Interior design

Furnishing with contrasting colors – A house extension in Australia as an example of a successful color combination

set up with contrasting colors example color combination black white light wood green gray

The Australian architecture firm Taylor Knights recently completed the project for an extension to an existing bungalow house in Melbourne, Australia. The 50 m² house extension was intended to restore the relationship between the house and the lush garden and to accommodate the common rooms. That is why the homeowners – a creative couple with children – opted for an open living space that overlooks the garden. Another requirement of the builders was to display their large collection of works of art and books in the new living space.

With these wishes in mind, the architects have designed a modern interior that is a good example of furnishing with contrasting colors. They complemented the classic combination of black and white with gray, a light wood tone and green as an accent. Read more about the Brunswick West House project in the article!

Furnishing with contrasting colors – the classic color duo of black and white

set up contrasting colors artwork wassily kandinsky inspiration

Black and white is a timeless combination that cuts a particularly good figure in interior design. The noble contrast looks extremely modern and captivates with a very special elegance. Contrasts create tension in the interior and can be interpreted in different ways. The combination of light and dark, new and old or modern and rustic also ensures a high-contrast design.

Contrasts play a major role at Brunswick West House. On the one hand, the white brick walls contrast with the ceiling made of black-lacquered wood. Part of the interior walls and the furnishings in the kitchen are also black, which creates a dramatic effect. A contrast between different materials and surfaces is also present. An example of this is the rough surface of the brick walls that meets the polished flooring.

Artwork by Wassily Kandinsky as inspiration for the color palette in the interior

example furnishing with contrasting colors white brick wall black ceiling wall

Accents are also desirable when furnishing with contrasting colors. They soften the excessive contrast and give the interior an interesting touch. For this project, the architects took inspiration from the homeowners’ favorite work of art. It is the abstract picture Upward by the artist Wassily Kandinsky. Both the color palette and some shapes in the interior are based on the well-known work of art. A copy hangs in the new living room on the black wall right next to the front door.

modern furnishings contrasting colors black white gray

The floor covering in the extension is a polished green screed, which is “speckled” with small pieces of bluestone. The green color is due to the background of Kandinsky’s work and also harmonizes perfectly with the view through the window.

The whole facade facing the garden is designed with wide windows. Thanks to this glazing, there is no lack of daylight in the living room. In this way, the dramatic effect of black can still be softened a bit and a harmonious overall picture is created.

Elements made of light wood provide warmth

Set up with contrasting colors white brick wall black ceiling window triangular

When setting up with contrasting colors, the color combination black and white should be used with caution. Both colors are monochrome and would look cool on their own in the interior. In the example, the classic color duo is supplemented by elements in light wood, which give a feeling of warmth. Light wood can be found several times in the interior: the entrance door, the window frames, the table and chairs in the dining area and some of the storage furniture such as the kitchen wall units and sideboards give the room a warm note. The window seat, which is the perfect place in the room to relax or read, was made from the same wood.

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The role of light wood in the interior design of this home is two-sided. On the one hand, it provides more warmth in the interior and, on the other hand, it contrasts with the black wood that is used to clad the ceiling. The interplay between the two types of wood comes into its own in the kitchen, where the light wooden wall unit meets the dark ceiling.

Modern fitted kitchen in black and white

furnishing with contrasting colors house extension kitchen dining area black white light wood

The combination of the two best-known contrasting colors also characterizes the design of the kitchen. The white brick wall successfully sets the scene for the matt kitchen fronts in black and the small stainless steel tiled mirror reflects the light. Large kitchen appliances such as the refrigerator are masked as black cabinets so as not to intrude into the modern interior design. The large use of black in this area is mitigated by a skylight.

Furnish kitchen fronts with contrasting black walls

The architects have designed a separate area for the owners’ large book collection, where the books can be tidily stored. Black and white are again used as the colors for the bookshelf, with black shelves attached to a white wall.

A cozy living space for the whole family

contrast black and white set up tips green floor

The idea behind the new living space in the extension was to create a cozy common room where the family cooks, eats and relaxes together. The private rooms such as bedrooms and bathrooms remain in the old part of the house. In order to be able to better protect the privacy of the residents, the architects designed a new entrance to the house by converting the ivy-planted side path. The new front door invites residents and their guests directly into the modern living space.

A look at the facade and the garden

house cultivation design contrasting colors black and white garden

The rear facade of the house extension, which leads to the garden, is almost completely glazed and has the same color combination of black, white and light wood. Homeowners can sit outside on the small terrace and enjoy the beautiful weather in summer.

project australia brunswick west house extension white brick walls black roof

Project by: Taylor Knights Architects

Photos: Tom Blachford