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Ideas & Advice > Living Room Decor Ideas > Black & White Living Room Decor Ideas

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White & Black Living Room Decor Ideas

Black and white decor gives any living room dramatic elegance. The two are opposite in every way, yet perfectly balance each other so your living room isn't too dark or too clinical. While black warms the room and creates an intimate feeling, white lightens things up and creates a sense of spaciousness. Used in proper proportions, they play off each other beautifully for plenty of interest packed into the simple color palette.

All Eyes on the Art - Black and White Living Room Decor Ideas


Use a variety of geometric shapes for interest when your color palette is limited to black in white. In this white and black living room, the chair and coffee table have lovely curves with the rug offering a strong counterpoint using triangles of black and white. Adding wood furniture with clean lines adds warmth and creates a mid-tone to avoid too much contrast that could make the room seem two-dimensional. Add texture with a deep-pile rug, tweed chair, and velvet couch for sensory appeal.

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If you have a signature piece of artwork in black, white, and gray tones, make it the focal point of your living room. In this space, the soft white of the couch and subdued pattern in the rug both draw the eye to the artwork. Hanging a single piece of art on the wall ensures it's the star of the show. For warmth, toss a throw in a creamy neutral over the sofa and finish the room with a single, oversized plant that's in scale with the painting.

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Shapely Solutions - Black and White Living Room Decor Ideas
Warm Up with Wood - Black and White Living Room Decor Ideas

Warm Up with Wood

To create an intimate space, use wood tones and add just a touch of color to black and white. Here, a wood wall and floating shelves create a warm, neutral backdrop for bold shades of charcoal and white. Smaller touches of black throughout the room with vases, pillows, this black and ivory area rug, and art. If you need a bit of color, citrus hues work particularly well with black and white, such as these modern, orange leather chairs. Their bright color is echoed on the throw pillows to tie everything together.

Love the look? Get more Modern Living Room decorating ideas

Muted Magic

Create an aura of calm repose using muted versions of black and white. This room's rug lays the groundwork with soft grays and whites that are repeated in the fireplace and graduated tables, which feature smooth surfaces marbled with gradient shades of black and white. An easy way to add subtle interest to the living room is by repeating patterns as seen here with the repetition of geometrics in the tactile fabrics and cushions.

Muted Magic - Black and White Living Room Decor Ideas
Linear Luxury - Black and White Living Room Decor Tips


Black walls and dark wood floors create a powerful, masculine look, but be sure to balance it with white and a touch of color to avoid gloominess. Here, the rug's faded white background and muted colors soften the look and break up the line between wall and floor, defining the space. Use pieces such as a leather chair and sleek armoire to warm the room.

For more dark decor tips, check out ourBlack Living Room Decorating Ideas>

Linear Luxury

For a bold approach to a black and white living room, focus on strong lines repeating throughout the space, as this room does with an angular sofa, two-tone French doors, and geometric patterns on the throw pillows. You can increase the linear impact with shiplap walls and a sleek, square table. The sofa's mustard color adds a bit of spice; when you use a large piece like this, keep it the only color note in the room.

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Dark and Handsome - Black and White Living Room Decor Tips

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Imperfectly Lovely - Black and White Living Room Decor Tips

Imperfectly Lovely

You don't have to stick with perfect lines and corners when using stripes or other patterns. In a black and white room, the broken and uneven lines on this rug keep the look from being too controlled. Lots of textural elements, including pillows and a chunky afghan, create a cozy feeling. Simple white curtains are a great way to create the illusion of more space.

Off-White and Black

Not into bright white? Choose fabrics featuring creamier, winter whites and creams to pair with black. This neutral, almost-white of this couch is repeated in the area rug. The rug also features the gray of the wall, pulling all three elements together. Plants will help bridge the space between patio and yard.

Off-White and Black - Black and White Living Room Decor Tips
Picture Perfect in Black and White - Black and White Living Room Design Advice

Picture Perfect in Black and White

Create a gallery of images on one wall by combining black and white photographs and prints. Using white matting and simple black frames keep it from looking cluttered. You can use subdued colors elsewhere so the focus remains the gallery wall. When you have an impressive piece like this ornately framed mirror and door, keep the furniture and rugs simple to avoid too many competing elements.

Pattern Play - Black and White Living Room Design Advice

Mid-Century Monochrome

If you love the mid-century modern esthetic, a black and white living room is the perfect way to highlight angular, vintage pieces like this stunning chair and post-modern artwork. Use tailored tweed upholstery and curtains that hint at classic suit materials. When decorating a mid-century modern room, use vintage pieces like the radio, vintage camera, and vinyl records to complete the vibe.

Additional Living Room Mid Century Modern Rugs

Pattern Play

Use contrast when using patterns of black, white and gray, like those repeated throughout this black and white living room. The rug provides texture and pattern play also found in the throw pillows. The artwork on the walls tie the room together with monochromatic color. Plenty of greenery adds an organic element to warm things up.

Mid-Century Monochrome - Black and White Living Room Design Advice
Eclectic Comfort - Black and White Living Room Design Advice


For a crisp, minimalist room, focus on variations on one shape, in this case rectangles. The squared-off couch is echoed in the cube-shaped stool and throw pillows. Stacking end tables repeat the theme. The black and white rug layers a final variation on the geometric theme.


To create a cozy black and white room, include understated neutrals and decorate around a couch that invites lounging. The rounded edges and abundance of pillows in this room beg you to sink onto them. This linen rug boast playful tassels and a chic, Southwestern Design. The sharp edges of the black lamps add a punch of modernism. To keep the look soothing, oatmeal drapes and a pale, wood floor keep things from being too stark.

Variations on a Theme - Black and White Living Room Design Advice
Bold Strokes  - Black and White Living Room Design Advice

Bold Strokes

To craft an undeniably bold look in a white and black living room, keep things pared down but avoid delicacy. The broad stripes in this rug create an undeniable focal point. A simple couch that seems to float in the space moves the eyes upward. Adding solid color pillows continues the bold look without it becoming too severe.

Black, White and Caramel

Add a single, rich color to black and white decor to add warmth. The wonderful caramel color of the couch is repeated in the brass elements and the framed raffia art. By using an accent color at various heights, you can draw the eye around the room. Use a playful rug like this faux hide beauty to add a youthful element to an overwise reserved room.

For more other rustic-inspired ideas, check out our Rustic Living Room Decorating Ideas>

Black, White and Caramel - Black and White Living Room Design Advice
Creating Cohesiveness - Black and White Living Room Design Advice


Use negative space - the areas that don't have anything - to your advantage when working with a black and white color scheme. The space around the table's pedestal leg, the openwork wrought-iron lamp base, and the thin chrome couch legs create the illusion of more space in a small room. The faux hide rug is boldly patterned, but when you stick with two contrasting colors, it's powerful without being fussy. Silvery cushions inject a bit of elegance.

More Rug Ideas for a Small Living Room


Mixing serene neutrals can soften the edges of black and white elements in a living room. This rug's faded blend of grays, creams, and golds create a soothing backdrop for neutral furnishings. When you add black and white art, using wood frames in the same shade as the furniture keep the graphic art from seeming disconnected from the rest of the room. In this living room, the artwork also helps integrate the matte black fireplace into the seating area rather than being marooned to one side.

Accentuating the Negative - Black and White Living Room Design Advice

The Perfect Spot - Black and White Living Room Design Advice

The Perfect Spot

Dramatic artwork can be the jumping-off point for an entire living room. Although there are only three colors in the oversized, post-modern art above this simple, marble fireplace, the white, black, and the caramel spot are used repeatedly throughout the space to create a cohesive style. For texture interest, place a Bauhaus style table like this one on a rustic, informal rug that blends all the room's colors into one gorgeous, earthy palette.

Spa Inspired Tranquility - Black and White Living Room Design Advice


The star of the show in this small space is the rug, a sculpted, modern art dream in black and white with oversized half-circles and ellipses. When furnishings are minimal and space is tight, using a rug as the focal point gives you the flexibility to scale back in other areas of the room. Add a slender console or book shelf in a bright, primary color like yellow to kick things up a notch. White curtains against white walls create the illusion of a larger room by having the walls melt into the background.


This unusual white and black living room borrows elements from the tranquil atmosphere of a spa. Use soft shades of blue in small doses throughout a room to encourage relaxation. Pillows upholstered in textures that invite your touch make a basic couch instantly appealing. Various styles of artwork in different shapes and sizes keep this room informal and friendly. This visually stunning rug's gently curved lines adds to the overall sense of calm.

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Funky Floor Decor - Black and White Living Room Design Advice
Let the Sunshine In - Black and white living room decor ideas

Art Deco Dream

This elegant room is the epitome of Art Deco style, flawlessly blending geometric shapes, gleaming metallic finishes, and oversized graphics. To recreate the appeal of this 1920's inspired living room, focus on bold graphics in black, white, and gold. The rug is the foundation of this room, combining luxurious, deep pile with an oversized, symmetric pattern that's repeated in various iterations throughout the room. Gleaming glass lamps placed on brass end tables blend with a fabulous mirror framed in interlocking, brass and glass mosaics. Gatsby would feel right at home!

Let the Sunshine In

This room's windows let in tons of natural light; it would be a shame to block it. This low-slung bench with throw pillows provides seating without covering up one of the room's best features. By painting the brick beneath the windows white, the illusion of more light is created. A fringed rug with lots of texture and funky accessories in shades of sand and surf add a relaxed, weekend appeal. They also pull colors from the aged wood flooring and wood bench and chair, successfully integrating everything into a refreshing whole.

Art Deco Dream - Black and White Living Room Design Advice

Graceful Greys

If you want to soften the contrast of black and white colors in your living room, consider using grey throughout the space. These grey tones can be as prominent or hidden as you please. In the case of this elegant family room, grey appears on the walls, in various accents, and in the curtains. This gives the room a softer tone fitting for its traditional style.

Bold Built-Ins

Built-in cabinets and bookshelves present great opportunity with the accents you use and the style of the shelves. This modern sitting room features white statues, vases, and artwork inside the dark black built-ins. If the colors were inverted, you could use similar black statues/art inside white built-ins. Consider how your room's existing furniture and shelves enables you to create bold contrast with black and white decorations.

Textural Details

Incorporating multiple textures and materials into your black and white living room is a great way to create a layered design. Allow this room to serve as inspiration with its textured rug, exposed wood beams, soft curtains, various chair fabrics, and tiled table. While you do not have to use the same textural details in your home, using common elements like rugs and chairs to showcase different textures/fabrics is a common and easy way to make a dynamic living room.

Modern Homes

Today's homes often feature open concept spaces where multiple rooms share the same space. In these scenarios, your living room color palette can carry over to the adjacent space through its accents. Rugs in particular can serve as a unifying tie between two spaces. The rugs don't have to have the exact same design or style, but similar colors or inverted color palettes are two popular options for tying together different spaces.

Vivacious Reds

Red velvet couches are the main draw of this luxurious contemporary living room. Red is a color that perfectly complements white and black living rooms with its inherent drama and luxury. It also adds an air of romance, especially when paired with a fine glass of champagne and a roaring fire.

Cool Coffee Tables

Coffee tables are a staple of most living rooms. Aside from their practical functionality, these tables can have a bold aesthetic of their own. The black and white tile design of this coffee table is the most detailed aspect of the room and serves as a work of art. Vintage, contemporary, industrial, and other style coffee tables are all great options for black and white living spaces.

Accent Walls

If you're concerned about black overwhelming your room, consider using black decorations sparingly or in one central location. This room uses a black accent wall to add drama to the room without darkening the entire space. Along with that, you can use black accessories and decorations against a black wall to create dimension and subtle contrast.

Finding Balance

Monochromatic black and white living rooms don't need to have an equal balance of each color. You can freely lean more heavily into white tones or black based on the mood that you want to set. More white tones will create a light and airy space, while more black will set the tone as more moody. Ultimately, the balance of colors is up to you and your preferences.

Luxurious Comfort

A large black and white living room area rug can make your living room feel extremely cozy. There are many different ways to place rugs in living rooms, but this room shows how effective it is to place all the furniture fully atop the rug. This layout firmly establishes a comfortable living space that is both approachable and elevated.

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An Even Spread

While you can easily focus black or white to one designated area of the living room, you can also spread these colors out throughout the entire space. In this case, black is used in the two visible corners, on the coffee table, and in the fireplace. Since the colors are spread out over the room, your eye is naturally drawn to each of these places and the design is well balanced.

Matching Metals

Metallic accents may not be at the forefront of your black and white living room's design, but they go a long way in developing the room's color scheme. This room features a black iron chandelier and a black iron coffee table. If you want black metal to be at the forefront of your room's design, consider decorating with more black metals in wall art, sculptures, and cabinet hardware.

Black and Beige

Oftentimes, black is paired with either white or grey. However, black and beige is a winning combo that presents the dark flair of black and the softness of cream. These two colors are often used in transitional and modern homes to create a more welcoming mood.

It can be challenging to use black and white living room ideas because the palette can be limiting. By judiciously using the right accents and layering interesting features for depth and warmth, you can create a sophisticated black and white living room that retains an inviting atmosphere. Remember to balance the amount of each color so one doesn't outshine the other.


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