Tile To Toile: The Fine Art Of Designing In Black And White


Black and white—the positive-negative, innately dramatic, yet effortlessly chic color scheme has continued to fascinate designers for centuries. What is it about this combination that empowers so many unique spaces? Perhaps it’s the punch of sophistication provided by its high-contrast palette that ingratiates it across the landscape of design materials: from toiles, stripes and ginghams; to black leather and white flokati; black-cut velvet to white damask. Nowhere does this complementary contrast play out more beautifully than in tile and stone, where black-and-white come together in veins, swirls and swathes, enhanced by field tile, mosaics and slabs.

bathroom black and white accents tile

Artistic Tile’s Nancy Epstein and Michael Aram, two artists at the top of their respective fields, bring black and white to the apex of design with their Nero and Thassos marble orchid mosaic. Available in a three-dimensional version that captures the unfurling of sculpted Thassos petals against a ground of Nero, and in a flat version, here, that provides a perfect foundation for variations on this theme.

bathroom wood cabinet black white sink tile and wall

Doge Black

In this striking powder room, Artistic Tile’s Doge Black mosaic delivers a stylish rhythm in the flooring of this space. Grand Antique marble tops the vanity, which is set against a wall of Nero marble studded with stainless steel—Artistic Tile’s Stateroom decorative tile.

tuxedo shoes black white tile

Tuxedo Park

A tribute to the graphic energy of the Jazz Age and the eternal style of black-tie evenings, Tuxedo Park is a four-part collection of elongated hexagons—solids in Nero and Thassos, with uniquely detailed options that contrast the two stones within each tile. Think Thassos pinstriping a Nero tile, and vice versa.

green plant black white tile

Ombré Stone

A mosaic that transitions from glittering, white Thassos to richly reflective polished Nero, Ombré Stone shifts between the two contrasting moments on walls, flooring and more. With solid black and solid white “extenders” offered as part of the collection, designers can articulate a space to include single or multiple ombré effects.

white kitchen black accents

Grand Antique

If there’s one material that perfectly articulates the essence of black-and-white design, it may well be Artistic Tile’s Grand Antique. The rich, pure forms found within this marble slab, quarried in the French Pyrenees, range from intense jet-black to bright milk-white, with little-to-no gradation. Here, Grand Antique inspired designer Jeffrey Goodman to infuse this kitchen with decorative touches, such as Fornasetti plates, white-painted brick, and pop-art prints of Queen Elizabeth II.