Black and white are two of the most popular but often overlooked colors. In many instances, people don't consider them colors and simply ignore them. When paired together, black and white can be one of the most elegant and neutral color palettes in a designer's toolbox. Whether your taste is modern or traditional, a black-and-white palette is versatile and timeless. Here are some tips to help get you started.
1. Leave negative space in a room. Leaving soffits, certain walls, moldings and trims white can serve as the perfect accent.
2. Blend different tints, tones and shades in a room. It's OK to blend ivory and cream with pure white.
3. Incorporate black and white into a space with the help of portable accessories such as toss pillows, throws and coffee table books.
4. Consider an all-black-and-white color scheme. Enhance the combination further by adding accent finishes such as brass, nickel or chrome.
5. Purchase neutral upholstered furniture pieces such as sofas and chairs in either black or white. These pieces will be versatile and easily incorporated into existing decor.
1. Ignore the opportunity to do a black-and-white palette in small areas such as bathrooms.
2. Use different shades of black. Unlike white, different shades of black may look dusty.
3. Blend too many additional colors. A black-and-white palette serves as a foundation and is best accented with a single color when possible.
4. Dismiss the power of black-and-white artwork and accessories.
5. Use black and white colors as throwaways in a space; use the colors purposefully. When possible, use a technique called color mapping in which a color is repeated or mapped throughout a space to create a cohesive look.
Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> or visit her website at www.cathyhobbs.com <http://www.cathyhobbs.com>.
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