OUR CREATIVE DIRECTOR, AMY VAN AARLE, DISHES ABOUT THE DYNAMIC DUO
Tuxedo tones. Piano keys. Zebra stripes. The crisp combination graces every surface imaginable – and we can’t get enough of it. Especially in the home, black and white décor is irrefutably modern. Here, our Creative Director, Amy Van Aarle, tells us just what it is that makes the striking style so chic.
Rue La La: What do you love so much about the classic combo?
Amy: Black and white is the perfect balance of sophistication and simplicity. It’s elemental, a true yin and yang that equals something which always feels fresh and current and luxurious.
Rue La La: When decorating in black and white, do you gravitate towards patterns or solids?
Amy: I definitely like to mix both patterns and solids. For example, in my living room I have black furniture, a white couch, and patterned black and white pillows. I love that it feels right all year round. When it comes to patterns though, I definitely subscribe to the notion that a little dab will do you well.
Rue La La: What type of pattern do you find most striking?
Amy: I’m usually drawn to patterns that feel a little organic or crafted, but a classic black and white stripe is something I simply cannot resist. Any time I see something in black and white stripes it’s like a homing device – I zoom right in and ooh and ahhh over it.
Rue La La: What’s a great complement to a mostly black and white room?
Amy: Kids, dogs, a beautiful view, and a wonderful dinner party. Truly! A room that’s lived in and loved and enjoyed can’t help but be a welcoming and adored place. And black and white will instantly make everyone in it feel and look a little more stylish.
Rue La La: Talk to us about texture – does black and white make you think sleek or richly textured?
Amy: The beauty of black and white is that both approaches to texture work equally well depending on your style. I tend to like rooms that feel more cozy and lived in, so organic textures combined with black and white is right up my alley.
Rue La La: How would you make a mostly black and white room seem bright and cheerful?
Amy: A touch of color and beautiful lighting! For example, in my black and white living room, the walls are painted a warm golden yellow. It gives the room a glow and a backdrop so that the black and white really pop. Warm colors (even just a deep warm grey) or rich warm metallic accents can prevent a black and white room from feeling too sterile.
Rue La La: Alright, time to dish. Tell us your picks from the Boutique.
Amy: Here are my top four:
1. Art Fosters “Eastern Indigo I”
When it comes to choosing art, I believe that the only important thing is that you love it. This print definitely speaks to me – and I have just the spot for this.
2. Howard Elliott Scalloped Mirror
I love mirrors that add a little drama, and they are great for opening up small spaces. The black border on this one has wonderful graphic impact.
3. Nova Lighting “Ripples” Table Lamps
Maybe it’s the Yankee in me, but I’m a sucker for symmetry. A pair of lamps on a long console table is classic and luxurious. And I will take a few lit table lamps in a room over one glaring overhead light any day. Good lighting definitely makes or breaks a room, and is much more flattering to everyone in it!
4. Espalma “Stitches” Towel Set
So, even though I just bought a bunch of towels from our recent Barbara Barry Boutique, I might not be able to resist these lovelies. I just can’t say no to stripes!
Our Rue Style Report: Black & White Boutique opens Tuesday, February 22 at 11AM ET.