5 Ways to Warm Up a Black & White Color Scheme for Summer (or Any Time of Year!) 

The traditional black and white color scheme is as popular as ever, and being incredibly versatile, it provides a timeless yet universal background on which to build. Today, black and white color schemes are less stark and exude a warmth that's embracing and eye-catching at once. Determining your central color theme also removes common design barriers like "decision fatigue" (yes, it's a real thing), so you don't end up spinning about the perfect palette – and also allows you to update it seasonally to mix up the vibe so you can quell your commitment issues at the same time!

Designer Eche Martinez uses Grout, green and black accents for a modern palette

Here are some ways to modernize and warm up this popular, classic color combination:

1. Play with Pattern

An easy way to enhance the contrast of a black and white color palette is to play with pattern and color. Wallpapers are gaining in popularity and being used in unexpected ways–for accent walls, small spaces, and the interior of bookshelves. What better way to add color and interest and express your personality? Check out the creative designs from one of our favorite companies, Milton & King. They pair perfectly with C2 Paint colors! 

 2. Choose Nuanced Colors 

If you want to soften the look of black and white (which often features a pure black and bright white), try colors with warmer undertones like near-blacks and off-whites. For example, you can create a similar effect and contrast with dark tones like C2 Stout, C2 Vault, or C2 Jabberwocky. Since all C2 Paint colors are made with a unique full-spectrum formula, finely ground pigments, and multiple colorants, they reflect the full range of natural light, keeping even the darkest tones from looking dull and oversaturated. 

3. Introduce Natural Elements 

 Make black and white more approachable by grounding it with natural accessories like woods, woven materials like rattan, and sustainable materials like concrete. Natural surfaces pair perfectly with loads of greenery and/or bright florals or even a bowl of fruit (we love lemons, limes, artichokes, and pomegranates). The fruit with the most color wins!

4. Get Creative with Your Contrast Color

Designer Tineke Triggs paired C2- Whistler White with emerald green and metallic for this modern bathroom.

The sky is the limit when adding accent colors to a black and white palette. Here are some of our favorites that will add a burst of energy while maintaining a high level of sophistication! C2-Pyramid, C2-Nightspot, or C2-Roasted Tomato

The sky is the limit when adding accent colors to a black and white palette.

5. Try Unexpected Color Placements 

Image via @dominomag

Using accent colors or patterns in unexpected places adds an immediate wow factor. Try these ideas:

  • Apply wallpaper or accent paint color to the ceiling of the powder room 
  • Paint 80% of your wall black (not reaching to the top) to add a unique perspective
  • Paint the inside of your front door a bright color 
  • Use black for the trim and doors to offset soft, white walls for instant elegance   


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