Black and White…Classic Look?

As the industry of design becomes more modern, we notice that that the classic color combination of “Black and White” has been used throughout many generations and genres.  During the late 1890’s, some art movements began to incorporate the combination of “Black and White” into their designs, this created contrast in their art designs which forced the viewer to pay closer attention to what they were trying to say about each particular movement.  Many movements during this time had political or social meanings behind them and the usage of black and white helped relate a message more clearly.  Although some color was incorporated into the designs, “Black and White” was the primary way used to translate the intended messages.  Examples of different art movements that incorporated “black and white” combinations are provided below.

1878 Kiev – 1935 Leningrad (now St. Petersburg).
Abstract Expressionism Movement

El Lissitzky
Proun. 1st Kestner Portfolio 1923
Constructism Movement

Shwitters Merz

Many of these art movements focused on art, architecture, political and social meanings.

Movements in Interior Design

Like art movements, the usage of black and white helps relate a clear message in design.  There are many different genres that incorporate the combination of “Black and White” which include Eclectic, Art Deco, Minimalism, Post-Modern, and Contemporary designs. To clearly distinguish each of these different genres of design from one another specific patterns may appear in the different genres.  Lets take a closer look.

Eclectic Room with Black and White Incorporated:

When creating a eclectic styled room, using more ornate architecture in the space is a plus because it can give the area an overall feeling of a different  time period.  Many designers like to update the overall look of the room by using modern colors and keeping the traditional ornate shapes in the accessories and furniture pieces used in the space.  White can be used as a neutral pallet in any design to allow other pieces to be the focal point in the space.  It tends not to distract the eye but rather pushes the eye to focus on the overall composition.  This concept is used in many different areas of design regardless of whether you are trying to display art or design a room.

Some pieces of furniture that may be used to decorate a room that have an eclectic style are shown below:

Asymmetrical Reverse Hump Sofa with Awning Stripe

Black French Settee Sofa

Black Lacquer Bergere Chair Frame with White Fabric

Black and White Awning Stripe on French Chair

Art Deco Room with Black and White Incorporated

Art Deco was a movement that originated in the 1920’s.  It is known for its elegance, glamour, functionality, and modernity.  A particular characteristic of this period in time is the organic curves that are found in each piece in the room.  A room during this time period may look something like this…

Traditional Art Deco Interior

Contemporary Art Deco Room

Not straying too far from the style of “Old Hollywood Glamour”, this look can be found with prints such as damask motifs, awning strips, and organic patterns.

Art Deco Inspired Fabric Robert Allen: Poiret/ Noir

Art Deco Inspired Pattern by Robert Allen at Home: Wanaque/ Kohl

Minimalism, Post-Modernism, and Contemporary Rooms with Black and White Incorporated

When speaking about the Minimalism, Post-Modernism, and Contemporary Movements in interior design, there are just a few different characteristics between them.  A common characteristic that all three movements share is that they have a clean linear approach to design and use minimal pattern.  Although Post-Modernism Design generally has more curved lines incorporated in the overall design, it still carries a clean line quality. Below are some images that should explain the differences of each specific look.

Minimalist Bedroom

A Minimalist Design tends to only use accessories that are functional to the design of the room.  It primarily resembles the technique of color blocking.  This look is great for anyone that may have a high-rise loft or industrial setting.  It has a reputation of a cold, stark, contemporary style that appeals to many younger clients.

Post-Modern Bed Room

As stated above Post Modernism tends to also incorporate a clean lined approach, yet will have organic curved shapes incorporated into the overall design.  By incorporating the curved shapes in the design, it tends to create a more inviting perspective in the room.  It will still have the stark contemporary design, but with a more inviting feel. This design is also appealing to a more younger client because it generally has lower scaled furniture which may be harder for an older client to be comfortable to get in and out of.

Contemporary Styled Living Room

A great compromise to a modern look is going with a contemporary styled room.  This incorporates minimal qualities such as lack of pattern with inviting functional qualities that may give the viewer the idea that someone lives here.  In the image above, you can see that little accessories such as the newspaper holder are incorporated with the same black and white color pallet so that it still blends with the interior and doesn’t create hierarchy in the overall composition.

Black and White is a classic look that many different genres of design have used through the past century.  For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog, and or follow us on Facebook!

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir


3 thoughts on “Black and White…Classic Look?

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