I’ve talked before about timeless trends.
…This isn’t one of them!
And yet, at the same time…this IS a trend that comes back again and again. Black and white: the two contrasting shades. They come back to design in between major trends in color. Maybe black and white isn’t a “timeless” trend in the strictest sense, but this dramatic combination has definitely proven that it’s an ENDURING sort of trend.
Right now, for instance, black and white is HUGE.
Is this something you’ll want in your own home design? Or should you think twice? Knowing whether to ride this particular trend “wave” requires seeing some examples of black and white in action…and learning how to USE it to fit your design style, likes and needs.
And that’s exactly what I break down this week!
How trendy is “too trendy?”
I’ve already said it: black and white is not timeless. When an interior designer talks about a “timeless” style, we mean to say that you could walk into the space and have NO idea when it was designed. For all you know, it could be original to the house or could have been remodeled just last year! Generally, we try to avoid fixtures and finishes that are too “trendy” so that the space doesn’t SCREAM “dated” five years later.
Black and white IS super popular right now, especially in kitchens. And normally, this would point us toward a trend…something that’s SO hot now that you can bet it’ll be forgotten as quickly as it popped up. But…with black and white, there’s something else at work. This is a trend that comes back time and time again.
You can think of black and white in design like the little black dress in your closet. The idea never goes out of style, but maybe some of the cuts or fabrics do. Black and white in interior design is the same. It’s not totally timeless, because the application often gives its age away. But it DOES come back repeatedly, and is always re-inspired in new applications…
For example, remember those black and white checkerboard floors?!
Or how about those little hexagons that were white with black dots? You can guess when those were installed, right?
And yet…here we are, and black and white is BACK. Based on the trends and applications I’ve seen in the industry of late, it’s back now with totally new applications that have everyone fixated, too.
Here are a couple things I’ve seen recently in black and white that you should definitely consider…
When Rob and I went on a home tour recently, we hopscotched from home to home and saw a LOT of beautiful design work…what stood out to me, among other things, was the HUGE use of black and white in almost every space!
Most of these spaces shared another feature in common, too: the now-more-popular-than-ever black window frames. These have definitely caught the market’s attention.
You might think, “well, that’s interesting!” And it is! I do have mixed feelings on these windows, because in 10 or 20 years they might scream “this home was done in the 2020s!” But at least for now, they’re a BIG upgrade in classy look and feel from the aluminum windows that make homes look dated today.
…Who knows? Maybe my reticence is off the mark. It could be that in 20 years these windows will still be in vogue! Maybe they’ll work their way into a new standard…
Of course, these black windows do have to be applied in a design-savvy way…for example, you would NOT install these in a traditional-style home. (If you’re not sure what your style is, take our interior design style quiz to find out!)
Now, take this bathroom. The balance of black and white is a little heavy on the black, but the light absolutely powering through that window contrasts so dramatically with the white frame…it’s intense! If that’s what a homeowner is after, this effect can absolutely be applied in any room through these popular black window frames…
The biggest benefit of black and white…
If we’re going to look seriously at any trend, we have to consider how to MODIFY it if the trend goes “stale” and we’re left with a dated space!
Black and white is a combination practically made to survive these changes, because you can easily change up ANY space with a color “pop” for flare! Just picture it…the black and white space that you later jazz up with some fall orange. Or maybe you doll up that black and white bathroom with spring pastels! This kind of flexibility will not only save you from a dated space later, it also means you can have FUN dressing up your space season after season.
And by the way, black and white does NOT have to mean you’re in for a dark space…it’s all about the balance and the lighting design. Just look at these recent remodeling projects by us!!
My final verdict? Black and white might not be “timeless,” but in one form or another it is DEFINITELY around to stay!
Really, for a pairing that’s BASED in contrast, the perfect balance of black and white has its merits…especially when you play with textures on top of it.
Talk to your designer or browse more examples of black and white in action, just keep scrolling to see…your heart (or gut!) will tell you what black and white looks and feels like to you. It comes down to your return on enjoyment as much as it does your return on investment, so prioritize the styles and trends that YOU like so you can take pleasure in spaces designed for you!
Not sold on black and white for your home? Read my article about the 3 paint styles that will NEVER go out of style!