It's a given in the world of design that you rarely go wrong if you stick to black and white. The eye is both drawn to the graphic effect (think printed page) and every punch of colour is given extra value against such a neutral background.
Here is a puzzle for you then. Look at this room setting.
There's no prize for the correct answer. But you do win a mention on this blog if you can tell me one of the strengths of the room setting as well as one of the weaknesses. Answers to sallycrawfordartanddesign[at]gmail.com