Black and white may sound like a simple color scheme, but it’s one of our favorites to use in nearly every one of our client’s homes. We always focus on designing homes to be timeless and one of the best ways to assure this is by using black and white interior design.


Timeless Appeal

black and white interior design by Ann Holden Design

There will never be a time when black and white interior design isn’t sophisticated. We love to incorporate this dynamic design choice in many of our client’s homes. While in some cases our clients like the light and airy appeal of an all-white aesthetic, utilizing black ads contrast and visual interest.

Incorporating Other Colors

Colors, like so many other things, will always go through stages of being trendy or not. Although mustard yellow is having a moment right now, it’s not going to have the same appeal in a year or two. We always strive for our client’s homes to feel finished when we’re done with the design process. If we were to use a trendy color on the walls or other fixture that feels more permanent, we would end up replacing it in a few years.

Instead, we like to incorporate other colors in less permanent ways. From the simplicity of a vase of flowers, indoor plants, and other accessories like picture frames and throw pillows. All of these can be changed out with ease when trends shift while leaving the black and white base of the room. Even larger pieces like art can be changed with relative ease. Art pieces can be moved to different rooms or held in storage until the piece feels fresh again.

Going Bold

Black and White interior design by Ann Holden Design Firm

Pitch black and stark white are a high contrast match! Although the colors may feel simple alone, when combined they can be extremely dynamic. Some room over others are fun to play with such a bold pairing. We wouldn’t want to go too bold in a bedroom (which could even be distracting for sleep). But other rooms pair well with this combination.

We especially love to go bold in a powder room. In a small space that is only used for minutes at a time, it’s a great spot to have fun with black and white interior design. Although the space is small, it makes a huge impression!

Black and white entry way by Ann Holden Design

An entryway is another place we love to make a statement with bold design. Other rooms that work as a transition space (an entry hall, butlers pantry, and so on) can benefit from the structure of high contrast design.

Is It Too Much Contrast?

In rooms that need a more laid back feel, we change the tone and lower the contrast. Shades of grey still have the timeless feel of the black and white design theme, but in a much more subdued way.

When we’re creating serene spaces like a bedroom or master bathroom we like to play with colors that have less contrast. To keep the space interesting and well designed, we add layers of interest with different textures. For example, we can make the focal point of the room in a velvety matte finish, and go for a high gloss paint on the walls.

Black and white interior design bedroom by Ann Holden Design

Take the above room for example. This bedroom is peaceful in shades of white and grey but is kept interesting with the focal wallpaper. We took this one step further by choosing an aesthetic that nods to traditional French wallpaper design but in a softer, and younger style.

Keeping It Comfortable

A deeper layer of our design process is focused on keeping the spaces comfortable for our clients. Black and white design can look cold and harsh if done incorrectly. We always make sure to incorporate features into the room to keep it inviting.

black and white powder room by Ann Holden Design

This powder room is a perfect example. The bold graphic wallpaper could be harsh and overwhelming alone. To even out the room we added layers of softness. The warm toned lighting, brass hardware, and round mirror add the warm and cozy back into the room, creating a well rounded space. In other rooms we could get a similar effect by adding in soft textures like velvet, and freshness with flowers and living houseplants.


Timeless black and white interior design will always be part of our homes. There are so many ways to use this seemingly simple color combination to create a space to last a lifetime.