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Monday, May 16, 2011



What’s not to love about these two colors? But you won’t find them on a color wheel at all. If you were to mix all of the primary and secondary colors together, you would get black.

White isn’t on the color wheel either as it is the absence of color.

If you can go online and print out a “color wheel,” try this experiment. Cut out the color wheel and poke a pencil or pen in the middle of it. With the color wheel facing you, spin it around—and you will see white or the absence of color! Double dog dare you to try it.

When used together, these two colors have the wow factor! Think of the timeless usage of black and white tiled floors [yes, I have those also in my foyer, bathroom and the big room off the kitchen]: Black and white tiled floors are classic and elegant. And older houses or apartments have those spectacular black and white tiled patterned floors—what’s not to love about those? Every time I see one of those intricate floors I am wowed.

These two colors are of course, the opposite of each other.

A polar bear, zebra, keyboard, newspapers and a tuxedo are black and white.

Some sayings are “It’s not all black and white”—which means that there are other things underlying or it’s not true.

Another is: “It’s all black and white.” That means that it is the truth and is exposed or that it is plain as day.

In decorating, using black and white together is timeless and gives a wow factor to a room. Think of a wool rug with a zebra pattern mixed in with other colors in a room and you get the picture: Zing! I’ve seen some rooms in magazines, books or online that are all black and white. To me, that is “DISTURBIA!” But again, it all goes back to if you like it, use it; after all, you have to live with it and it’s your choice.

Of late the new decorating trend is to paint walls black or an off-black: I think it is fabulous! There is only one word to describe black walls and that word is “WOW!” If you’re thinking that painting your walls a dark color will make the room look smaller, think again. It doesn’t: It deepens the room. Once I painted my older son’s bedroom a dark navy blue: It was wonderful. When he left and got married, I painted that room white and the entire room looked like it had been swallowed up. It looked as if it actually shrunk. [That room now has olive green walls.]

White walls are pretty and especially if you use all shades of white in that room with touches of color. But to me, white walls are boring—there is no zip. Yes, it is a clean color and is used a lot by people who are afraid of using “color” on their walls. I used to be that way a long while back. But I don’t have one single room in my house that is painted white. None! To me, it’s too sterile looking.

White looks great as house paint on the outside but black, never—at least that’s my take on it. Depressing to me. If your house is painted white, black shutters or a black door adds a lot of that wow factor.

I love these two colors combined in clothing and shoes and the like. Houndstooth in black and white is beautiful: I actually own a coat like that. But those two colors together don’t look good on me as I have olive skin; however, I do sometimes wear them regardless of that fact. Oh and in that olive green bedroom, guess what is predominate in there? Black and white toile: It's on the bed [as a comforter,] the draperies are that toile and so are some pieces of pottery that are in a tall cupboard. But the chest of drawers in that room is red, lamp is a bright yellow and yes, there is also an orange lamp with a white shade.

Love it or hate it, the combination of black and white is timeless and has that ZING that hardly any other two colors can compete with for it’s eye-popping to say the least!

Sherry Hill


  1. Sherry, as cousins we share a love for color. My whole life I have been super sensitive to color. It's amazing to me that so many people fear color. Their lives must be boring with all those white walls. The only exception would be a white monochromatic look, or white on white, a collection of neutral whites, which is actually very interesting because we tend to notice texture, shape and pattern more than if we had a jumble of primary and secondary colors. Any room that is done in a monochromatic color scheme is more interesting whether it be blue, red or yellow. There are so many shade variations. Personally, I think a monochromatic look is the easiest to achieve and has the wow factor. I have a an all white living room that stops people in their tracks. It draws them into the room, I think because it feels calm and sunny.

  2. I completely agree with you Dee! Boring but white on white with different textures is a wow--you and my mom had almost the same living room or room. Genetic. It's those textures that give a monochromatic room a wow factor. And that point unnerves when people want to match all the furniture! Please, don't you think? Thanks for your comments. Loved them!

  3. Guess you can tell I like this combination as I chose that scarf banner--but it does have red and olive green.