The style is clear, in black and white

DESIGN LINE

June 25, 1995|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

I always enjoy writing short essays on the use of color, even though they may be hard to visualize when the accompanying photos are in black and white. We'll have an easier time of it with this column, however, since I've chosen to write about one of

my favorite color schemes: black and white with a one-color accent.

Black and white, with an accent of either yellow or red, could be seen in many high-style interiors of the 1950s and 1960s. This was partly a reaction against contemporary design trends and the more cloying period looks at that time. Today, the same straightforward color combination stands in sharp contrast to the gauzy Southwestern scheme that's made its way into East Coast high-rise apartments.

Of course the look is being reinvented in its latest incarnation. Notice how cleverly it's been applied in the photo of a narrow butler's pantry that's been converted into a bar area. All the cabinets here were lacquered white, while the black plastic laminate tops are edged with light chrome. The window covering is a black-and-white striped fabric shade with a black fringe similar to the one added to the black-lacquered bentwood chair. The tea trolley is also lacquered in black. Golden accents are scattered around the room.

The designer made the brilliant decision to use a black-and-white toile wallpaper that depicts engravings of French pastoral scenes. Rounding off this smart design is a floor covering of small black diamonds against a white background. This selection from the Mannington "Quicksilver" collection is exactly what's needed to pull the whole composition together.

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