How to Decorate in Black & Cream

Written by michael foley
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A black and cream colour scheme is striking and easy to create. The important thing to remember is that black, while dramatic, should be used sparingly or it loses its impact and becomes oppressive. If black must be used for wall paint, it should be limited to one smaller wall; otherwise, it will "shrink" the room and make it look cavelike. The cream colour should dominate as the wall colour and the background of any cream-and-black-patterned fabrics or carpet. Reserve solid black for one piece of furniture, if desired, and for trim and accessories.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Cream paint
  • Cream fabric
  • Black fabric
  • Black fabric trim
  • Black accessories
  • Cream-and-black-patterned fabric
  • Cream-and-black-patterned carpet
  • Black and cream etchings

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  1. 1

    Paint the walls a rich cream colour. If you paint one of the smaller walls black, bear in mind that any solid black item placed against this wall will tend to "disappear."

  2. 2

    Use cream-and-black-patterned carpet installed wall to wall or as an area rug. If using an area rug, the floor can be tiled or painted black. Think twice about black carpeting; although it will not show soil and stains readily, it will show dust, footprints and lint, and has to vacuumed almost daily.

  3. 3

    Upholster the sofa in black fabric and use cream-coloured end tables and coffee table, or, if decorating a bedroom, use a black bedspread with cream nightstands. Accent the black with a cream-and-black-patterned fabric used for throw pillows and smaller upholstered pieces.

  4. 4

    Use the same patterned cream and black fabric for valances or cornices on the windows. Add cream-coloured side panels and tiebacks with black edging or cream-coloured sheers.

  5. 5

    Use black lamps with cream-coloured shades edged in black, or cream-coloured lamps with black shades.

  6. 6

    Use a large black and cream etching or a group of smaller etchings framed in black over the sofa or bed.

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