Decorating with black and white

Create a bold, on-trend room scheme using black and white designs, suitable for any room.

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Pair black and white for a versatile scheme that suits a wide range of styles, from sophisiticated elegance to graphic contemporary design.

Image above: Add interest by using luxurious textures such as leather and ceramic together with graphic pattern. Leather Chesterfield sofa, (H)79x(W)200x(D)91cm, £1,320; Denver patent leather and glass side table, (H)70x(W)70x(D)45cm, £620; Denver patent leather and glass coffee table, (H)49x(W)120x(D)60cm, £980; Arboreum table lamp, with ceramic leaf detail, (H)58x(dia.)38cm, £360 each, all Black Orchid Interiors.

The combination of black and white makes for stunning, on-trend room schemes. White with black accents will give a light-filled look, but you could also major on black. Want a highlight? Add a touch of a silver or gold finish.

‘Nothing packs a more powerful interior design punch than a bold black-and-white combination, but there are a number of rules to follow to get the look just right,’ says Lucy Powles, founder of Cocovara, which provides a full interiors service for the residential property market in London.

‘For starters, black is a great colour for bathroom walls as it makes the room feel intimate and sexy. I would recommend using a polished black- and-white marble rather than a black tile, because its reflective surface and white veining break up the darkness of the stone for a softer effect.

‘The monochrome look is perfect for flooring. Go for a geometric rug to add a contemporary feature with wow- factor to a modern minimalist space. ‘Black-and-white wallcoverings make a room feel glamorous, but need good lighting. In a dining room, for example, use wallpaper as a backdrop to a magnificent crystal chandelier.

Use several tones of grey to soften the look. Davey Quad medium pendant light, (H)40-240x(W)45x(D)45cm, £319; Marcel Wanders Mona dining table, (H)76x(W)180-250x(D)100cm, £1,099; Marcel Wanders Mona dining chair, (H)77x(W)52.5x(D)52.5cm, £549 for two; Diamond print wool/cotton mix knitted rug in cream, from £189 for (W)120x(L)170cm; Graphic Kilim wool/cotton mix rug in grey, from £99 for (W)120x(L)170cm, all Marks & Spencer

Show off a bed dressed in white linen against a slate-clad wall. Its natural variation gives the stone a softer effect than paint. Slimslate multi-colour natural slate, £50.69 for a (W)60x(L)120cm sheet, Topps Tiles

Complete a monochrome dining room scheme with tableware in the same palette. A curved motif will provide an attractive contrast to a linear contemporary table and chairs. Chrysanthemum china, from £6.50 for a cup and saucer, from the Monsoon dinnerware collection at Denby

Team a monochrome striped wallpaper with plain flooring and window treatments to avoid visual overload. Harald wallpaper in 574-91, £69 per roll, from the Carl collection by Sandberg


See how to complement monochrome with colour