THE BLOG
03/18/2013 05:10 pm ET Updated May 18, 2013

Black (and White) Is Back!

Black and white are everywhere this season, from couture runways to sidewalk window displays. You'll see this dynamic duo iterated in a number of ways, from color blocks chockfull of contrast, to perky polka dots, serious stripes and bold graphic elements. And since interiors always follow fashion, I predict we'll start to see black and white infiltrating homes and commercial spaces in upcoming seasons.

While I've always been a fan of black and white lacquer and bold, blocky Chinese Chippendale patterns (seen frequently in designs by Kelly Wearstler), I think this up-and-coming color combo will extend far beyond traditional associations. Black and white will surpass French provincial to produce a more modern urban look. Here are some interior design elements to look out for.

In upholstery, pillows, draperies, and other fabrics, forget the typical toile and look for bold, black-and-white stripes, "no-print" prints and ethnic ikat designs. Polka dots (notoriously fun and reminiscent of the '80s) may make a comeback in bedding and wallcoverings giving rooms a playful lift, but look for dots that are slightly less symmetrical and regimented (think delicate paintbrush dabs, rather than unforgiving orbs). As for wall art, sophisticated charcoal sketches and old-school typography are the way to go.

To keep black and white rooms from becoming stark, warm them up with medium-toned natural wood and metallic details, such as nailheads and antiqued finishes. For a more modern look, go for graphic, geometric shapes, abstract designs and color blocking, then add a splash of orange for a pop of contemporary color. Whether simple or ornate, black and white décor is all about a clean, sophisticated sense of style, so clear out the color and enjoy the view!

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