There are many opinions that black and white can be too harsh to use in an interior scheme, however, executed well this is a stunning combination that exudes glamour and style.
It is easy to see how this grouping frightens the life out of many novice interior designers, the less adventurous part of you, however it doesn't need to be overpowering and coarse, more of a way of expressing drama with an elegantly powerful appeal.
Look back at designers such as Coco Chanel who loved interiors about as much as fashion. Her style owed much to her ingenious twinning of black and white. There are so many Chanel inspired interiors.
Black and white brings to our minds neoclassical interiors; the Art Deco era of which I am a great fan of and a period that inspires many of my own interior designs. For those of you who know of elegant retreats such as Claridges in London you will know that the entrance is an expanse of black and white marble, which oozes sheer luxury from the moment you walk in.
Black and white chequerboard flooring goes back a long way with Louis XIV's architect Charles Le Brun used black-and-white chequerboard on the ground-floor landing of the Queen's Staircase at Versailles in the late 1680's. This kind of flooring was used mainly in palaces or estates, so it represents grandeur, yet the style has evolved through to our own modern day homes in many forms.
Many of you won't have the courage to allow black and white to make such a large statement inside your homes (and on such a glorious scale) but there are many other ways of using these two colours in subtler forms.
Screens are a fantastic, practical and elegant way of separating spaces within your home, with black and white designs giving that striking purposeful presence. Black and white can also be used effectively in bathrooms with a statement not to be ignored.
In your living room the black and white combo can be executed well through sofas of white velvet with black, leather accessories, creating a chic, elegant, strong appeal. White crisp walls, with black wood or marble flooring just look sublime in situ also.
When it comes to the bedroom, dreamy black silk bedding with cascading soft white cushions and throws look exquisite and tasteful and somewhat ravishing.
Now, if you are really not the type of person who wants to stand out or shout about their interior and are too cowardly for this resonant colour scheme, be safe. If you are very lucky, pastels may well come back into fashion again.... well maybe one day!