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A Love for Black and White


I was looking through the houses that I have pinned on my Pinterest boards and noticed that I had a trend going on ….white houses with some kind of  black accent – either shutters, the front door, or the roof. And it wasn’t just once.  It was over and over again. (Can you believe that house above is modular?)

Do you find that there is often a trend in the things that you are drawn to –  something that recurs over and over again?

I think that is one really beneficial thing about Pinterest.  It allows you to accumulate images and then see similarities between them that you might not have otherwise noticed.  If you are building a home or renovating a space, this would be very helpful.  Not only did I notice that in my Exteriors board there were numerous white houses…

but in some of my other boards the use of black and white showed up more than once.  I thought this next one had an unusual combination (but still black and white.)

And the combination continued in these…just a little differently.  How about a black house with white trim?

This is my favorite of

Then of course there are the interiors with all their black and white goodness.  I have loved this kitchen with its unique ceiling treatment for a long time… and the fact that it is in Nantucket doesn’t hurt either. 🙂

And … I have thought about painting my island black as a contrast to the other cabinetry in the kitchen but have not gotten quite brave enough to do it yet.

This dining “room” is in a very small home where they utilized the wide space of the entry hall.  I like how the area looks elegant and simple at the same time thanks to the use of few accessories plus the classic look of the black and white together.

And then of course, there is my addiction to black and white checked fabric (kind of obvious if you have looked at the rooms in my house, isn’t it?)  The drapes in this room would fit right in here.

I would love to have this chair for the room we are trying to finish over our garage.

And last, but certainly not least, here is a room that is not afraid to use every drop of black and white loveliness that it can find!  Too much for you?


Yes, I am hopelessly addicted to black and white.  Do you have a color or perhaps an accessory addiction that keeps showing up in your home (or on your Pinterest boards?)

We’d love to hear about it!


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Lisa - October 20, 2015 - 11:08 pm

Hi Kelly!
I just found your website while searching on all things “Blackberry Farm”! We are actually staying there right now and several of the photos from your terrific post are from the cottage we are staying in! SO much fun!!!!
Anyway, I just had to comment on this wonderful post. I, too, am a HUGE fan of black and white. I adore white houses and am trying to convince my husband to let me build another white farm house on some land I am looking at in Cashiers, North Carolina. We have a wonderful white home in an area of horse farms north of Atlanta. My love of black and white began while we were building that home over twenty years ago and my husband let me buy my first Aga stove. “She” is white with the traditional black top and pipe. She is the heart of our home and the centerpiece of the large country kitchen. Her colors set the tone for our home and I have continued it in touches throughout the house. Even after all these years I never tire of it. I think the fact that so many colors pop beautifully against it if you want to change things around for different seasons, but it can also be soothing and more spare and contemporary if you need that.
Well, I just wanted you to know that you have another fan who is a house lover, an artist and a “frustrated architect”!
Most fondly,
You lucky lucky girl!! I bet Blackberry Farm is absolutely gorgeous at this time of year. And lucky to have land in Cashiers. I am trying to talk my husband into building either there, in Highlands, or in Blowing Rock. (Haven’t have much success with that. 🙁 ) Good luck with your future building project. I know you will want an Aga in that next one as well. 🙂

[…] over at Talk of the House recently shared this room, furnished with black and white checked everything.  I love this room […]

Wanda - January 19, 2013 - 10:58 am

Absolutely love black and white! I throw in a shade of blue that is dear to my heart to break up the pattern.

We know we are sisters in decor, Ms Kelly!
Wanda – I do believe you are right about us being decorating sisters! I also like a dose of blue mixed in with the black and white too. 🙂

Stacey - January 19, 2013 - 9:36 am

My favorite is definitely red and white. The combination shows up time and time again on my Pinterest boards and the pages I’ve torn from magazines. I’ve been decorating with various shades of red for a long, long time and don’t see it changing.

Right now I’m trying to figure out where to work in some big buffalo checks.
Stacey – I love red and white too. I used a lot of it in our former dining room, red checked drapes in the kitchen (now hanging in daughter’s room)…and now our sofa is red. What I never had was a red and white quilt. I know that would look good somewhere. And big red and white buffalo checks are beautiful! I hope you find a place to use that fabric.

Anne Boykin - January 18, 2013 - 6:25 am

Hi Kelly, Oh how I love black & white! I live in a white house with black shutters and there’s black in every room of my house. Those checked curtains are fabulous. And to answer your question … no the room with the black and white checks everywhere isn’t too much! Thanks for your lovely blog.
Ann – I just love a white house with black shutters! (And I believe we have very similar tastes.:)) Thank you for reading the post AND for leaving your sweet words about the blog.

Garden, Home and Party - January 17, 2013 - 10:19 pm

I love black and white…you’ve shared some amazing images. Once again, I share your enthusiasm for the final image. I too gravitate towards white houses with black shutters, I have some of the houses you’ve posted in my “favorites” at Pinterest. Don’t you just love Pinterest?
Enjoy your weekend.
Karen – Pinterest can be quite addicting! But I do love that it can help you see some continuity in the things you like if you study your choices. That last picture was an overdose on black and white, but I could certainly make myself at home in that room. Couldn’t you?

Dawn - January 17, 2013 - 9:38 pm


My go to colors are green and black. They show up in every room of our home. I love them both. I have seen lots of posts where people are painting their interior doors black but leaving the trim white and I like but I am not brave enough (yet) to give it a go. We are finishing our basement so maybe down there I could give it a try. What is the room above your garage going to be?
Dawn – Well I am glad to know I am not alone in having a color addiction! LOL I have seen some real good looking black doors, but I know I won’t be doing that here…maybe our next house. Your question about what the room above the garage is going to be is the million dollar question! It will have a mini kitchen and a little bathroom (plus a decent size space.) My husband wants it for his office. I want it for MY office. My son thinks it should be a guest (his) apartment. We will just have to draw straws I guess!

Rose L - January 17, 2013 - 8:42 pm

When it comes to house colors I don’t think I really have a favorite. Mine home in town is stucco and they don’t make the right shade of yellow colorant so I just had to white wash mine this summer. My trim is white too though I have purchased a lovely apple-y green paint to try on the trim but I’m not sure I’ll use it.

I love checks of almost any color and love the black and white in pictures whether it’s curtains or furniture that is is wearing it. I’d like to change things to add more black and white but I realize that most of my things are navy/cream and touches of barn red. I’m too old to start collecting all over again so I’m trying out some other accent colors to mix things up a bit right now.

Have a great weekend!
Rose – The house across the street from our former home was a “creamish” white with apple green trim. It was very cute, and looked inviting – especially their front door. Another fan of checks! Smart decision to change things up by mixing in new accent colors and use what you have. That’s why I don’t do “radical” changes here. It would take quite a while (and too much money) to start a totally new color scheme.

Lindy James - January 17, 2013 - 8:29 pm

Hey Kelly, How ironic that your blog would be about black and white interiors and exteriors. Not only did I recently paint our front doors black thinking it would be a quick fix, but now I like them so much will not be replacing them anytime soon, but also have decided when our kitchen remodel begins, hopefully sooner than later, that I am going with white cabinets and a black island! There is definitely something very classic about the black/white combination. I am really enjoying reading your blog and look forward to each one, keep up the good work, take care, Lindy
Lindy – Great minds think alike! I hope your kitchen remodel gets started AND gets done quickly. Thank you for reading and leaving your kind words here.

Gretchen - January 17, 2013 - 8:19 pm

I love this post! I, too, love white houses with black shutters… I want to pin every picture on this post!
Gretchen – Thank you for reading the post! So glad you liked it. You go right ahead and put all the pictures you want on Pinterest! The more the merrier.:)

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - January 17, 2013 - 8:09 pm

So many gorgeous houses…..I love the black and white…but then when I start to re-do a room….I tend to go with color…I think that the walls should be neutral…and then I take the plunge and go with “color”…Black and white are just so classic….whether traditional or contemporary…you can’t miss with that color scheme…I love the black and white combo in the kitchen…Have a wonderful weekend!
Shirley – I agree with you. I have to have my color, too. I just throw it on top of the black and white! 🙂 In fact, if I had a white house with black shutters, I would paint that front door either red or yellow. I don’t think pure black and white alone has enough “warmth,” but they are a great classic base to build on. And you are right again. It works for both traditional and contemporary.

House Crazy Sarah - January 17, 2013 - 7:44 pm

No way that first house is a modular!!!
The black and white color scheme is visually appealing, but I think if I went through a whole house with ONLY black and white, I might start having some vision problems.
Sarah – Yep. The article said it was modular from a line of houses called Pennywise Homes. They had a number of very cute choices. I laughed at your comment about vision problems! You are right. Perhaps that is why I have a punch of another color in practically every room here with all my black and white. I have enough vision problems without adding to it with all the black and white! (When you wear contacts AND glasses at the same time, that is pretty bad, right?!)

Judy - January 17, 2013 - 7:31 pm

well my friend, you KNOW you had me at black & white! i think your island would look gorgeous painted (& distressed a little) black…and don’t be afraid, i know it would look fabulous!

i love that first house and can’t believe it’s a modular home…and the third one with the dog on the porch…to die for!

also the black & white chair is wonderful…what a statement piece for any room.

did you get my e-mail i sent on tuesday (I think) where i attached some photos of rugs? for some reason my e-mails look like they were coming from an “elisha collier” but i’ve fixed that now. if you get a chance to look at them, i’d love to know what you think.

brrrr, it’s so cold here today/tonight but we have a fire going and i’m in my comfy sweats and “old lady houseshoes” so i’m all set for the night.

stay warm!
Judy – You should click on the link to that little house. They had a number of plans that looked great, and they wrote about using “quality” over “quantity” in building them. I like their philosophy. Thanks for the vote of confidence on painting the island!
Sent you back some rug ideas tonight. Good luck with your choice!

Patty from Michigan - January 17, 2013 - 7:21 pm

Kelly, green and gingham! Love the last picture what a great chair right! So you’re thinking about painting your island in your kitchen. I bet that would look great. Maybe you could cover it with some black paper to get an idea of what it might look like?! I don’t know just a thought. I am in the process of hanging pictures above my bed in our master bedroom. I traced the pictures onto paper and am taping the paper on the wall to see how I want to arrange them. Therefore, I don’t have to patch holes if I change my mind. Just an idea! All the best to you my blog friend 🙂 patty in cooooold Michigan!
Patty – What a good idea to wrap it in black paper to test out the color! I think I will do that. I am just worried about it looking like a “dark hole” in the middle of the kitchen (especially since I am such a “light freak.”) I hope you get all your pictures hung. I am awful about making a zillion holes in the wall, so you are a much more responsible “picture hanger” than I am. 🙂 Stay warm…they are predicting a few snow flurries here tonight…yes, after yesterday’s 75 degree weather.

Arlene@Nanaland - January 17, 2013 - 7:19 pm

Kelly, we must be secret sisters!! My favorite houses are white houses with black shutters and red front doors. When we were in Vermont, I noticed that this was a popular look in the villages there. And I think every room needs some black to ‘ground’ it!!
Arlene – Most definitely secret sisters! Our former house was white with black shutters. I would love Vermont if that is their popular style! And I agree with you about every room needing some touch of black in it. It is a common thread between all the rooms in this house. Thanks for reading and adding to the conversation here tonight!

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