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Black and White Rugs, Timeless Classics


Think tuxedo. There's nothing more elegant or dramatic or clean and crisp than black and white. George Clooney looks great in any attire, but put him in a tux and he's a movie star! You dress a room like you dress a person. You 'turn out" a room, create the aura, personality of the room by how you put it together.


Black and white rugs give the room a wonderfully bold, authentically graphic appeal. They create a classic elegance that is always fresh.


When designing a room, we often use black and white elements to add dimension and drama to the decor. To include a black and white stripe, or a black and white buffalo plaid, or a traditional French toile can often give structure to all the other colors, patterns, and textures in the room. To incorporate a black and white note in the room tends to act as a stabilizer and it anchors all the other elements. It can be pattern or solid blocks of color.


A black and white rug can be an animal skin pattern, such as zebra or tiger, or it can be a stripe, a checkerboard pattern, a tweedy look (berber), a toile, or a linear drawing that is actually woven. It can be calligraphic, such as hand writing. How interesting and whimsical is that! There are so many interpretations of black and white themes, all of them appealing and decorative, all of them distinctive.


Black and white rugs are very versatile and can be used in many different kinds of settings. Contemporary interiors often combine black and white rugs and other furnishings with brightly colored lacquered furniture, smooth metals, patent leather, woven textures and ceramics. Casual traditional settings, such as country French use black and white pattern quite often to offset other patterns and colors. Black and white toiles and mattress ticking stripes, and gingham checks are often used in country French settings.


We love the look of a black and white striped rug because it tends to organize and give structure to the room. That's why designers often go for zebra pattern which is always chic and never seems to go out of style. I'm an animal lover, so I would never use the actual skin, but the printed or woven counterpart is absolutely fine by me.


If your decorating preference is for a stark black and white look, go for it!  But be careful that your room doesn't come off "cold looking". I would warm it up a bit by introducing a spot of color, even if it's a neutral, such as a warm gray or beige. It could be a stunning way to go, and very sophisticated.  I would suggest not going with an optic white on walls and woodwork, or even fabrics, but rather choose a livelier white, such as ivory or linen. Benjamin Moore’s Navajo white is a great paint color. Don't worry. It still registers white, but it radiates more warmth and liveliness.


Black and white rugs can be used beautifully in a contemporary setting. Also great in a retro setting that looks very '50's mod. The "new" retro combines black and white with fuschia, orange (very 60's), yellow, and/or turquoise. Black and white rugs can be used effectively in traditional settings that incorporate woven textures, traditional prints, and solid colors. 


Whatever look you want to create in your home, be sure to make it 100% "you". Your surroundings should always be an expression of who you are. Your designer is a skilled professional with experience, talent and taste. Your designer has the skill to bring it all together for you. Ultimately, the home should reflect the people living in it. That's the way to make your living quarters "home".


Select a beautiful black and white rug and design your imaginative and fabulous room.



Joan Saloomey


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