Black and white bedroom ideas are a brave choice for any modern scheme. This type of interior can also appear ‘flat’ if you don’t introduce texture and subtle tonal variety. But put together carefully, it’s a great way to add drama and style to a modern bedroom.
From chic monochrome shades to softer muted greys, we create bedroom ideas inspired by the refined elegance of grand Parisian apartments.
Black and white bedroom ideas
While monochrome room ideas can be tricky to get right, a considered approach will be rewarded by a simple but impactful scheme. Black and white interiors can work especially well in modern homes, where a one-tone canvas serves to highlight and complement statement bedroom furniture, impactful art and magnificent mirrors.
Whether you're looking for main bedroom ideas or the perfect small bedroom ideas that use a predominantly monochromatic color palette, these black and white bedrooms come with plenty of useful interior design advice.
1. Use black as a backdrop for graphic prints
'In this master bedroom, we used a matt desaturated black wall covering to create intimacy and impact,' says Charu Gandhi, founder and director at Elicyon (opens in new tab). 'Against a black backdrop, everything else stands out in the room, so you can afford to bring a bold graphic element to the design. The high contrast works well with a striking pattern and looks great against metallic and nude accents.'
'We are actually seeing a braver and bolder approach more generally in design when it comes to pattern, with skilfully clashing prints and geometric monochrome styles becoming more widely used and patterns of contrasting scale featured across bedroom wallpaper ideas and upholstery.'
'With black you also have the opportunity to play with sheen and texture to create different looks, matt black is very different from a high gloss black. Layering in a monochromatic scheme is the best way to incorporate color and pattern, which also then helps to break up a block of black and create interest.'
2. Keep it simple with accents of black
White bedrooms ideas are a timeless choice, and are ones that will work regardless of your style of home, but why not add interest and intrigue with elements of black?
'Here, the goal was to create a refreshing retreat space for our client’s guests. We kept the space mostly neutral with pops of bold black and texture to add dimension, specifically highlighting the unique ceiling angles with this layered Pierre Frey ribbon wallpaper,' say Alexander Killion, CEO and creative director at AK Interiors (opens in new tab). 'Plush bedding and a natural side table were easy adds to bring comfort with the black and white.'
3. Mix and match textures and pattern
'A monochromatic scheme may seem a little daunting, but you can have a lot of fun choosing textures and patterns that will prevent the scheme from being too clinical,' says Jennifer Ebert, digital editor, Homes & Gardens.
'Tone and texture are vital when it comes to black and white bedroom ideas – remember that the most successful monochrome interiors combine movement and depth with tactile pieces to create an interesting narrative. Create a statement headboard using wallpaper and choose textured bedlinen for a tactile feel.'
4. Use black to create a cocooning effect
While dark colors for any room can often feel like a leap of faith, they can create surprisingly cocooning spaces, so don’t rule out using them in the bedroom, especially if the room is poorly blessed with natural light.
'Try a soft black like Railings which never feels too cold or overwhelming, especially when teamed with a subtle white such as Strong White on your ceiling for a clean contrast,' says Patrick O'Donnell, brand ambassador at Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab).
5. Choose an eye-catching black bed as your statement piece
'This once dark bedroom was a bleak space with 1980s wood trim,' says Heather K. Bernstein, owner and master interior designer at Heather K. Bernstein Interior Design (opens in new tab). 'We painted the walls bright white and the trim a jet black for a fresh look with great contrast. We made a statement with the bed and solidified the black and white theme with the Aztec baskets hung above the bed.'
6. Introduce an oatmeal shade to soften the scheme
A black and white bedroom can look incredibly smart in a loft bedroom, but to make the room truly successful, it's important to ensure the flooring is pale-colored to reflect light.
'A monochromatic scheme can be a little scary, but remember you can add in other colors to balance it out visually,' says Lucy Searle, global editor in chief, Homes & Gardens. 'A neutral shade like oatmeal, taupe or stone can work well and will add an softness to the overall scheme.'
7. Introduce black as an accent color
'The black and white color palette is one of a few that comes together so effortlessly, and it's for this reason that it has become an instant classic when it comes to interior design,' says Emily and Jonathan Atwood, founders of scooms (opens in new tab). 'In the bedroom especially, black and white tones can make a real statement and be just as dynamic as bolder colors, all whilst creating a calming space in which to relax, unwind and get a good night's sleep.'
'To set the mood for relaxation, paint the walls white and opt for furniture pieces such as the bed, storage pieces and bedside tables in black to add that all-important contrast. Layer soft furnishings, bedding and accessories in tactile materials such as linens, wools, glass and ceramics and play with blacks, whites, warm neutrals and charcoal tones to add warmth to the scheme.'
8. Antique brass accessories look great with black and white
A bedroom looks elegant and smart decorated in black and white, but if you are sticking religiously to the monochrome color scheme, it's really important to ensure that you add plenty of texture into the room to ensure it feels warm and welcoming.
'Use metallic accessories to add a new dimension to your black and white bedroom, antique brass works well as it's not as brash as some of the other options, choose pieces that have interesting shapes like these two mirrors,' says Jennifer Ebert, digital editor, Homes & Gardens. 'A thin framed black iron bed creates a sculptural feel and gives this room a sense of symmetry.'
9. Balance black walls with white and stone
Black and white can completely alter the feel of a room but getting the balance right is key.
'You can keep black in one area – like the walls, and the rest can be stone, white, pale blue and mushroom,' says Melanie Griffiths, editor, Period Living. 'This way you'll create a wonderful balanced scheme that will be welcoming but not too dark. Introduce pattern in the form of pillows and artwork.'
10. Use black sparingly for an airy feel
'If you're more of a light and airy style person but love the idea of introducing black as a modern edge, then use it sparingly to start with – for example, a black blanket, black painted window frame, desk and wall light, and add in a zing of color with the velvet mustard bed pillows,' says Andrea Childs, editor, Country Homes & Interiors.
Is black and white good for a bedroom?
Black and white is a good choice for the bedroom as it can completely alter the feel of the space. A black and white bedroom scheme is a brave choice, as it requires careful editing and a strong design eye. This type of interior can also appear ‘flat’ if you don’t introduce texture and subtle tonal variety. But put together carefully, it’s a great way to add drama and style.
Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 20 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for modern weddings and events. For H&G, she writes features about interior design – and is known for having an eye for a beautiful room.
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