What Colors Go With Black & White Tiles?

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Bold. Dramatic. Graphic. Retro. Classic. All are terms that have been used to describe the quintessential black-and-white tile floor. The checkerboard may be the first pattern that comes to mind, but layouts expand to variations on the black-and-white tile theme, such as patterned quatrefoil, large chevrons and other geometric designs.

With such a statement-making floor, you might feel limited to using color palettes with only shades of white, gray and black. Monochromatic is always in style, but feel free to step outside the proverbial design box. Stylistically, black and white crosses all borders: traditional, contemporary even eclectic. The only constraints are budget and imagination.

Glam Homecoming

Paint the walls, baseboard and crown molding in aquamarine in a high lacquer finish, allowing the door trim to stand out in bright white. Make doors pop by upholstering the interior side in raspberry velvet and highlighting architectural details with silver studs. Hang a mirror, surrounded with a mirrored frame, and a sparkly chandelier. Choose at least one vibrant, abstract print with a black frame, hung gallery style. If the foyer is sufficiently large, include a bench with Lucite legs, upholstered in a textural diamond print that incorporates aquamarine, raspberry, and either black or white.

Emerald City

Play with shades of emerald green, gold, gray, white and black, starting with a large-scale floral vine print wallpaper on a white ground. Place a tall, wide framed mirror against a wall, catty-cornered to a window, and layer a delicate console table in front of the mirror. Apply gold leaf to showood -- the exposed wood on an upholstered piece of furniture -- on accent chairs to complement a simple textile pattern of green squares with hints of black and gold for a slightly three-dimensional effect. Stick with a stripe in white, emerald, black and light gray on the sofa.

Animalize

A red leather sectional or deep sofa provides ample seating and contrasts nicely with the black-and-white tile. Consider a large framed animal print or wall mural behind the sofa. Layer a zebra rug over the tile and introduce playful accent chairs with a black front, red piping, and a snow leopard print back. Beef up the room's moldings and paint them glossy black. Accessorize with a faux fur throw in a caramel tone on the sofa, painting the walls in a slightly lighter shade. Be playful with lighting, selecting fixtures that incorporate faux ivory or tusks. Add at least one tall leafy plant or tree to soften the room.

A Pop of Ikat

Create a seating area with four comfortable armchairs upholstered in an embroidered Ikat fabric in shades of vanilla, spring green, medium blue-gray, dark blue-green and gray-brown. Paint any showood in the same blue-green and place the chairs around a round gray-brown ottoman with blue-green piping. Continue the spring green tone onto the walls and vanilla onto the trim. Decorate the windows with raw silk draperies in blue-gray with a complementary dark blue-green horizontal band along the bottom 18 inches.

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