How to decorate with Black & White, but make it cozy! I was recently asked for a few tips on this subject from The Spruce. I started thinking about it and it turns out I have quite a few opinions on the matter.
Black & White Decor Doesn’t have to be bold
Adding a rattan lamp and ceramic pendants helps tone down black & white in the kitchen
Vintage Crates as wall decor + storage & a rattan lantern on the floor
I think often people hear the terms black and white decor and think of a stark, modern room with bold patterns, or something like that. When I think of black and white, I think of every shade of white, off-white, ivory, cream, beige, camel, oatmeal. I loved adding this rattan lantern to warm up this corner. At night, the glow from a flickering votive looks so pretty! It’s always about the little things.
How to soften the look of Black & White Decor
And the same for black. I love every shade of gray from concrete gray to charcoal gray. I have a modern poster framed in black in my dining room along with black Tucker chairs from Serena & Lily, but there’s so much more to this room than just the bold black and white art. We use our farm table that my husband made from reclaimed scaffolding back in the 1980s. We have an old wooden armoire that was imported from India that we use for dish storage. We re-purposed an old cabinet by adding a stone top for a coffee bar. We used chalkboard paint in four shades of black and gray on one wall in the kitchen.
Use different natural woods to bring warmth to black & white decor
In the dining room, we have no less than six different types of natural wood. And that’s not counting the wood floors! We have an Ikea stool with a wood planter on top, crates on the wall that hold various items, the farm table, armoire, and coffee bar that are all made of wood. Adding rattan and sisal instantly adds warmth to a room. It can be done with lanterns, planters, rugs, and even placemats.
Add Plants, Lots of Plants
Add plants, lots of plants, and then when you think you have too many, add one more! Plants bring life to a space. This brings me to the subject of real vs. faux. I always use real plants. You have to dust both, so why not have real? I wrote this post where I showed corners of my home with plants and then the exact same view, without plants. Go take a look at the post to see what this space looks like without a single plant! You will barely recognize it!
Black & white Bathroom
We added a black pedestal sink in the hall bath of our former home. An ivory black & white shower curtain from Coyuchi warmed up the otherwise basic black and white bathroom. Woven wood shades also helped warm up this tiny bathroom. We now use this shower curtain in our new home. I love to repurpose things!
A Serena & Lily Southseas Side Cart & Cayman Glassware
Handwoven rattan always warms up a space. We use our South Seas Side Cart all over the house and on the porch all summer long.
So that’s how I make black and white decor cozy! It’s not for everyone, but we love it in this house. Maybe someday I’ll do a house with a ton of color! What about you? Are you loving neutrals or are you color all the way?