Home Furnishings Trend: Rhapsody in Black and White

Irwin Weiner ASID - Fashion news this season predicts that black and white will be making a "comeback." Never mind that it's always been around; the latest incarnation just happens to be trendy now. But we interior designers have always used black and white to establish a classic color scheme which won't date as badly as other color combinations. An expensive kitchen renovation, for instance, can't go wrong with a B&W styling. I also think that the combination of the two "colors" in any room shows off a strong Yin-Yang note, showing balance, which is appealing to most people. 

Certain black-and-white room schemes can amp up the drama.

Take a small powder room or an entry foyer and lacquer the walls and ceiling in all black or all white, and you'll attract attention. Add texture to the space, like black or white fur pillows, and you've begun to accelerate the drama. 

Be aware of where you live so that your choice of white is appropriate. I recently spoke with the folks at our standby Old World custom lampshade house in NYC, Abat Jour, and they told me they recommend whiter lampshades for their Palm Beach clients and creamier white shades for clients with New York City interiors. In other words, go stark white in more brightly lit climes like Miami, LA, Cape Town, or Abu Dabi; go creamier white in climes with lesser light, like London, NYC, Stockholm, or Tokyo. 

My final thoughts on black-and-white rooms is to add a touch of color with accents to break the rigidity and formula of the B&W-ness of the room. Red would not be the way to go - too World War II, don't you think? But try another hue and let it pop.