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Building & Renovating

10 Elegant Black and White Rooms That Will Excite You

Get inspiration from these spaces, where a monochrome palette is beautiful, and not boring

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Photography: Michael Angelo Chua & Harver Hill (Main Photos)

Black and white—it’s a classic, simple, no-brainer color palette that is the staple of bachelor pads, condo dwellers, and hip cafes. But did you know that this popular (non-color) palette could make your home sophisticated, elegant, dynamic, and exciting?

In our Color Combo of the Week, we explore black and white and how you can treat the no-nonsense palette in different ways. It is definitely a bold color combination because of the high contrast between the two, but this contrast can be tempered and tweaked by the addition of accent hues, neutrals, and different materials and finishes. Scroll down and choose your peg!

Use different “shades” of white and black.



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With regards to paint, don’t just settle with plain stark white and black—use the full spectrum of charcoal-grays, warm-grays, grayish-whites, eggshell, and oyster grays to add tonal depth to your walls and surface finishes. 

Mix with copper, camel, and mink for a luxe look.



Empire Designs, the creators of Harver Hill furniture, favor effortless black and white palettes. But they love to add depth and drama by way of luxurious fabrics, metallic touches, and elegant neutrals such as camel, oatmeal, and mink, as seen here in their showroom.

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Gold with a shot of bold red can serve as accents.



The gold hardware on Harver Hill’s art deco-style Madison sofa and beveled Lenox Coffee Table coupled with the blood red hue of roses serve as striking accents for this rich but simple black and white setting.

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Warm up the starkness with natural materials.


Homeowner Donna Cuna Pita stuck with a simple, black-gray-white palette for her home, but tempered any starkness by using a lot of décor in natural materials, such as the wooden furniture and sisal rug in her attic. 

READ: A Beautiful Dream House In Cavite That Was Decorated On a Budget

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Add primaries for a Scandinavian look.


Bright, primary color accents of red, blue, and yellow energize the black and white palette of Lana Tiotuyco’s condo home. “If you want a stimulating activity for a particular room like a family room…red, pink, green, and yellow are colors that promote excitement and happiness,” says industrial-organizational psychologist Karen Sacdalan.

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READ: A 45sqm Scandinavian Style Condo Unit

Black and white is perfect for minimalist bachelors.


If you don’t want to go for cliché club-style interiors for a bachelor pad, a minimalist, black-white-gray palette is ideal. Decorator Grace Moslares added a divider with a skyline to add graphic punch and reflect the minimalist lines of the other pieces in the unit.

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READ: A Bachelor-Themed Pad Gets a Modern Contemporary Look

Create the illusion of height with black and white stripes.



An attic bedroom with a low ceiling can be stifling, but actor Peter Serrano’s third-floor-attic bedroom appears bigger than it looks because of the black-and-white-striped walls that give the illusion of height.

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READ: A Three-Storey House Defined By a Black and White Palette

Add one bold piece in solid black.



Do you want to add oomph to an ordinary bathroom? Take your key from the Sanitec showroom and have your vanity cabinet painted all black, and jazz it up with matte gold hardware and drawer pulls to heighten the sophistication.

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Different patterns and textures add depth.



An entire home decorated in a black-and-white palette has the potential to become monotonous, but decorator Gwyn Guanzon likes to shake things up by layering different patterns, textures, and materials, as seen in this living room, which has damask and floral patterns, cowhide, ceramic, and shiny acrylic, which all add depth to the room.

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An all-black kitchen is simple and stunning.



All-black cabinets can give a kitchen a sleek and modern look, as seen in Nichole Mercado’s townhouse kitchen. Stainless steel kitchen appliances go well with this sort of look.

READ: Modern Classic Style For a Young Couple’s Townhouse

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Grid-like patterns highlight the simple palette.


In this stark, black and white dining room, the bamboo grid details of the Triboa Bay Living dining chairs echo the grid-like patterns of the lighting fixture (which the owner designed himself) and the metal-framed windows.

READ: A 600sqm Manhattan-Inspired Family Home

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