There's a good reason tuxedos come in black accented with white button up shorts. The combo simply looks SO good! The same philosophy is true of interiors. Pairing crisp black and white is almost foolproof. There's a pleasant visual tension between the two opposing ends of the color spectrum that is deeply pleasing to the eye.
Not only is it hard to go wrong, the look withstands the ravages of time. Colors come and go in terms of home fashion, but the pairing of black + white will never ever fade in popularity. Personally I favor dark floors and grand white (or cream) walls. It is a visual marriage made in heaven. Add in deeply textured rugs or perhaps a dynamic floor pattern, glistening chandeliers and chic furnishings and you've got the makings of a timeless space.
Frequently the look is modernized or softened with neutral accents or raw elements. A brick wall, a rough hewn wooden table or antiques with patina do the job nicely. This keeps the space from feeling too formal or too museum-like. I love the idea of a playful rug and a few unexpected occasional pieces that add depth to the story. Floor to ceiling curtains panels, playful toss pillows and uncommon accessories add personality and showcase your unique point of view. Animal prints are excellent counterpoints to the seriousness of the look - but exercise restraint. A single rug or a "moment" of leopard is all it takes to sex up the room. Any more is overt.
Personally, I love adding rich textures and layering elements of design. A cream shag rug might be a delightful contrast to an ebonized wood floor. A lucite bar cart might highlight lamps acrylic. An eglomise cocktail table brings attention to a gorgeous wall mirror. Gilt gallery frames pick up glistening gold from a chandelier above. This keeps the eyes moving about the room rather than fixated on a single element and instantly gives you a pulled together look.
How do you rock your black + white? Subdued or bold? Classic or mod?
See more classically appealing pairings on my Black + White board.