How to Soften a Black and White Space + Small Space Dining

Small space dining room in classic black and white that leans to the softer side

Classic black and white is a neutral combination that will probably never go out of style, because it’s so easy to reinterpret and add current trends to.

It is a high contrast look, though, and there are times when it may feel a little too much for everyday spaces – especially if they’re small.

So today we’re sharing some easy-to-copy ideas from this inspiring small space dining room that will help soften any black and white space and make it more inviting.

1. Mix warmth in.

To counterbalance the crisp, cool tones of the white walls and framed art on the server in this dining room, we used warmer tones in the canvas art and rug.

Black and white small space dining - a mix of cool and warm whites, soft finishes and accents colors

And subtle, but effective, hue changes in the dishes and books add another, slightly warmer, layer of white.

Bright idea – Mix in whites that are warmer than the most dominant white in your space for warmth, depth, and dimension.

2. Lighten up.

Lighter woods are trending, and we loved the light, natural look of the wood floors and maple table top in this room.

3. Softer finishes.

No sheen on the floor and opting for furniture in a low-sheen onyx stain in this dining room both definitely lend to a calmer, softer feel than high gloss finishes would.

4. Texture.

Whether it’s black and white, or any other neutral scheme, layering in texture is always key.

In this case, the natural fiber rug is the most dominant burst of touchable texture in the space, and it goes a long way in cozying up the look.

Small space dining in soft black and white color scheme
SHOP THE LOOK:   table | chairs | server (art/rug/accessories – stores only)

5. Mellow accent colors.

Bold colors can be fun in a black and white space, but they will add more contrast and energy.

If calm is what you’re going for, choose soft pastels or earthy, grayed down colors (like the mossy green in the rug and artwork) for a low-contrast look.

6. Aged accents.

Bright and shiny metals will obviously work in a black and white space, but they won’t give the same warmth and character that aged, distressed metals will.

Like that rustic metal pendant light, for example. Simple, but so much personality and warmth!

black and white dining - layered accessories, pastels and grayed-down color, and texture

7. Plants and greenery.

Plants and greenery are an absolutely sure way to add life and a natural, organic quality to any room.

In this room the faux plant on the table, along with botanical art, weave life into the design.

Small Space Dining

Not only was this room a great example of how to soften a black and white space, but the Sterling dining collection is also a great option for small space dining.

The round shape makes it easy to move around, and the scale is perfect for a small space (it does comes with 2 leaves, however, if you’re considering it for a larger room).

Do you decorate with black and white? What’s your favorite tip?

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