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20 Black-and-White Design Ideas That Are Totally Timeless

Kitchen with black and white backsplash.

 Marika Meyer

When it comes to selecting a color palette for your home, it doesn’t get more classic than black and white. The high-contrast combination is a low-maintenance way to make a statement—plus, it’s incredibly versatile. Not only can this dynamic duo look great in any space—be it minimalist, maximalist, or modern farmhouse—but it can also withstand the test of time. 

So, the million-dollar question: How do you create a black-and-white space that’s timeless, yet exciting? These are 20 high-contrast spaces for some design inspiration, whether you’re looking to spruce up your bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen.

01 of 20

Warm Up the Space With Wood

Kitchen with black and white marble and light wooden cabinets.

Kevin Dumais

If you’re longing for a black-and-white kitchen but don’t want the color combination to feel sterile, warm up with the space with some natural woods. In this room by Kevin Dumais, the wooden cabinets and island act as a blank canvas, giving the white pendant lights, black stools, and marbled backsplash a chance to shine.

02 of 20

Bold Wallpaper for a Statement

Bedroom with black and white gingham wallpaper.

Liz Caan 

For a statement black-and-white room, take a cue from this decked-out bedroom by Liz Caan. While wallpaper might not be for a design wallflower, we love how Caan holds nothing back by covering every inch in this busy buffalo check. (The bold approach to wallpaper reminds us of the rebellious days of British punk rock). Caan finished the room with a black bed frame and white sconces, while the framed Union Jack and guitar serve up a rocker edge.

03 of 20

Styled With Small Touches

White built in shelves with black decor.

Robin Rains 

This room from Robin Rains shows the versatility of black and white with the addition of soft details to this living room. You don’t have to douse your home in black and white to make a statement. “If you don't want to commit to doing the entire space, there are ways to create little moments of this,” Rains explains. “For instance, group black and white accessories like books, ceramics, and other objects together on shelves or a wardrobe for an eye-catching moment.” Duly noted.

04 of 20

Play With Patterns

Black and white bedroom.

 Design by: Vivian Torres; Photo by: Kylie Fitts

Convinced it’s impossible to breathe a youthful spirit into a black-and-white room? Check out this space by Havenly’s Vivian Torres, where juxtaposing patterns in a similar color palette are a surefire way to make a statement. Whether you prefer geometric shapes, polka dots, or stripes, this design trick is bound to give your space a playful and welcoming feel.

05 of 20

Paint It Black

Bathroom with black and white wallpaper.

Timothy Brown 

Just because black and white are a classic color combination doesn’t mean you have to play it safe. In this powder room, Timothy Brown embraces the dark side by opting for black wallpaper with subtle slivers of white. Silver accents and a small plant perched on the countertop keep this space feeling dramatic, not dreary. Turns out, the dark side isn’t as scary as it seems.

06 of 20

The Tile Treatment

Kitchen with black and white backsplash.

 Marika Meyer

Patterned tiles are a great way to incorporate black and white into a modern kitchen design. In this space from Marika Meyer, the tiling creates a stunning focal point in the kitchen using just these two classic colors. “This color combination is totally timeless, especially when it comes to kitchens and black-and-white floors,” she explains, “Here, we turned that idea on its head, or side, and played up a black-and-white palette with a mosaic tile backsplash.” The subtle, bluish-gray accents soften the contrasting color scheme, making this kitchen one we would love to cook in.

07 of 20

Create High-Contrast Chic

Black and white bedroom.

Design: Nina Magon Studio; Photo: Julie Soefer 

Black, white, and classically chic, this space from Nina Magon Studio proves that this dynamic duo is far from boring. “We wanted to create a suite that had a very luxurious, modern, and timeless design aesthetic through the use of minimalism and classic colors,” founder and principal Nina Magon explains. “Overall, the design intent was accomplished by pairing bold black elements, such as wood floors and a modern canopy bed, with white elements, such as white pendants and a lovely textured wallpaper.”

We wanted to create a suite that had a very luxurious, modern, and timeless design aesthetic through the use of minimalism and classic colors.

08 of 20

Wow With Wallpaper

Black and white wallpaper with jaguar and leaves pattern.

 Laquita Tate

If you’re looking for an easy, yet impactful way to spruce up your space, add some whimsical wallpaper to the mix. While a busy pattern isn’t for the faint of heart, it can spice up a home’s overlooked nooks and crannies—just like this bathroom designed by Laquita Tate. The jungle fever pattern, complete with verdant leaves, is made elegant by the black-and-white hues, while still feeling bold and vibrant.

09 of 20

Plant Parenthood

Bar cart covered in greenery.

Black and Blooms 

If you want to highlight black-and-white décor while embracing your green thumb, consider adding a few plants to your pad à la Sara Toufali of Black and Blooms. While her black bar cart, white shearling rug, and coordinating walls offer plenty of contrast, the varying leafy greens breathe life into her setup. The result: an at-home bar we certainly wouldn’t mind toasting to.

10 of 20

Frame a Kodak Moment

Black and white art of a wave.

Cathie Hong 

Black-and-white wall art or photos can incorporate simplicity in a colorful room. In this San Diego space designed by Cathie Hong, a crisp black-and-white photo adds a cool edge to an otherwise soft assortment of dried pampas and dainty wallpaper. Not only is this an easy way to bring some black-and-white décor into your current setup, but it’ll double as a conversation starter.

11 of 20

Embrace Gold Accents

Two silver mirrors above a marble bathroom sink.

Reena Sotropa 

Black and white is a classic combination for bathrooms, but if you want to up the ante on this often-overlooked space, consider adding gold accents to the mix. This bathroom by Reena Sotropa masters the high-contrast look, thanks to the paneled shower door. The black-and-white accents add to this space’s five-star appeal with two statement mirrors, gilded sconces, and matching hardware.

12 of 20

Play With Paint

High-rise apartment living room with black and white accents.

 Maite Granda

Looking for an innovative way to bring black-and-white décor into your space? Break out the paintbrushes and experiment with color blocking. We love how interior designer Maite Granda gave this Florida living room an optical illusion by painting the round column with varying shades of black and white. Speckled throw pillows and a striped rug complement the paint without overpowering the rest of the room.

13 of 20

Add Blue Bedroom Accents

Black and white bedroom with blue bedding.

D. Burns Interiors

This space was designed with a good night’s sleep in mind. To infuse a sense of calm into the bedroom, consider adding blue accents to complement an otherwise black-and-white-centric space. Blue is synonymous with serenity, and in this bedroom by Desiree Burns, plush blue bedding offers a dreamy pop of color while the white walls, black sconces, and high-contrast nightstands give this space a timeless appeal.

14 of 20

Style for California Cool

Bohemian black and white bedroom.

 Arbor & Co.

Want to give your home a West Coast edge? Elevate black-and-white décor by incorporating an array of interesting textures. From the fringed wall tapestry to the faux fur pillow to the geometrical throw, this bedroom from Arbor & Co. is like a materials masterclass. Plus, sticking with a simple color palette will let these nuanced textures take center stage.

15 of 20

Stage a Fashionable Fireplace

Black and white living room with neutral decor.

Ashley Montgomery Design 

Let’s be honest: Your fireplace will be your favorite part of your entire home once the temperature drops, and with the addition of black-and-white details, it can look elegant, too.  We love how this living room by Ashley Montgomery Design puts the fireplace front and center, thanks to this inky hue. The cream tiling and high-contrast sconces make the fireplace the focal point without overwhelming the rest of the room.

16 of 20

Defy Gravity

Apartment living room with black and white geometric chandelier.

 Becca Interiors

As this room from Becca Interiors shows, the only way to go is up. Here, founder and principal Becca Casey brings high-contrast décor to new heights with a sculptural, black chandelier. This addition draws the eye upward, creating the illusion of a tall room. A white sofa, table lamp, and charcoal touches ground this room, giving the space some serious floor-to-ceiling appeal.

17 of 20

La Vie En Rose

Pink living room with white sofa.

 Gold a La Mode

If you want to give your space an effortlessly romantic look, pair the dynamic duo of black and white with blush tones. In this living room by Gold à la Mode, the juxtaposition between soft pink shades and high-contrast black and white has “cool French girl” written all over it.

18 of 20

Color Me Happy

Bold black and white living room with orange sofa.

 Michelle Bordeau

Calling all maximalists: If you want to embrace boldness, take a look at this living room from Michelle Boudreau. Here, the interior designer offsets a curvy, colorful sofa with a black-and-white backdrop. However, that doesn’t mean the high-contrast color combination plays second fiddle. With a textured wall and houndstooth armchair, the black-and-white palette is dressed to impress. 

19 of 20

Get Creative With Cream

Kitchen with black cabinetry and black and white backsplash.

Michelle Bordeau

Believe it or not, this color combination isn’t a black-and-white matter. If you want to add some spice to your kitchen, why not blend different shades of white into one space? From the zesty backsplash to the terrazzo floor and the crisp white bowls, this kitchen by Michelle Boudreau looks clean and inviting, thanks to its black-and-white accents.

20 of 20

Dine to the Nines

Kitchen with black chairs and patterned rug.

Design: Jessica Nelson;
Photography: Carina Skrobecki Photography

This black-and-white dining room is a subtle way to incorporate the colors into a softer, more rustic look. Jessica Nelson pairs crisp white walls with a set of black, Shaker-inspired chairs. But this is the dining room we’re talking about: Spills and stains are bound to happen. To give your space a homey vibe, add a wooden table and printed rug for contrast.