Black, white and totally chic: one of 2020's trends works in any room

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

What's black, white and totally chic? One of 2020's hottest design trends.

Black and white decor makes a statement and can be used in nearly any room in your home, from the kitchen to the bathroom. It's minimal and yet sleek. And it's the perfect palette for complementing other colors.

Haneen Matt, a popular interior design blogger from Canton Township, said when it comes to using black and white in your home, especially black, it's all about balance.

She's embraced black -- and white -- in different ways throughout her house. She painted her fireplace mantel black and most recently she got a chic new black matte refrigerator.

"It's all about balance," said Matt of "If you want to try incorporating black into your home but you're a little unsure, start with something small like throw pillows or art. Or get brave, paint a whole room, and use accessories in brighter colors (or simply white) to lighten things up and balance the look."

Sue Wadden, Sherwin-Williams' director of color marketing, calls the black and white trend a classic color combination "that never fails." She said it was really driven by the farmhouse style, which surged in popularity a few years ago, and then black hues were added to white spaces.

A gorgeous black and white slab tile takes the place of a traditional backsplash and pulls together the black cabinets in this Birmingham home.

Designer Terry Ellis of Troy-based Room Service Interior Design has three projects right now, all of which use a combination of black and white. One is a male client's study, another is a multi-use great room in which the walls are black but the trim is white; and the third is a woman's office or den. 

"The black and white is used in the fabrics on the sofa and ottoman" in the office, said Ellis. "The third color is a dark yellow, which shows up in pillows and area rug."

When it comes to using black and white in your own home, Ellis says it can be used anywhere as long as "carefully executed." And what does that mean?

"Balance all of the dark with some relief of lighter accents -- gold metal, white -- good lighting and a third accent color," suggests Ellis.

Tips in your own home

So how can you use white and black in your home? Wadden says assess how much natural light you have first.

"White paint colors reflect natural light well, while darker paint colors make rooms with less natural light shine," she said. "For example, a bedroom with a lot of natural light could be painted white, with doors and trim painted black."

Wadden says the kitchen is a great place for the black and white treatment.

"A black island with white cabinets is a stunning look and a great way to create an impact with a bold color without going all-in," she said. "Tuxedo cabinets are also hot right now. To achieve this look, use Iron Ore SW 7069 on the bottom row of cabinets and Pure White SW 7005 on top."

Matt, the Canton Township blogger, already had black cabinets with gold hardware in her kitchen when she decided to go one step farther with a black matte refrigerator.

"I thought the look of it was so sleek, and the idea of incorporating a black appliance with gold hardware was a great way to marry it with the lower kitchen cabinets," said Matt. "I love black with gold. It's kind of showcased throughout my house, and the kitchen is no exception."

Wallpaper with black polka dots is another fun to introduce this color combo.

Timeless combo

And what works best with black and white? Wadden recommends dark, moody blues such as Sherwin-Williams' Naval. And with green all the rage these days, Wadden say a nature-inspired green also complement black and white "beautifully."

Black and white are timeless together, says Ellis.

 "It was a color scheme used in the art deco era and keeps evolving with each decade, reinventing itself," she said.