Why Black and White Living Rooms Are Far From Boring

Black and white living room.

Lauren Zillinger for Laura Metzler Photography

When decorating a living room, you can truly do no wrong when it comes to choosing a color scheme—we’ve seen countless lovely spaces in all kinds of hues. Black and white living rooms, though, can be an especially elegant choice for those who prefer a classic style or are wary about committing to a bold color. 

“There's nothing chicer than a completely black and white living room,” Kathy Kuo says, who frequently features these shades in her designs. “When combined, these colors create a modern yet timeless feel that levels up just about any style or space.” 

Book shelf with black, white and gold accents.

Lauren Zillinger for Laura Metzler Photography

Staple pieces are an excellent place to begin if you’re looking to design a black and white living space from scratch, Kuo notes. “A plush white carpet pairs beautifully under a sleek granite coffee table, and it creates a sophisticated and welcoming setting for any guests you host to your home,” she says. 

There's nothing chicer than a completely black and white living room.

My own space features dominant black and white touches such as a marble coffee table and painted bookends, but I’ve still been able to weave in plenty of smaller pops of color. Wondering where to begin? Golds and grays look particularly lovely paired with black and white pieces.

I’ve opted for decorative boxes, frames, and coffee table books rooted in these shades. Notes Kuo, “Mixed metals like brass and gold play so nicely with these hues and prevent the space from falling flat or feeling too cohesive.” 

Blue books on shelf.

Lauren Zillinger for Laura Metzler Photography

That said, why not add touches of red, green, or blue if you’re so inclined? “Use a mix of sculptures, books, and artwork in a range of tones and textures to show off your personality and add sophistication to the black-and-white space,” Kuo advises. And wood can also look sophisticated—my burl storage boxes really stand out against their black backdrop. 

Not sure what to do when it comes to deeper tones, like navy? After introducing a blue-gray velvet Kardiel sofa to my space, I wasn’t sure whether I thought the shade totally matched my existing black and white accents. However, I’ve since realized that the color makes a wonderful statement in my living room, and I have received tons of compliments on how nicely it pairs with the marble table. 

Black and white décor definitely doesn’t have to be seen as ultra-modern or boring—with the right accompanying touches, your space is sure to shine. 

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