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Interior glow up: White and Charcoal colour scheme

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Ed Hawes
charcoal sofa

White and charcoal are the most versatile of colour schemes. Two shades that go as well with each other as they do with every colour. That’s why, it’s a perfect colour palette for your home.  

Generally when it comes to using charcoal and white as the colour scheme for your home there are a couple of considerations to make: 

  • Lighting: use warm lighting to help soften the contrast between charcoal and white. Make sure the lighting has intent with floor lights, gallery lamps, side table lamps.  
  • Add pops of colour: white and charcoal is a beautiful yet monochrome colour scheme. Use wall art, plants and soft furnishings to add colour and personality to the interior. 
  • Consider texture and depth: to guarantee that the colour scheme will work, use texture with soft furnishings and fabrics. Velvet, chenille and boucle fabrics are the perfect example of this. 

In this article, we look at how you can incorporate white and charcoal into your home by breaking it down by living room, bedroom and kitchen.  

Living room 

The living room is arguably the centre of the home, it’s where we socialise, relax and entertain. From an interior design perspective, it’s an important room to get right. With a charcoal and white colour palette, the living room can highlight many interior styles – from Scandinavian modern to minimalist, contemporary to Japandi-esc. There are a number of colour ways that can be used with charcoal and white – but whatever you choose, it’s guaranteed to create the living room you desire. 

velvet charcoal sofa

Contrasting a charcoal sofa with a white or off-white walls will make sure the charcoal sofa is a statement piece, creating focus and interest to the room. To add a touch of accent, place a large area rug at the room’s centre  – Swyft’s cream Ives rug might work. Use patterned or light coloured cushions on the sofa to help balance the colour palette. And, finally, a wooden black coffee table will help bring the elements together. 

If you’d like to create a statement wall, use charcoal as your base colour and paint the remaining walls a light grey or off-white. An ivory boucle sofa will look perfect in this setting – it will help balance the room, create interest and a focal point. Boucle fabric has a beautiful texture due to its looped yarn. It also has a luxury look and feel that promotes a sophisticated aesthetic. In this room set, clean straight lines are a must. Again, a wooden black coffee table and side tables that are simplistic in style and functional in design – a guaranteed clean, sophisticated interior. To offset the ivory boucle sofa, add neutral cushions – mixing textures is currently on–trend, so don’t be afraid to add velvet or linen cushions.  

Again, use a neutral grey, charcoal or off-white rug to bring the colour scheme together. A boucle sofa leans heavily towards a contemporary and minimalist interior. Therefore make sure the room layout is clean with plenty of space for high traffic areas. Think: Feng Sui.


The bedroom is a place where we relax and unwind.  That means, the boudoir needs to reflect how it's used. Applying a white and charcoal colour scheme is the perfect way to create a serene environment.  

Start with the bedding: crisp white sheets topped with a charcoal duvet is a great way to introduce this colour scheme. In terms of furniture, the bed should be the primary focus. Use an upholstered bed with a charcoal headboard – like Swyft’s upholstered bed and curved headboard. Against off-white walls, this type of bed will centre the room whilst creating a focal point. Velvet charcoal is a subtly soft texture, an ideal way to exaggerate a serene, sophisticated style. To contrast and, or add further texture, a boucle fabric armchair can be placed in the corner of the room and used as a dressing area or space to relax. 

To create the ultimate bedroom statement piece, use boucle fabric for a headboard that oozes sophistication and introduces a beautiful texture to the room. The ultimate serene sleeping environment. 

With white walls, choosing either white or charcoal side tables and wardrobes will create a striking interior. However, if the room uses charcoal heavily throughout, we’d recommend going with white side tables and wardrobes.  

Depending on what bed style you choose, a charcoal statement wall with a striking cream, off-white patterned piece of wall art – Swyft’s BLK Abstract might do the job – and will be the art of sophistication. Adding a mirror to the bedroom should come as a given – it’ll make the room feel bigger, lighter and fresher. For more texture, warmth and to create a cosy environment, add a thick weave rug at the end of the bed.


There’s only one way to create a kitchen with a white and charcoal colour palette – white or off-white cabinets and a charcoal countertop. An entire kitchen lined with charcoal cabinets might be too dark – although a white, marble countertop would be lux, a guaranteed talking point. 

White cabinets can be contrasted with black or charcoal appliances and charcoal kitchen back-splash tiles. Kitchen tiles and appliances will create a focal point and interest. Charcoal slate flooring tiles would add further interest to the kitchen and help hide any stains or spills.   

What colour goes with charcoal?

As we mentioned above, charcoal is an extremely versatile colour that can be paired with most tones. In terms of neutrals, we’d say pair with white, off-white, cream, black and grey. For cool tones, you can pair it with blues, greens, and teal. If you’re looking for a more retro style, head for brown, terracotta and olive greens. For a pastel interior look to incorporate light yellow, sweet embrace and lavender. Or to create a warm home decor, pair with reds, coral and gold. 

white and charcoal living room

What colours go best with white? 

This might be obvious, but white is probably the most versatile colour you can work with. For neutral interiors, again black, grey or creams. If you want a pastel environment, look at baby blue, sage green and pinks. For an earthy tone that reflects a retro home decor, look at browns, terracotta and olive greens. Warm colours, look at red, orange and yellow. Or to build an interior with cool colours try to incorporate blue, purple and green.

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