Simple & Sophisticated: Black, White and Wood Inspiration

We hear often that many folks are paralyzed about how to start decorating their home. We don't blame you; there are a lot of things to think about/consider/decide. If you've been living in a blank or boring room for too long, what you might need is a narrow set of guidelines to stick to so you can get started. And a limiting but still fabulous palette is just the way to go. Black, white and wood tones might seem too simple, but you'll see that mastering this easy look creates sophisticated spaces (and can be a launch pad for your own tastes!).

The reason to stick to only black and white is easy. It IS easy. You can give yourself those two colors (or non-colors, if you prefer) to stick to (along with a range of gray hues in between), to guide your big purchases all the way to your art and smaller accessories. And because black and white are two basic shades, you can find plenty of products on a budget (as well as DIY materials).

By bringing in warm wood tones of any shade or sort, you balance all that black and white out. You prevent it from becoming too cold, too monotone. You control the feel of the space; light, ashy-colored woods lend a calm, relaxing Scandinavian feel to a space. Dark wood tones add drama to a space.

As mentioned, this is about helping those who feel paralyzed when it comes to starting the design of a space. But even those confident with color might appreciate the sleek and sophisticated looks of these simple spaces:

1. Black and white framed art mingles with gray accessories and gray wall paint, while a strong, medium-toned wood table with a gray top is surrounded by warm, rounded wood chairs. Spotted on My Scandinavian Home, first published on Hitta Hem (styled by Pella Hedeby).

2. White walls, a white wood floor and a powerfully big white hanging light fixture frame a black and wood dining set that anchors the room. Spotted on Elle Decor via Ark Pad.

3. This table setting spotted on CB2 is a potent reminder that this color palette can even be borrowed for small vignettes in your house.

4. Almost all black and white (save for an emerald-green plant) makes this space super serious and sophisticated, but light wood chairs warm the room up. Spotted on Stylizimo.

5. Wayfair has a great an example of an all black and white room with punches of graphic pattern and a bold, rustic wood coffee table tying the whole space together.

And remember: You can start here at black, white and wood tones and then add in colors, patterns and textures as you gain confidence!

What tricks did you use to get over that "paralyzed" feeling when you were first staring at a blank space? Are you a fan of the look of black, white and wood together?

(Image credits: Kristofer Johnsson for JM via My Scandinavian Home; Ark Pad; CB2; Stylizimo; Wayfair)

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Adrienne photographs beautiful homes in and around her home base of Austin, Texas. She's a contributor to UPPERCASE Magazine and spends all her free time exploring small town Texas. She watches a lot of Star Trek.