Black and White Bedrooms
Choose a palette of black and white in your bedroom to create a look of simple sophistication.
A large ornate chandelier makes a dramatic statement in this black and white bedroom. Mirrored dressers act as nightstands and add a little glamour to the space.
For an elegant and sophisticated bedroom, you might want to see things in black and white. Pairing black and white creates a look that is clean, sophisticated and contemporary. Such a simple palette can seem minimalist or even cold, but it doesn't have to.
Pick a Color, Any Color
If only choosing a color palette for your interiors was that easy. Well .... actually, it is! Our palette-perfecting tips explain the color rules that designers follow and make it a snap to put them to work in your home.
Choose a Color Scheme From the Largest Pattern in the Space
If you've got patterned upholstery, a colorful rug or large piece of artwork, pluck colors you like from the pattern. For a neutral wall paint color, look to the pattern's whites and beiges.
Decorate From Dark to Light, Vertically
A real "cookbook" way to make any space look good without much risk, says designer Mark McCauley, is to use darker color values for the floor, medium color values for the walls and light values for the ceiling. "Any interior space replicates the outside world," he says. "The exterior environment is generally darker below our feet (the earth itself), medium-valued as you look straight ahead (buildings/trees) and lighter skyward."
Start With the Formal Areas of the House
Specifically, the living room, dining room and entry way. Choose a color scheme for those areas first, then pull one color from the scheme. For example, take the red sofa and tone it down (say, to burgundy) for an accent in more private spaces such as the den, office or bedroom.
Use the Color Wheel
In general, analogous color schemes — colors next to each other on the color wheel, such as blue and green — are more casual and relaxing, and work best in informal or private spaces. This is a good strategy for a bedroom, where you want to rest and recover.
Take a Cue From Your Clothes
Most people buy clothes in colors they like to wear and they look good in. Similarly, you should dress your rooms in colors that flatter you. If denim is your go-to, consider a navy sofa or if you look (and feel!) perkiest in bright yellows, try mixing in a few citrusy accents with pillows or accessories.
Back to Black
Designer Mark McCauley advises adding a bit of black in every room. "The black clarifies the rest of the room's colors," he says. For a small pop, try a black lampshade or a black vase; for bigger impact, paint your kitchen's base cabinets in the high-drama hue.
Use the Rule of 60-30-10
"When decorating a space, divide the colors into components of 60 percent of a dominant color (walls), 30 percent of a secondary color (upholstery) and 10 percent of an accent color (accessories)," advises desginer Mark McCauley. "Works every time!" he says. "This ratio ensures that the colors are properly balanced and there's just enought pop for interest."
Make Small Spaces Pop
If you have a small room in your house, don't paint it white to make it seem bigger. Instead, give it more oomph with a look-at-me color choice. Let your big rooms expand with light, and your small rooms envelop you.
Contrast Warm and Cool
Designer Brian Dittmar proves that neutrals need never be boring in this chic bedroom that pairs cool gray with warm honey-colored shades. While the overall effect is restful, contrasting these two opposites creates just enough tension to wake up the otherwise sleepy space.
Rely on a Timeless Pairing
Always chic, black + white is one dynamic duo that never goes out of style. Here, designer Tobi Fairley proves that the two colors, accented by just a bit of metallic gold, are all you need to create a compelling color story.
Rock a Monochromatic Look
Shine the spotlight on your favorite color by filling a small space, like a bathroom, with just that hue. Here, designer Judith Balis created a cheery master bathroom featuring the preppy color Kelly green. Balanced with white walls and floors, the saturated shade is eye-catching but not overpowering.
Follow the Rule of Three
Limiting your palette to just three colors is a can't-miss strategy in any space. In this cheery bedroom, saturated shades of sunny yellow, navy blue and grass green feel fresh, preppy and always on-trend. HGTV Magazine shares more ideas for pushing color boundaries.
Showcase Your Personal Style
If you decorate honestly, other people will appreciate it because it's you, even if they'd never decorate their own house in the same way. That means if you want to make every room in your house red, white and blue, go for it. You can make any color look good as long as it truly suits your personal style.
The contrast between black and white creates energy while, thanks to the combination's simplicity, providing a calming element that can seem absent with other color combinations. This simple color scheme opens up the opportunity to use large patterns. A large black stenciled mural or repeating pattern on a white wall can provide a stunning focal point. Look for comforters and window treatments with geometric designs or, for a more traditional look, consider wallpaper in a large, Victorian-inspired image.
A black padded headboard against a white wall, with a white fur bedspread and art deco fixtures, create a look of decadent luxury. The black and white combination is generally considered to be most appropriate in contemporary design, but that doesn't mean you can't try it in a more traditional look. A wrought-iron or wooden headboard painted black and coupled with soft white bed linens and a faux fur comforter brings both elegance and romance into the bedroom, while a wall of beadboard painted white adds a nostalgic touch.
Keeping your floor in a neutral hue such as wood, or adding a pop of color in a rug, can also keep your black-and-white room from seeming cold. For an edgy look, consider a white floor with a black area rug.
A black and white color scheme doesn't mean other colors can't be used. The combination calls for pops of bright color, and it can give you the opportunity to add touches in your favorite hue, whether it's red, yellow, cobalt blue or another shade. Using grey accents can help pull the two contrasting colors together, creating a calming effect.
Black can cause spaces to appear smaller, so consider your room size when using the color. Many people wouldn't consider putting black on their bedroom walls, but white, contrasting bed linens and a large mirror or artwork on a large white canvas over the headboard can keep the look from being oppressive. Try painting just one wall black. If you are fortunate enough to have a wall with a large window and a fantastic view of a cityscape, painting that wall black can turn your view into a focal point in its own right.
See Also: How to Choose Paint Colors
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