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Think About It Thursday: Why Do We Love Black and White

I don’t know about you, but I love color.  I love pops of blues and greens, maybe sprinkle in some pink.  I envy a room with crisp whites and bundles of colorful joy in little nooks and crannies – just enough to make you swoon.  However, I also am obsessed with the lack of color and all colors combined (i.e. black and white).  What is it with these colors, or I suppose I should call them shades, that makes people go crazy?

I mean, take black and white photography for example.  If The Pioneer Woman says something is great, you better listen, and she says black and white photos are like fries, once you have one, you need to have them all.  Look at some of the finalists from her black and white photography contest.

image thedixiechick on Flickr

Explain to me why a rose is beautiful for its gorgeous color, but can be just as gorgeous (maybe even more so in some way) when it has no color at all.  I don’t understand, but sure enough, I’m swooning just as much as you are looking at this picture.

I guess I can let art slide, because art is supposed to be mysterious and captivating in ways unlike any other, so perhaps it makes sense that black and white are beautiful in art.  But, then I look at rooms like these and am blown away once again, even though there is not a drop of color to be seen, besides maybe a flower or two.

image Channel 4

image Better Homes and Gardens


Homes & Gardens

image Better Homes and Gardens


House to Home

image Country Living

And I will hardly mention the animals that are too darn adorable for their own good…

image The Cat Gallery

image Wikimedia

image My Crazy Fat Piggy Site

So, maybe I’ve gone too far.  The truth is, I love pigs and needed a chance to throw in a cute picture of one (I do love cows and cats, too, don’t get me wrong).

Anyway, I’m sitting here drooling over all these pictures trying to figure out why it is human nature, at least it seems to be in some way, to be drawn to a monochromatic color scheme at times.  I can’t say that I would ever design a completely black and white room, but I do love them.  I think part of why I wouldn’t is solely because I will have kids one day and that means toys which means lots of color.  If only for that reason there will always be color in my home. 

I want your opinion – do you think people like it because it’s timeless?  And if it is timeless, what had made it that way?  Is it because it is clean and easy?  Because it let’s your eyes relax after looking at colors all the time?  Who know – your guess is as good as any, and I’d like to hear them on this Think About It Thursday!

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7 comments to Think About It Thursday: Why Do We Love Black and White?

  • Very interesting to think about! I love black and white photos that are vintage and take me to another time and place. I think in the picture of the rose, I focus more on the texture when looking at it in b & w and it makes me want to touch it and feel how velvety it is. Maybe in the design ones, it lets us focus on the styles, the curves of the furniture instead of getting our minds caught up in color. It also seems clean. It always matches. I think the animals at the end fit in just right! :)

  • Just wanted to stop by and say thanks for dropping by. Great topic for today – it really DID get me thinking. Black and white is timeless, classic, and absolutely 100% neutral. I’m really loving it right now (hence the black and white kitchen remodel under way!) because if you ever want some color and want to totally change the look of a whole room, all you have to do is throw a little paint on the walls (or add some colorful accents). Just imagine how those photos up there would look with a bright splash of aqua on the walls – or even a deep plum. Any color works when you’ve got black and white goin’ on (that’s my reasoning anyways). :) I love the animals at the end, too – they’re cute!

  • Kate

    Black and white is such a clean look, notice that in each home decor photo you posted (but the last) there is a pop of not color, but pattern to catch the eye. I love that! It is also such a classy, classic color combination which generally looks upscale.

    I used to want an entire house decorated in black and white, back when I was in high school. Then I realized the joy of color within interior design.. I am glad to say that these days my apartment has a healthy dose of color!

    Also – I love the animals at the end!

  • I love b/w photograpy as well. I think one of the reasons I like it is that you see the texture on something that you look at all the time, but because of the colour, you don’t notice the details (like the rose). Also I find colour photography, that is put up on wall as art, looks a bit like posters and in my mind the b/w photos look more like originals.

  • Valerie

    I think black and white is classic and the reason it works so well is that it is the ultimate of contrast. Everything is sharp and clear. Black and white photos are great because they allow you to focus on the subject without color influencing the subject. I think it is a calming color pallet also for rooms.

  • Valerie

    P.S. love the pig!

  • I love black & white photos…. specially of remarkable moments & wedding… Love your blog.. and love the black & white bedroom up there.. Its impressive!!

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