Black & White

A black and white color combination is the timeless classic, which is why we love incorporating it into our work. The duo manages to retain hints of decades-old glamour, yet still has the power to feel fresh and new within every space.

While neutrals never truly go out of style, there is a key to keeping things balanced visually and to making the pair work together successfully. To help you incorporate this chic pairing in your own home, today’s post is all about our go-to design rules for black and white spaces. We promise that with these parameters in mind, designing your dream environment will be within reach.

Rule #1: Choose a Base Color

Black and white combinations are bold, and because of this, you want to choose one of them as your base. To keep the overall aesthetic from feeling too cluttered and busy, selecting one color as the anchor allows you to use the less dominant color to highlight certain elements within the room. After all, there are few color combinations that offer as much stunning contrast as black & white, so it’s worth it to use that difference to your advantage and call attention to unique architectural features or materials.

Rule #2: Repetition is Key

Just as you need a base color to keep things visually calm, the trick to making everything feel cohesive is to pepper the contrasting color around the room. If, say, you only have one black lamp among a sea of white walls, furniture, and décor, then it’s going to feel unbalanced and out of place. However, if you add pops of black throughout the space (e.g. throw pillows, accessories, artwork, or rugs), then the room as a whole will maintain a sense of connection and the visual flow will be seamless.

Rule #3: Layer in the Textures

Another critical piece to keep in mind when using black and white within your space is the magic of layering textures; a simple color palette can still have moments of intrigue and unexpected flair. It is much more visually interesting to play with a variety of shapes and patterns within the same color family versus keeping everything identical across the board. From wallpaper to hardware, textiles to hard surfaces, there are endless ways to explore in black and white. As long as you stay within the same color family, it will feel curated down to the last detail.   

Rule #4: Don’t Forget a Touch of Contrast

Finally, even the most sophisticated black and white spaces need a hint of color to soften things up. You can keep everything neutral, but don’t be afraid to pull in touches of color to add a bit of surprise and personality to the room. Décor elements such as plants, wood shelving, colorful books, or unique vases can all lend just the right amount of eclectic energy to an otherwise streamlined space.

If you’ve never made the leap to incorporate this dynamic combination into your design, give it a try. Black and white allows you to keep things as visually simple or unexpected as you like, and by playing with texture, contrast, and balance, there are no limits to the impact you can achieve.


By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Vela Creative


Megan Johansson