When Megan Baker of Megan Baker Interiors set out to redesign this unassuming Vancouver condo, she knew she could make the space pop with a striking black and white palette. €œWhen you walk in, you can see directly into the bedroom and the living room on the other side of the wall,€ says Baker. €œFrom there, you can see one room is totally black and the rest of it is totally white.€

Using black and white paint was an affordable way to make a big statement. But the condo doesn't feel stark or cold in its contrast. Baker says she used €œtons of different textures, especially natural material textures so that it still looks interesting, warm and inviting.€

According to Baker, texture is key when you have a limited palette. She says that unlike in colourful homes, €œyou've not distracted by colours or anything else changing €”so all that€™s left are the shapes and the textures.€ These textural details (like the above antique Japanese candles from Itsumo Home) provide artistic moments throughout the space without feeling overwhelming. And sometimes, Baker heightened the neutral palette further by exercising restraint. She didn€™t put artwork behind the sofa, for example, to keep the space minimal and serene: €œIt felt so calm and nice and was a really easy moment.€

MORE BLACK AND WHITE: A Minimalist Chilliwack Home We Love

The bedroom is almost entirely black, but still feels open and warm. This is due in part to the diffused light that shines from behind the bed. Baker actually painted that wall white, and that in combination with the small window and custom drapery allows light to spread throughout the space, making it feel larger and more inviting. Additionally, texture throughout the black details make the space pop. €œIt doesn't feel like a black cave – its dramatic, but it€™s still liveable,€ says Baker. As slight colour differentiation gives depth to the CF Interiors bed and the rug. When that diffused light hits it just right you can see intricate patterns €”it€™s built-in artwork. 

Baker breaks her initial colour rule (a black bedroom and white living space) by using sculptural pieces that are just as functional as they are beautiful. Because this condo is only 664 square feet, it was important to make sure each item was multi-use. The Blu Dot bench in the dining area is a seating solution that also visually carves out different spaces. €œIt takes a lot of room to bridge from one space to another, so in a small space you have to use furniture to do that since you don't have the luxury of just moving it farther apart,€ explains Baker. The sculptural metal bench (along with the mirror and rug placement) divides the living and dining space. But, because of its height, the bench can be tucked away or used as a side table if needed.

Another sculptural piece that shines in its functionality is the EQ3 wall sconce used for overhead lighting in the dining area. No pre-existing electrical (and a concrete ceiling) meant Baker had to get creative, and this industrial-looking piece contrasts both in colour and texture from the custom wood Lock and Mortice table beneath it. €œIt really did seem like a sculpture, like something you would see in a modern art gallery,€ says Baker.

MORE BLACK AND WHITE: A Scandi-Cool Home in North Van

Small spaces can be tricky and Baker says a common path to functional design is €œsmall spaces with small furniture,€ in order to maximize the square footage available. Baker did just the opposite. This was the client€™s first foray into homeownership – before this she had only ever had dorm-style furniture, so making smart purchases with the funds available was key.

The living room is home to a full-sized 8€™ chaise from CF Interiors. Rather than making the space feel small, it opens it up visually and provides space for comfy conversation. Baker selected full-sized, investment pieces that will last. €œThis furniture can take her through a few different phases of life,€ says Baker. Just as the furniture was selected to last, Baker says the colour-scheme can pass the test of time. Baker believes that black and white is €œa palette that can grow with the client.€ She explains that it can be repurposed and rearranged easily within the space. 


MORE SMALL SPACES: How to Build an Affordable Laneway House