Decorating Wisely: Black and White

Friday, 27 April 2018 03:00

Decorating Wisely: Black and White Featured

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By Glenda Wise


Last week I had planned on writing about using black and white because of an exhibit I had seen at Crystal Bridges, but I ended up going in a completely different direction (it happens sometimes). This week I was thumbing through a magazine while waiting at the doctor’s office and came across an article about using black and white in the home. I thought to myself, “Hmm...I think it’s meant for me to write about using black and white this week.” So, here goes....

This is what got it all started, “The relationship between black and white can also draw attention to the characteristics of positive and negative space.” I decided to investigate this further. According to, negative space is sometimes referred to as white space. This concept has “been used in art, design, architecture, and sculpture for hundreds of year.” The site went on to say, “Put simply, negative space is the area which surrounds the main subject in your photo (the main subject is known as the ‘positive space’). Negative space defines and emphasizes the main subject of a photo, drawing your eye to it. It provides ‘breathing room’, giving your eyes somewhere to rest and preventing your image from appearing too cluttered with ‘stuff’.” That is fairly easy to comprehend when thinking about art, but what about in our homes.

If you think about it, that is part of what we all love about Joanna Gaines’ style. She typically uses white or something very light walls and something very dark like cabinets and interior doors black/dark grey. She then adds accent pieces to make it homey. Although there are pieces like vases, jars and so on it doesn’t feel or look cluttered.

So here’s the thing, many of us (me included) want to add black and white to our homes, but our existing color schemes don’t always lend to that style without gutting the whole place. I’m pretty sure I don’t have that in the budget at this point, so I have been working on ways I can add a touch of it here and there.

• Paint existing wall art white or black. For example, I have a set of three metal plates hanging in my living room. I plan to paint them white and sand a few detail areas to make them look aged.

• Paint an existing piece of furniture white, black or dark grey. I have a sofa table that could use a new paint job anyway, so I plan to paint it a dark grey.

• Paint plain photo frames black add a white mat to create a wall grouping of snapshots.

It is definitely doable to add touches of black and white to your home without spending a lot of money. Just have fun with it!

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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