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Black and white resurgence
This contrasting duo is making its way into home décor


March 2016


Photo courtesy of Xenia

The European design scene has been experiencing a resurgence of black and white home décor as of late, and it appears the enduring duo is making its way stateside.

Yet unlike eras past, the classic pairing is sited to bestow a more sophisticated and subtle presence in the home. Achieving black and white’s modern appeal means leaving Mondrian’s palette of primary colors mostly behind.

"Black and white will always be viewed as timeless; however, now it is less ‘traditional,’" says Amy Maxwell, a buyer at Xenia in Mequon. "Black and white is being approached in a more natural style, such as using reclaimed wood or vintage-like prints and accessories."

Adding black and white accessories to enliven a space is relatively easy, Maxwell says. An owner can start small — say, by converting family photos to black and white, or by adding a few patterned pillows, vases, a new rug or sofa — or they can go big by painting a black and white accent wall.

Just be sure not to overdo it. "Stay away from dated trends, unless you’re going for a retro look," says Becky Grinwald, an associate interior designer at Peabody’s Interiors in Milwaukee. "Using too many patterns together or using it too much can become confusing to the eye."

You want to dazzle your guests, not make them dizzy.

Geometric jar; available at Peabody’s Interiors, 8655 N. Deerwood Drive, (414) 962-4550 or; 


Worlds Away Melanie and X Side Nuo stools; both available at Xenia.

Malachite wallpaper from Cole & Sons available at Peabody’s Interiors;


Michael Aram Gotham Collection book ends; available at Xenia, 11031 N. Port Washington Road, Mequon, (262) 240-1480 or; 



This story ran in the March 2016 issue of: