It’s as Clear as Black and White

I just finished a series of posts about introducing bold color into your design, but nothing is as bold as the ever-powerful black and white. This juxtaposition of light and dark has been used in fashion and interior design for centuries, and it will continue to be the “power couple” of colors. Coco Chanel probably understood the power of black and white the best. This designer’s reputation was built around creating “uncomplicated classics” in black and white, and the simple black interlocking double-C is the most recognized label in the couture fashion industry. Her signature “little black dress” and black woven wool “Chanel Suit” is emblematic of the power of casual elegance.

It’s as clear as black and white…

When combined, these two colors can create a clean, fresh, and unquestionably sophisticated look for any room or wardrobe.

Chanel Ad Campaign 2009.

I love the stark contrast between the white chandelier and the black dining room table. The black and white pin stripe wallpaper gives the room a masculine feel; a counterpoint to the feminine chandelier.

You can reserve the black and white for the walls and add elements of color and texture to other pieces in the room.

Elle Decor July-August 2009. You can purchase a similar black and white stripe rug at William Sonoma Home or Ballard Designs.

Designer Anna Sui decorated her entire New York penthouse in black and white. There is a lot going on in this small space, but the black and white preserves its elegance.

Domino Magazine. Home of J. Crew’s creative director Jenna Lyons. Black painted walls have become a new trend. You either love 'em or you hate 'em.

This month's issue of Elle Decor features a Hamptons home redesigned in bold colors. The black subway tile in the kitchen creates a dramatic backdrop for the white hood, cabinetry and porcelain kitchenware.

Very bold, but stunning.

Black and white photos coupled with a black and white geometric carpet make for a dramatic ascent up the stairs.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Hamptons kitchen featured in House & Garden. Absolutely love it!

Even the addition of just one black and white piece, such as a Zebra print rug, can make a bold statement and serve as the focal point of a room.

Cape Cod style home with modern appeal. New York Times photo. This is the newest addition to my list of "dream homes".

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