Black and White and wow all over

We know what you’re thinking:
Why is Pier 1—the world’s most colorful home decor store—so excited about neutrals? Well, hold onto your Pantone® chips. Because no color combo packs more design punch than classic ebony and ivory. No wonder it’s set to become one of the year’s major fashion and design trends. Here are our three favorite ways to rock a b&w look you’re sure to love.

Paris Boudoir

You can thank Coco Chanel for this tres chic color duo. The iconic fashion designer and creator of the little black dress declared simplicity ”the keynote of all elegance“–and nothing was simpler or more elegant than basic black and white. So think French. More specifically, a light and airy Parisian bedroom. Start with warm ivory or vanilla on the walls. If you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings, loads of natural light and great architectural detail, even better. Next, make your bed the main focus with a curvy wrought iron or upholstered headboard in black and white.

Pile it high with soft, romantic bedding and pillows, mixing and matching solid colors with checks, stripes, floral and toile patterns. Add a cozy chenille throw at the foot of the bed. Then deck out the rest of the room in classic black and white French style: A comfy stamp-print slipper chair, a vintage-style chest or trunk, a tealight chandelier. Accessorize with shapely ooh-la-la lamps (don’t forget the frou-frou shades), whimsical wall art, flea market finds and virtually anything Eiffel Tower. Finish with a simple vase of fresh flowers and voila! They’ll never keep you down on the farm now.

High Drama

While the previous look is frankly feminine, this graphic, high-impact pairing of black and white has appeal for both sexes. Here, the contrast of opposites creates an elegant, sophisticated setting perfectly suited to social spaces such as living and dining rooms. Bold color-on-color creates a tailored, more formal tone: Deep charcoal walls with creamy white molding, alabaster dinnerware against a black tablecloth, dark leather chairs with furry white pillows, a plush ivory sofa and faux zebra throw. Keep furniture lines sleek, with a few large pieces—entertainment centers, media consoles, storage cabinets, etc.–replacing smaller ones and keeping clutter to a minimum. Mirrors and other reflective accents such as wall panels, lamps, vases and table chargers add sparkle and help to counteract darker tones. Tiny white tealights and pillars in mercury glass holders set the stage for your next dramatic soiree. Go ahead, make a scene.

Easy Eclectic

Here’s one you can start using in your existing decor. The idea is simple:

Create depth and interest by mixing in black and white with color. Designers have long known that black adds dimension to any palette and frequently include one or two pieces to help ”anchor“ a look. Black and white accents also help your design scheme avoid the dreaded ”matchy-matchy“ look. Forget the big pieces for now and take a look at what small changes can do. We’re talking accenttables, ottomans, baskets and magazine racks. Interesting desk frames, lamps and candleholders. One foolproof way to tie in black and white is by creating a wall collage of your favorite photos mounted with simple white mattes in black frames. A decorative bowl filled with fun black and white spheres makes an instant design statement. Or consider a rug with black, white and color, to unify and ground your space. The possibilities are endless, so take a tip from the pros and color your world—with black and white. You’ll be amazed at the transformation.

  • Never go out of style.
  • Go with everything.
  • Add depth and texture to any design scheme.
  • Make other colors pop.
  • Have been paired throughout design history, from the symmetrical aesthetic of colonial Georgian architecture to graphic Art Deco floor tiles.
  • Are predicted to be among the year’s biggest fashion and design trends.