BLACK AND WHITE ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY
Black and white art gives an incredible amount of freedom when decorating your home. You can pair black and white pieces with nearly any other type of art and, and they look good regardless of how you hang them. Black and white art has never been questioned, but black and white photography was expected to die off.
Many believed that black and white photography would cease to exist after the invention of color film in the 1970’s Color photography became popular among the public, and black and white film sales declined. It was predicted that black-and-white photography would cease to exist but turned out to be unfounded.
In most cases color photography reveals the actuality and has the ability to communicate the subject more straightforwardly. It can appear to be more accurate, descriptive and informative with regard to how the subject matter is conveyed, especially when the color used in the photograph matches the color in reality. It is an undeniable fact that color (or the absence of color) plays a significant role in how we see and perceive things. Since we have to use our own imagination, experience and knowledge to see color in black-and-white, we interpret things differently. According to Elliott Erwitt, “Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.”
Human eyesight responds to brightness and differences in colors and is extremely sensitive to green, yellow and red. Without the use of color, viewers are likely to focus more on the subject matter and the emotional response it creates, making them stop to look closer and longer.
“I don’t keep color pictures for my ‘personal exposures.’ Color is for work. My life is already too complicated, so I stick to black-and-white. It’s enough. Black-and-white is what you boil down to get the essentials; it’s much more difficult to get right. Color works best for information."
Black-and-white photographs emphasize subjects, light, shade and outlines. Instead of seeing the real life image in color, you see different intensities of shades, where one thing is highlighted and another is overlaying. This opens the piece to interpretation by the viewer. In most cases, you stare longer at a black ad white photograph. It is more emotional, has more layers of depth.
BLACK AND WHITE DECOR
When designing a home, black has gotten a bad rap. People tend to think black is depressing but this is not the case. The reality is that at least a little bit a black is essential in every room. It's dramatic, stylish, and provides a grounding effect that is necessary for every interior. Black has the unique ability to define art, object, rooms and more. Whether you create a sleek and modern room or an elegant and feminine one, black can be whatever you want it to be. It’s the only color that lay claim to this fun feature. Black can be feminine, serious, fun, severe, or romantic. It's all about how you use it.
Using Black as an Accent
We’ve said t's important that every room have just a little bit of black. Here’s the really cool thing about black; it has a grounding effect that gives the eye a place to rest. Your eye will automatically find black objects before it hones in on light and airy colors. If you’ve ever left a retail store and felt tired from all the stimulation, it’s the visual activity of the eye that causes most of that.
How much black should I use? You don't need a lot, just enough to tie things together. A few black picture frames on a wall, a black coffee table, a black tray or vase, or even something as simple as a black pillow. Even better? Do all of these things. It’s always a good idea to use color repetition when decorating. It creates a more unified, well-thought out look.
So, you have many pieces that don’t really go together, or your room just doesn’t mesh. Now what?! If you use black as an accent, it can tie a whole lot of pieces together that otherwise don't mesh. For example, you have a bunch of photos or pieces of art that are different styles and colors. You can make it look attractive and appealing by putting them all in black frames. All those pieces of art and photos now becomes a unit, a collection.
Here’s the Rules for Decorating With Black
If you're decorating with black and white be sure to use a mixture of large, small, and medium scale patterns along with solid black and solid white to create visual interest and depth.
If black is your dominant color (the wall color for example) add some architectural details like crown molding, a picture rail or wainscoting to keep it from looking flat.
Use an accent color in a black room to punch it up and keep it from being too stark. Anything goes. Add a bold pink or orange for excitement, baby blue or green for softness, or try gold or silver for glamorous sophistication (mirrored furniture and crystal accents are also great for that "Hollywood glam" look).
Think of a black room as you would a little black dress. It's a great foundation but you need accessories to give it life. Plan your room as you would an outfit.