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10 Ways to Use Black and White in Home Decor

A classic combination, black and white can be stunning when featured in your home's decor. Whether you're wanting a bold new look or a small update to your space, here are 10 ways to use black and white in your home.

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Patterned Walls

When it comes to adding black and white to your walls, the options are practically endless. Try a black-and-white wallpaper in a geometric design to create an accent wall, or use it in a small bathroom or home office. This peel-and-stick wallpaper doesn’t require any water or paste and doesn’t leave a sticky residue when it’s time to take it down, either.

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black white gray roomKatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Work with Gray

Naturally, black and white work well with gray, so think layers. Start with a gray room and add black and white along with various shades of gray. Try a dark gray couch, soft white rug and a black coffee table. Add black-and-white throw pillows and a black footstool. Layers of black, white and gray will create depth in any room.

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black wallKatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Black Walls

Painting walls black has been a trend for the last few years. If you want to try black paint in your home but still have some reservations about going with such a dark color, try using black on an accent wall. Use white pieces of art and white-framed photos to complement the black. A small bathroom painted black with a white sink and gold fixtures looks classically elegant. In a kitchen, child’s bedroom or playroom, consider using black chalkboard paint on one wall.

Did you know that chalk paint and chalkboard paint are not the same thing?

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black and white rugExperienceInteriors/Getty Images Plus

On the Floor

Black-and-white floors add a touch of drama to any room. If you’re planning for new flooring, black-and-white tile combinations work well in bathrooms and kitchens. In the living room, try adding a patterned rug in crisp black and white.

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black and white table setting MichellePatrickPhotographyLLC/Getty Images

In the Dining Room

A simple way to use black and white in the dining room is in your table settings. Use black table linens with white dishes. For accessory pieces, stay with the black-and-white theme or try gold pieces or fresh, bright colors, such as yellow or lime.

Related: Check out these alternative ways to use a formal dining room.

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Black-and-White Artwork, Accents

An easy way to add black and white to your home decor is to hang black-and-white pieces of artwork. Hang them on a brightly colored wall for a simple and stylish update. Use these black or white vases by Jonathon Adler to hold flowers, or curate a mix of black-and-white pots for plants. Or, hang a dramatic black light fixture with a large white shade.

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Kitchen Backsplash

While white subway tile is a perennial favorite, consider adding a touch of black to your kitchen backsplash. Pair white subway tile with a few pieces of black accent tile for an unexpected look. For a quick update, use these peel-and-stick tile stickers to create a trendy backsplash with ease. The stickers are waterproof, easy to clean and work on any smooth surface without leaving residue or marks after they’re removed.

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black and white table and chairsRelentless_one/Getty Images

Mix-and-Match Furniture

Black and white pairs well with wood and metal, so try using a mix of white-and-black dining chairs around your kitchen table. Or try a white couch coupled with a pair of black chairs around your gold coffee table.

Here are complete DIY how-to instructions for building a beautiful hairpin leg coffee table that’ll fit in with any decor style.

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In the Bedroom

You don’t have to change your walls or your floors to bring black and white to your bedroom decor. Look for crisp, white bed linens with black-and-white throw pillows. Add a black chair or bench to complete the look. A black-and-white child’s bedroom works, too!

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Outdoor Living

Black and white doesn’t have to be just an inside color combo. For outdoor dining, use a black-and-white-checkered tablecloth, string lights with a black cord and black-and-white tabletop lanterns to light up your outside living space. Or simply create a welcoming first impression with a black-and-white rug, black shutters and white planter pots.

Check out this impressive outdoor kitchen pavilion we helped build in Texas:

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.