Drama in black & white

Last Updated 26 June 2014, 13:27 IST

Do up your home in a classic combination of black and white and enjoy the charming effect it gives to a space, writes Sharmila Chand.

Wondering what is one of the latest decor trends? It is monochrome decor. Classic, clean and inherently chic, nothing quite makes a statement like black and white.

Think of abstract art designs from the 50s with geometric shapes, think of a sleek black coffee table with geometric runner, think of the black-and-white checkerboard marble floors. The high-contrast combination can add sophistication and drama to any room. 

So how do you start decorating with a  black and white palette? Well, the experts say, the first step is to decide how you want the room to feel. Do you want a calming effect or a dramatic one? Traditional look or a more contemporary one? From floors and walls to furniture and accents, you can have as much or as little of black and white as your heart desires. 

Depending on your personal choice, you need to look for and pick the right options. Says interior designer Ashiesh Shah, “If you choose black and white, it says a lot about you as a person. The high contrast reveals that you have a bold, daring and interesting personality.”

Monochrome exudes elegance in home decor. We suggest some simple ways to incorporate this trend.

Kitchen in white 

A white kitchen has a tremendous calming effect. Do up your kitchen in pure white, with black artwork on the walls. It is elegant and timeless. 

White cutlery always looks classy 

Says Vaishali Sinha, cutlery designer, “Striped black and white crockery looks elegant. Black and white paisley dinner plates are a superb gift anytime of the year.” 

Graphic patterns — young & snappy

Graphic patterns in black and white can extend from the foyer of the house to the kitchen. It can be in the form of patterned floor and striped wallpaper, that will give monochrome panache to small spaces.

White & black accents 

Squares, stripes, checkerboard, diamonds and chevron symbolise the chic and the cool. According to interior designer Celerie Kemble, a white coffee table and armchairs against white lamps and black lampshades create contrast. You can have a splash of the monochrome trend with vases, throws, cushions or blinds. 

Monochrome furniture

The colour black adds a focal point that grounds, anchors and adds a sophisticated look to a room.

Black in accessories, light fixtures, paint, or in one bold piece of furniture is eye-catchy and sharpens any decorating scheme. Black by itself is striking! But to get real drama and spark, pair black with white. Furniture with monochrome geometric prints always draws attention. 

Exotic rug in black & white 

A monochrome rug can bring visual energy to a room by making a statement on your floor. Pair it with a simple modern white couch and other solid black or white furnishings. 

“Black and white together always look very stunning. It is interesting to use both these hues in carpets or rugs for simplicity to add that extra drama and to build momentum in the whole living area,” explains Ayush Choudhary, MD of Cocoon Fine Rugs. 

Black & white flooring 

Flooring is a good place to start decorating with black and white. Go for beautiful black marble set off with tall white baseboard mouldings. Or try white ceramic tiles with a black border, vinyl tiles laid in alternating black and white squares, or a painted black floor with white border stencils or white with black stencils.

The black-and-white checkerboard marble floors lend a classic look and a little whimsical element. When combined with the right accents, it makes decor interesting and unexpected as it infuses some drama and glamour.

Do up the walls 

Walls painted stark white or a soft, ivory white serve as a perfect backdrop for any art work, framed photographs and prints. The dark wood or painted black frames suit the best. Select stark black and white matting for your artwork or add a punch of colour with red, gold, or black mats. Its retro look is endearing, and yet it feels so very contemporary and sophisticated.

Monochrome bathroom

Bathrooms too can have black and white as the main colour scheme. It looks elegant with a black marble countertop and white sink. Co-ordinate it with silver vintage look or metallic accessories and fixtures. Choose towels with black ribbon or braid with subtle designs.

Monochrome theme, when it comes to decor, gives the place a very modern and an edgy feel. Black and white works well, specially if you have the contrast of a beautiful bright garden that can be seen from your windows or French patio doors. The use of black and white in decorating gives a fresh, clean and elegant look to any room.

Useful tips to remember  l The look of black and white can range from minimalist chic to wild safari. First do your homework and decide what kind of style or impact you want – modern, rococo, minimal and plan ahead to avoid any disjointed, messy and chaotic look. 

l Experts say, a black and white themed room has a better impact if you add in a third accent colour. It could be aqua, coral, natural green or canary yellow.

l Black and white colour scheme looks stunning in combination with sleek metals. So pick up artistic metallic pieces which are both functional as well as decorative. For example, a black metal table base with glass top, black iron candlestick and light fixtures in the dining room, black iron bookends in the family room are ideal. 

l If you want to have black and white theme in your bedroom, it is better to add it to the pillow shams or the wall behind the headboard. Often, such a bold scheme like black and white is not conducive to sleep, so it’s best to use it on surfaces that you don’t see while you’re trying to sleep.

l When it comes to accessories, buy pieces that are all white or all black, rather than a mix with a black-and-white pattern. That way you can choose to mix them, or have your displays for all white items at one time and all black items at others, which gives you three different looks. 

Also, when you are tired of the black and white theme, all white items will still be classy and blend with any new theme.

(Published 26 June 2014, 13:27 IST)

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