Sara Essex Bradley
They say opposites attract, but the jury is still out on whether those who reside at the polar ends of the spectrum Actually stay together for a long time. An exception ? Black and white. A designer favorite dating back to America’s first “official” interior designer Dorothy Draper, black and white is both classic and avant-garde. Designers love to use the combo anywhere, but especially in the bathroom, where hard surfaces reign supreme and opportunities for textiles are limited. Whether used exclusively or as a color sidekick, a black and white palette makes a dramatic impact in the bathroom.
From classic black and white tiles to black and white Arabescato marble, black and white can be pragmatic or hyper-luxury. Part of the appeal of a black and white bathroom, of course, is that the majority of residential bathrooms come with white porcelain fixtures, which makes any palette that incorporates l shade a natural shoo-in. In a construction-grade bathtub, even something seemingly as simple as painting your walls black can have a stunning effect. For the less reserved among us, a black and white theme is also up to the task. Irrecoverable design movements (i.e. wallpaper all over, marble all over, or scratched tile shower walls) see their risk factor dramatically reduced when rendered black and classic white.
Thinking about the merits of a black and white bath, but need a little more inspiration before you give it the green light? Going forward, we have collected timeless black and white bathroom ideas from top interior designers that convincingly justify implementing this power palette.
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Black and white outlines are enhanced by a jewel-toned green vanity in this sophisticated bathroom designed by KitchenLab Interiors.
Designer Wesley Moon exemplifies the unparalleled chic of an all-black bathroom accented with a hint of white in this Upper East Side retreat.
Nothing is as classic as a black and white cabana stripe, as shown in this wonderful tub designed by Maureen Stevens Designs.
Carved in stone
Black marble with white veins and a high grain wood vanity create a stark contrast in this alluring bathroom designed by J. Fisher Interiors.
Chalk it Up
To give a little irreverence to a powder room on the ground floor, designer Allison Garcy chose to contrast the white light fixtures with the chalkboard walls.
Hour of silence
Black and white have a reputation for skewing the formal, but as Anne Decker Architects illustrates in this Zen tub, opting for rustic finishes can make the combo chic and relaxed.
Crazy about plaid
Take the example of Ayromloo Design and go for a black and white tile in a classic pattern like a plaid to add verve to a powder room.
Slingshots with benefits
Wallpaper never fails in a powder room, so why not turn it into black and white wallpaper in a fascinating pattern? For this majestic bath, Brio Interior Design used a captivating paper flocked with fronds.
Black and white is the height of sophistication, so why not opt for an abundance of stunning black and white elements, as Denise McGaha Interiors does in this ultra-luxurious tub?
White fixtures contrast dramatically with the custom black-framed glass windows of this flagship tub designed by Chris Barrett Design.
Moment of marble
A hyper-luxe bathtub in black and white marble turns this bathtub designed by Denise McGaha Interiors into an avant-garde affair.
Playful white trompe-l’oeil pieces backed by exuberant black and white wallpaper flocked with butterflies make this powder room designed by Eclectic Home New Orleans wonderfully whimsical.
To make the white orb pendants look like glowing planets, the firm Jasmin Reese Interiors made the genius call to back them up with a black checkered background.
A romantic French wardrobe looks perfect when it contrasts with the classic black and white elements of this beautiful bathtub designed by the firm Kathryn Ivey Interiors.
Architect Ken Tate shows off the unparalleled risk-taking potential of black and white in this upper-level tub clad almost entirely in black and white marble.
In this bathroom designed by KitchenLab Interiors, undertones of taupe are energized by graphic tiled floors with black and white accents.
A predominantly black and white palette can be a low-risk way to incorporate an all-over floral wallpaper, as shown in this charming bathroom designed by KitchenLab Interiors.
For this intriguing bath, KitchenLab Interiors adopted a black and white palette to ensure that a variety of shapes, textures and global influences unfold without a hitch.
Welcome on the beach
For a bathroom in a Montana ranch home, Kir Architectural Interiors’ company Koo uses black and white tile around the shower to create a sophisticated yet rustic vibe.
A friendly shade of magenta provides a high-powered contrast to the black and white marble of this ultra-chic tub by designer Lisa Gilmore.
The writing is on the wall
Limiting your palette to black and white gives you the rare opportunity to merge contrasting wall coverings with little risk. For this vibrant bath, the firm Liz Caan & Co. cleverly juxtaposes the trellis marble with the wallpaper covered with prints.
When it comes to black and white, Fornasetti is always a good idea, as it is showcased in this exceptional tub designed by Liz Caan & Co.
A dreamy black and white wall mural, rococo mirror, clawfoot tub, and black and white penny tiles give this Maureen Stevens Design designed tub a positively enchanted look.
Black and white can be a great way to incorporate quirky pieces into a bathtub, as exemplified by this evocative bathtub designed by Michael Del Piero Good Design.
When working with black walls and white fixtures, consider light sources that cast a gas lamp-like glow. As Michael K. Chen Architecture shows in this beautiful bathtub, the effect can be downright spellbinding.
A black and white Escher-style wallpaper and a powder blue vanity give this bathroom designed by the firm Pappas Miron a playful and chic allure.
A modernist blue mirror says it all in this otherwise strictly black and white bathtub designed by Pappas Miron.
Cool and collected
In this classic bathtub designed by Paul Corrie, black and white provide a neutral backdrop for a menagerie of collected treasures.
Gold turns out to be a powerful accent color in this striking black and white bathroom designed by the Sherwood Kypreos firm.
This elegant retreat designed by Spencer & Wedekind makes a strong case for using black and white photography as a springboard for a primary bath.
Black and white is the perfect complement to industrial accents in this Denver loft tub designed by Studio Gild.
Back to the roots
From the shower head to the plumbing in the sink, everything about this studio-designed tub of CAK adheres to a striking black and white palette.
For a modernist tub, designer Scott Sanders chose to use black and white color blocks to create a dramatic effect.
Now and Zen
Designer Sean Anderson decided to contrast modern finishes with antique elements in this mesmerizing tub.
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