and white style outside. Nothing reads classic more than a white house with black shutters or awnings. Use a splash of contrasting color in the form of a red front door or vibrant flowers. Create the same feel for your patio or pool area. Replace the dingy upholstery on your outdoor furniture with striking black and white cushions and pillows. If your home has a pool, hang black and white striped cabana curtains (in a weather resistant fabric, of course) from your patio cover or pergola.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
By now I’m sure you’re wondering, “Where in the heck do I get the money to do all of these things?” I feel your pain. I too, am on a budget—a very tight budget. Take advantage of sales and shop the big retail discounters. And remember, no one says you have to do everything in one weekend. Decorate as time and money allow. The true joy of design is in the inspiration and creation. If you consider your house an on-going project, you’ll appreciate the results that much more!
Check out this short video for more black and white style plus a few shopping tips:
Now it’s your turn! Leave a comment with your ideas and opinions about black and white style in the home. Also share your suggestions for using black and white in the kitchen, living room and dining room.
© 2010 lindacee