Design Fundamental: Contrast

Light walls, dark door.


Dark blue walls, basically everything else in the room is white.


These are just two examples of using contrast as a design element. Using contrast in interior design is pretty straightforward. Put two elements in opposition of one another to bring a space to life.

Ways to introduce contrast:

Contrast is one of my favorite elements to use. Just look at our pantry. The teal paint on the white shelf adds just the little bit a “wow” to an otherwise boring space.

Dark furniture adds some interest against the very beige walls in our entryway.


Have you given any thought to contrast throughout your home? I’d love to hear about it or see some pictures.

Design Fundamentals, Home Decor

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  • Anne Veltema

    Do my sage green walls and white fireplace count as contrast? You have a future career in interior design. Best part? You would be spending some else’s money!

    • Emily Stearley

      I say it counts!

  • Sarah

    Very cool pictures.  Love the black/white/tan combo.  Think you could get away with a nice dark navy instead of black too and that would look nice.  Could get a little nautical-ish tho.

    • Emily Stearley

      I love navy and white. You’re right about the nautical…but it can be done without looking like a sailor.