People often struggle with creating a great color scheme. In my recent series of blog articles we discussed how you could take your favorite color, blue for example, and create different color schemes. We explored monochromatic, analogous, Complimentary, Diad, Triad, Tetrad, Split-Complimentary and Double Complimentary.
Today, lets talk about using black, white and shades of gray.
To catch up on these other color schemes see my articles Celebrate Your Favorite Color- Go Monochromatic and Create a Harmonious Color Scheme- Go Analogous, Opposite Colors Attract, Go Complimentary and Great Paint Color Schemes- Do a Diad, Great Paint Color Schemes- Try a Triad , Great Color Schemes- Try a Tetrad and Great Color Schemes- Try a Split Complimentary and Great Color Schemes- Try a Double-Complimentary. See examples of those color schemes below.
Technically, using black, white or grays is really a monochromatic color scheme and could be done with any color. If you take the color and adjust it’s chroma or saturation level to the lowest you can go, you get white. If you adjust it a little higher, you get shades of gray. If you adjust it to the maximum it becomes black.
Most people do not think of black, white and gray as actually being a color. Many people like to work with these colors as they think it is a very neutral color palette.
Let’s play around with a design I created that uses mainly black, white and gray home decor items where I mainly changed the wall color or treatment to create drama or highlight different things.
In this design I created maximum drama by using black walls which a striking due to the color, but I also used shiny wall tiles which also add texture and reflect light. The dark walls recede, giving a feeling of being cocooned and enveloped within the color. The color also highlights the black design in the area rug, making it pop.
In the design below, I used wall paper in white with a gray diamond pattern. The wall, although it still has texture and interest due to the pattern, disappears with the light color, putting more emphasis on the view outside.
In the design below, the gray paint color feels cool and elegant, and creates more of a connection with the furnishings and decor of the gray sofas and the accent pillows.
Shop the Look
Check out the pieces I selected for this design. Some include affiliate links, meaning I receive a small commission for sharing at no additional cost to you.
My design also incorporates some of my unique fractal art from my “Spring” Collection.
Design Ideas to Highlight More Gray
Design Ideas to Highlight More White
Benefits of A Black, White and Gray Color Scheme
- A black, white and gray scheme is fairly easy to put together. It is best if you keep you black, white and grays all within the same color family so they are harmonious.
- A black, white and gray scheme can be really dramatic or relaxing based on the saturation and placement of the colors you choose. Dark gray and black walls are more dramatic than white walls.
- A black, white and gray scheme really highlights any other colors that are used, or the colors of the views outside.
- Very nice for living rooms, dining rooms and areas that you like to entertain.
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These are all such gorgeous options!
Thank you Kirsten!
What a fabulous resource! I think so many struggle with colors and these terrific visuals are so helpful.
Thank you Linda! I hope it helps people see the possibilities It was certainly fun to play with and create the visuals. Even for me, I never know exactly how something is going to look together until I see it:) Thanks for reading.
I love playing with color, and I appreciate when someone understands it like you do!
Thank you so much Christine! Color is like the magic secret sauce in any design and is definitely worth playing with:)
Great inspiration! I love that you showed how colorful a black and white color palette can be. Well done.
Thanks Amy! I think black and white can be the perfect backdrop to highlight any other color and can be so beautiful and dramatic all on its own. Thanks for reading.
I love the drama of black rooms! These are, again, great renderings that show what altering the shade of one element will do to the room!
Thanks Janet! Yes, a black room is dramatic and beautiful! Add a little reflection and wow!
This is just perfect timing for me and my daughter. She just finalized a move to her very first apartment and this is the colour scheme she’d like me to design with! I’m going to send it to her to read as well!
That is wonderful, thank you!! Hope she finds it inspiring!
It’s so fun to see how different combinations of black, white and gray can create entirely different feelings in a space.
I know, it is amazing how just changing things a little bit can make such a huge difference in how things look and feel. No wonder it is so hard for our clients to visualize what we propose!
Your renderings are fantastic! I love seeing all the different color options. Well done.
Thank you so much Samantha!! It has been really fun to do them and play with color. I appreciate you stopping by to read:)
With so many shades of grey, there’s no wonder it has been so popular these past few years. Still love your analogous color scheme in the example!
Thanks Deborah, yes there are numerous shades of gray for every hue and so many possibilities. Thank you, I think the analogous schemes are my favorites too, very soothing.
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