A black and white colour scheme can exude drama, elegance and simplicity all at once.
Liz and Vinnie Smith have used this timeless combination throughout their home in St Thomas Estate, Pyes Pa, to great effect – creating an ultra-modern, sophisticated space that feels warm and inviting rather than cold and stark.
“I like the sharp contrast between black and white. It doesn’t date, and a lot of things will go with it,” says Liz.
Black Linea Oblique Weatherboard creates a striking first impression, and is softened by grey stack bond concrete blocks beside the front entranceway.
Small landscaping touches, such as black bark which lines the pathway, hint at the attention to detail that can be found here.
Visitors step inside the white front door to find the exterior cladding has followed them inside. The black vertical weatherboards line one side of the hallway and create a stunning feature wall.
“We’re really proud of that. It ties the inside and out and continues the whole bold, monochromatic look I was after. It provides great texture as well.”
Polished concrete with a salt and pepper finish has been laid throughout this four bedroom home, complemented by soft grey carpet in the bedrooms and main lounge. Sleek black handles, hinges, tapware and light fittings have been installed alongside black aluminium joinery which provide a wonderful contrast to the simple white walls painted in Dulux Okarito.
But not everything is so clear cut.
A wallpapered feature wall in the master bedroom fades upwards through myriad shades of grey and the ensuite’s mis-matched mosaic of black and white tiles leaves you staring in wonder from the threshold.
“It turned out much better than I thought!” Liz admits. “It was one of those trends I had picked up on in magazines, Pinterest, and by watching home renovation shows.”
In the kitchen, a black engineered stone island makes a bold statement and sits opposite a pure white counterpart. All the usual appliances – fridge, dishwasher, microwave – are discretely hidden inside a butler’s pantry which can be closed off behind a black sliding door. The result is an attractive, clutter-free space where friends and family can gather.
Outdoor entertaining is also high on the agenda here with not one but three separate decks to choose from.
A courtyard-style space sits between the kitchen, lounge and master bedroom, with double stacked sliding doors opening onto it from all three rooms. Black wicker furniture and an enormous black suspended sun umbrella ensures the décor perfectly matches the interior colour scheme.
If the weather isn’t ideal, a fully covered deck is situated just off the lounge and has surround sound and radiant heater panels mounted overhead to keep everyone warm.
Black automated blinds have been installed on windows throughout the home and operate via remote control, and a high-tech camera security system keeps a close eye on comings and goings.
The north-facing living areas ensure plenty of sunlight floods the polished concrete floor, adding both visual and physical warmth to the space. A moody black and white photograph of bare trees on a foggy day adds a sophisticated touch, while a black and white cowhide rug sits underneath the industrial-looking concrete dining room table.
Done well, monochromatic colour schemes will always stand the test of time. Liz’s advice is to use accessories and furniture to build texture within the black, grey and white colour palette.
The Smiths partnered with Mike Gadsby from M&M Builders to bring their 229m² ‘black shed’ to life.
“We like to build things that are different to everybody else and this one really appealed to us,” Mike says.
“It’s not just a square box; it’s got real style.”
Liz adds that Mike’s personal touch and team of contractors made the building process easy and drama-free.
“We couldn’t recommend him highly enough.”