Optical effect: black and white that transform interiors with simplicity and surrealism

10 January 2023

pipe moroso

Discovering this style, to be declined and experimented through a series of furnishings, lights and accessories

The art of combining black and white creating surprising visual effects has its roots in the artistic current defined as Optical Art which was born and spread in the United States in the late 60s. It expresses itself as a bichromatic psychedelia that plays with graphic forms that can deceive the eye and soon conquers different fields: from fashion to advertising communication, naturally passing through interior design. Here it takes on sophisticated and elegant forms with a chromatic advantage: white illuminates and black dilutes, they are two colors that are easy to combine with others and useful for de-dramatising lively palettes. In interior design, therefore, the black and white optical style is not only a decorative gimmick but also a versatile solution that does not create constraints in the choice of additional furnishing elements and accessories. We discover it through this selection of projects that show character but also the ability to blend into interiors with different styles.

Pipe by Sebastian Herkner for Moroso

The shapes are generous, enveloping and reassuring yet the Pipe collection, and in particular the chaise longue (on the cover) retains a visual lightness that is appreciated. The supporting structure is made up of powder-coated aluminum tubes with a diameter of 80mm, the backrest, very distinctive, is also tubular and forms a sort of parenthesis on which to lean comfortably. In the optical version, the aluminum structure is black, the seat is with black and white bands and the back is white: a fun and comfortable designer piece of furniture.

pipe moroso

Here Comes The Sun by Bertrand Balas for DCW Éditions

In 1970 the French architect Bertand Balas designed this lamp inspired by the spectacle of the sunset on the Garonne river. It is a project full of formal references: the sphere recalls the sun, and the central opening suggests the horizon. And it is when it lights up that it reveals all its ability to evoke the sunset.

Diedro by Pietro Russo for Gallotti&Radice

The Diedro collection faithfully declines the optical approach through a geometric pattern inspired by tweed that creates an optical illusion of three-dimensionality. Available in three different combinations of wood essences and in three different sizes, it is a roomy and functional sideboard which at the same time introduces a hint of elegance and a focal point in the space.

Inout 44 by Paola Navone for Gervasoni

Inout44 is a concrete stool for indoors and outdoors whose shape evokes the cork of a Champagne bottle. It is no coincidence that it has a sparkling and elegant personality at the same time, a common feature of all Paola Navone’s projects. In the black and white color combination, the stool is available with a striped or polka dot pattern, which are also perfect together.

Contemporary by Kristina Dam Studio

Contemporary is a line of textile accessories for the home: cushions, bedspreads and throws characterized by geometric patterns which in the black and white color variant are an elegant but informal expression of the optical approach.

To complete the decoration of an interior in an immediate and versatile way.

KristinaDamStudio contemporary

Salute to Sebastian Herkner for La Chance

Salute is a collection of coffee tables in marble and metal designed by Sebastian Herkner and conceived to be used alone or in combination with each other. Proposed in various chromatic solutions, they lend themselves to declining the optical style in the finishes that combine the black metal top with the base in white pele de tigre marble or black marquina marble.

Black on White by Javier Mariscal and Joaquim Ruiz Millet for Nanimarquina

Black on white is a collection of carpets in which these two colors become a means of updating the classic carpet. With Estambul Javier Mariscal declines traditional decorative motifs in a contemporary key while in Manuscrit, an unpublished manuscript by Ruiz Millet becomes the design of the carpet itself.

nanimarquina rug

Quaderna by Superstudio for Zanotta

With the Quaderna series, conceived by Superstudio in 1969 and put into production by Zanotta in 1972, the optical style becomes iconic thanks to a disruptive design and formal intuition. The starting point for what has become the most famous of the black and white patterns is a grid of squares with an interval of 3cm. Simple, essential but with an identity so strong as to enter the history of design.

Quaderna Zanotta
Moroso Pipe
Gallotti&Radice Diedro Sideboard
DCW éditions Here Comes The Sun
Kristina Dam Studio Contemporary
Kristina Dam Studio Contemporary
Gervasoni Inout 44
La Chance Salute Coffee Table
Nanimarquina Black on White
Zanotta Quaderna Coffee Table

Choose the products that inspire you and add them to the Board

Customize and receive your board, share it with whomever you want or with a Mohd Designer to get information and assistance.

After you send the first one, you can create new boards. There is no limit to your inspiration.

I got it, continue

Receive your Mohdboard with the products you have added.

Send in the form, you will receive an email with a link to your board with the products you have selected.

Share your inspiration with your partner and friends, or with a Mohd designer to get more information.

After you send the first board, you can create new ones. And if this board no longer inspires you, you can reset and start again.

Check your email, your inspiration is there.

We have sent you an email with a link to your board with the products you have selected.