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black and white bedroom with grey upholstered headboard macrame wall hanger and belly baskets

4 Steps to Creating the Ultimate Black and White Bedroom

I love a black and white bedroom. It has a lot more depth and interest than an all-white space, and when done right it can look truly amazing.

That’s the clincher though; it has to be done right. In my interior design work, a black and white space is probably the most requested colour scheme I get asked to create by clients. So let me share some of my secrets with you to pulling off this look below. It’s not all that hard, really, you just have to go into it with a few guidelines in mind.

You’ll also notice divine imagery in this post that you’re more than welcome to steal some style ideas from. They all come courtesy of my friends at Freedom. And a lot of the products can be sourced through them.

grey upholstered bed from freedom with white bedding and black and white macrame on wall

Step 1: Proportion

Ok, so the first thing you have to consider is proportion. You can’t have a 50-50 split when it comes to using black and white in a room. If you use equal amounts, it’ll feel like a checker board and it’ll become too visually chaotic.

Make the choice early on to feature more black or more white. You can see this approach executed perfectly in the shot below. There’s about a 70-30 split in terms of the colours used, with white dominating the room. That’s the first step in nailing a black and white bedroom.

There’s no right or wrong in terms of which shade you let dominate, either. And if you need help and ideas for getting dark walls right, this post will help.

warehouse apartment black and white bedroom with black feature wall and grey bed

black and white bedroom with white desk and shelves and round jute rug

Step 2: Textures and Materials

Even the most minimal black and white bedroom needs texture to keep it from looking clinical. As a general rule, the more texture you put into a space, the more welcoming it’ll become. And ‘welcoming’ is a pretty important factor when it comes to how your bedroom feels, wouldn’t you agree?

To add life to a black and white bedroom, look to textures and materials that feel tactile (items you want to walk up to and touch). I have a personal obsession with felt. And as you can see above, it looks awesome against black and white. Also notice the concrete vase, wire baskets, jute rug, stained floorboards, leather bag… the textural list goes on.

This is a critical second step in making a black and white zone feel resolved.

upholstered grey armchair with aztec print throw and jute rug from freedom

Step 3: Explore other tones

Even the most diehard black and white devotees know that some other shades and tones can elevate the look of a room. And when it comes to a black and white bedroom, grey is most definitely your friend. It’s a super-versatile shade you can use as much or as little of as you like. But it is necessary in giving the room some depth, so don’t be afraid to use it.

Outside of grey, I also like to look to different-coloured woods to bring life to a black and white bedroom. Blonde tones are my favourite because they feel quite fresh and contemporary, but you can use any tone you like (outside of red, mahogany tones. Avoid those altogether).

Lush plants also bring a little greenery to a space, so give those a go too.

modern black and white bedroom with desert art above bed and aztec print rug

Step 4: Pattern Play

Any space without pattern can feel a little flat. But a black and white bedroom can feel especially depressing without a little pattern play going on. You don’t have to go too crazy here, either. A simple rug with a large-scale pattern can work wonders. Or just place a few cushions on your bed that feature pattern, too.

Geometric shapes were especially popular in years gone by, but more recently Moroccan and Aztec patterns are leading the charge. The rug above is a winner if you ask me; just the right amount of pattern and definitely not too overwhelming.

How do you make a black and white bedroom shine? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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