The timeless pairing of black and white has left its mark on art, photography, and the world of interior design. Perhaps it has something to do with that whole opposites attract idea. Or maybe it's the modern edge the combo leaves in its wake. Interior designer Nancy Boughton describes the pairing as "classic, clean, sophisticated, and elegant." She notes that "it is also the perfect backdrop for punches of color."
Boughton notes that you can find black and white if you look closely at every space. The monochromatic nature of the pairing also allows it to blend seamlessly with a whole host of design styles and colors "that range from" vibrant to dark. She sees the combination historically used in bathrooms, entry foyers, staircases, and living rooms, commenting that adding red is classic, orange creates a sunny vibe, and pink evokes a feminine feeling.
Video of the Day
15 Black and White Color Combinations
1. Black, White, and Pink
Searching for a quick and easy way to punch up your black and white room? Look no further than a bold color such as neon pink. This modern design shows us how it's done, with the help of a graphic piece of artwork hanging on the wall. The vibrant piece of decor adds a powerful punch.
2. Black, White, and Light Teal
Adding a splash of light teal to an otherwise black and white room helps to soften the space. The lovely shade used on the walls of this bedroom creates a soothing vibe and softens the stark scheme. The painting that is hanging above the bed adds an additional dose of color, while tying the whole look together.
3. Black, White, and Lime Green
Accenting a black and white living room with lime green is a fresh take on a classic combination. We simply adore this space by Paula Gaull of New Leaf Redesign flaunting the bright color idea. Here, lime green pillows, plus verdant plants, add a fun pop of color.
4. Black, White, and Brown
Designer Laura Weibley from Swoonly shows us how to warm up a black and white color palette with an earthy hue like brown. Large throw pillows, a leather-wrapped vase, and a matching magazine holder complement the warmth of the fire. The natural light streaming in from the windows adds a welcoming glow. Complete the cozy scene with a few blue pieces of home decor.
5. Black, White, and Turquoise
In this midcentury modern living room, a black and white striped coffee table pairs beautifully with a turquoise sofa. The bright blue hue adds a burst of color that complements both the white and black stripes and accentuates the linear pattern. The swanky brass floor lamp is a nice finishing touch.
6. Black, White, and Gold
Gold makes a regal statement everywhere it goes, but this is especially true when it's paired with black and white, as witnessed in this bedroom styled by Emily Henderson Design. The wall tapestry is a bold and dramatic touch that draws the eye up to the wood ceiling above. The tufted velvet headboard adds to the luxurious scheme.
7. Black, White, and Beige
When paired with black and white, neutral colors can suddenly make quite the impact. For example, in this serene bedroom, the beige border just below the ceiling adds a welcome dose of warmth. The unexpected transition in paint colors grounds the space without taking away from the light and airy scheme.
8. Black, White, and Sage Green
We've already mentioned the power of pairing lime green with black and white. But what about other shades of green? The answer is still yes. In this bedroom, a muted shade of sage green dresses up the walls and makes the perfect backdrop for a collection of black and white photos. The black wall sconces and window frames guarantee that the space maintains a modern look and feel.
9. Black, White, and Hunter Green
Speaking of green ... this charming home office created by the team at Emily Henderson Design makes good use of verdant houseplants to inject a fresh pop of color. The minimal workstation proves that you don't need to go overboard with dark green paint or wallpaper to incorporate the accent color throughout your space.
Adding a classic color like navy blue to a black and white scheme is a handsome choice. The team over at Emily Henderson Design perched a white clawfoot bathtub on top of patterned floor tile, and painted the wainscoting in a dark shade of blue. The upper portion of the walls, trim, and ceiling are left a crisp white, allowing the black window frames to stand out even more. Who wouldn't want to wash away the worry of the day in this tub?
11. Black, White, and Yellow
Don't shy away from adding yellow to a black and white palette because you fear the bumblebee effect. The sunny color actually looks quite nice alongside the bold pair, when done right. Follow the lead of this fun setup, and look for less saturated elements. Here, a soft yellow sofa adds the perfect touch to a muted black and white mural on the wall.
12. Black, White, and Tan
This modern living room cleverly uses color blocking to weave black, white, and tan together. The rest of the decor — from the floor lamp to the throw pillows — supports the sophisticated look resulting in a cohesive and warm design that beckons you to sit down and relax for a while.
13. Black, White, and Natural Wood
How do you transform a forgotten attic space? Simple. Cover the ceiling, walls, and floor with plywood and pair it with black and white pieces of decor. In this serene refuge, the warm natural wood is tempered by a monochromatic rug and matching linens. Throw in a small potted plant or two and some white light fixtures to break up the sea of wood paneling.
14. Black, White, and Orange
This smart setup designed by Emily Bowser is picture-perfect proof that you can't go wrong pairing a warm color like orange with black and white. The mid-mod lounge chair upholstery echoes the warmth of the vintage cabinet sitting across the room, while the black and white area rug complements the sculptural black pendant and minimal wall sconces. The end result is a stylish living space with retro flair and loads of visual interest.
15. Black, White, and Gray
We love the way the gray elements in this kitchen complement the black and white checkered floor. The white walls and light gray doors and trim give the traditional cook space a modern twist, resulting in a seamless design that feels open, inviting, and very on-trend.
Colors That Go With Black and White
Whether you want to add the power of passion, a dash of nature, a pop of sunshine, or a touch of romance to your black and white scheme, there are an endless number of options to choose from. Look to the color wheel for inspiration, and don't be afraid to try out a bold hue. Just be mindful of the size of your space and the amount of light that is available to you. Also, consider the other pieces of furniture and decor that are already in your space and think of ways to use those pieces to your advantage. Ready to finalize your color palette?
Here's a recap of some of the best colors to pair with black and white:
- Light teal
- Lime green
- Sage green
- Hunter green
- Navy blue
- Natural wood