Putting together a new room, or thinking of changing the look of an existing space? You might be tempted to spice things up a little bit by adding some dynamic, dramatic colors. What better way to do so than to mix white and black furniture in the same space? For instance, you could combine a white sideboard with a black coffee table.
Contrasting colors help to draw attention to different pieces in your collection. They give the space both an open and airy aesthetic. Learning how to mix and match colors adds a comfortable, warm tone to any room.
Find out how you can do this successfully by reading on below.
Black and White – Opposites Attract or Doomed to Failure?
When it comes to home décor, the last thing you want is for your space to be boring. Many people would argue that it’s better for your home to be iconoclastic and dramatic than it is to be flat and bland.
To solve this issue, lots of people decide to decorate their homes with black and white. This includes their living rooms, kitchens, or even their bedrooms.
But black and white are stark colors that contrast against one another impressively. So many people also believe that this contrast makes them incompatible in some way.
In reality, mixing black and white furniture gives you an opportunity to get creative. Choose the right pieces and make sure that neither shade overwhelms the other. Then you’ll have a dramatic, impressive aesthetic that everyone will remember.
So, can you mix white and black furniture? Absolutely … provided you do it right.
How to Mix Black and White Furniture
Mixing black and white furniture correctly (and stylishly) can be pretty tricky. But you can successfully mix black and white sideboards, desks, and other furniture. Just follow the below five pillars. Let’s break them down one by one.
1. Choose a Dominant Color
To start, you should choose a dominant tone or color for the room or overall aesthetic. For instance, is your room’s furniture going to be primarily comprised of whites or blacks? Alternatively, if your furniture is more mixed, you can simply see which side of the scale it leans toward.
Rooms with lots of light browns, whites, and cream colors are “white dominant”. The reverse is true for rooms with warm aesthetics dominated by darker browns or blacks.
Once you understand your room’s dominant color, you can choose colors for the rest of your furniture. The dominant color sets the overall scale or “mood” for a space.
If your room is white-dominated, you should only ever have a few black pieces. Any browns should lean more toward the white end of the scale. Similarly, black-dominated rooms should have more dark colors and only a few whites.
Most people opt for white-dominated spaces. The resulting aesthetic is airy and open. So they’ll choose a white sideboard, white nightstand, or similar pieces. These will set the appropriate tone.
2. Match Any Undertones
You should consider any undertones that might be present in your current furniture. The undertone is best understood as the color or shade of a furniture piece aside from its primary color.
Consider a white sofa or chair with tan or brown legs. The undertone, then, is whatever shade of brown the legs are made of.
You can combine furniture pieces that may have different primary colors. They just have to have compatible or even identical undertones. In most cases, this will be brown of one shade or another. Most furniture relies on neutral colors like brown or beige for any wooden pieces or accents.
Take special care to make sure new furniture's undertones match existing pieces’ colors.
3. Use Finishes for Continuity
What if you don’t have wood undertones that combine easily or at all? In that case, you can utilize wood grains and finishes to create more room continuity.
Here’s an example:
- You have a room with a dozen or so furniture pieces, some with upholstery and some made with wood
- Most of their finishes are either matte or eggshell
- In this case, you could use a wooden finish that adds a subtle grain texture to the wooden pieces or undertone
This would, over time, help to make the room look a little more cohesive
Want another example?
- Say that you have a living room dominated by a single coffee table
- The coffee table has a glossy finish while the other wooden pieces don’t have any finish at all
To make the room a little more cohesive, add a glossy finish to any other wooden pieces or legs in the room
Ultimately, this will help to make your room appear a little more planned out and continuous. This is true even with contrasting colors like black and white.
4. Consider Using an “Anchor” Piece
In the second example above, we mentioned a single coffee table in the center of a living room. That’s a perfect example of a so-called "anchor" piece.
In a nutshell, the anchor piece is the largest piece of wooden furniture in your room. Anchor pieces are usually coffee tables, drink mixing stations, or entertainment centers.
The anchor piece “anchors” the colors and hues of the room by being the largest or dramatic piece in the space. It can help you find other pieces of furniture that match the anchor piece’s undertone.
Always use the anchor piece as your starting point for room continuity. You’ll ensure that your room looks put together and cohesive.
5. Add a Rug to Soften Things
Even with all these tips, it can be tricky to get black and white furniture pieces to go together. Fortunately, you can always cheat a little bit and add a rug to soften your overall mix. This is a particularly good tip if you have lots of furniture like pieces that have a variety of wooden tones.
You can put an area rug beneath most of your furniture pieces. This will connect your individual furniture items with the floor. Choose the rug’s color and you can even balance the room further.
Say that you have a variety of white upholstery furniture pieces, like chairs and sofas. You also have a few darker or black wooden furniture pieces, like a coffee table.
Using a rug with both black and white mixed in can help tie the whole room together. You can alternatively look for a floor rug with white, black and brown. This is an especially good idea if you have brown wooden floors.
In the end, it’s not only possible to mix white and black furniture together. It’s one of the most exciting expressions of creative decoration you can pursue. We’d heavily recommend giving it a try for yourself. Nothing is more fun than putting a room together by mixing black and white furniture pieces.
It’s tough, but it’s well worth the effort. Rooms with black and white furniture look dynamic, elegant, and dramatic.