Forget what you think you know about monochrome styling
If you can put together a look that blends several shades of one colour, then you’ve nailed monochrome, says Lynnette Kohler, interior designer at Dale Alcock Home Improvement. Often mistakenly thought of as meaning ‘no colour’, a monochrome palette actually uses different tones of just one colour. Any colour. Red, blue, green, grey … as long as you’re essentially using just the one colour in its many-hued splendour, you’ve got monochrome. “Think one colour, rather than no colour,” Lynnette says.
Not only is a monochromatic decorating scheme easy to achieve if you follow a few simple rules, it works for many different decorating styles – from rustic and retro, to modern luxe and Scandi.
Here are Lynnette’s top 5 tips for making it monochrome:
1. White’s a winner: It’s hard to go wrong with white walls, light-coloured floors and shades of palest grey, all set off by delicate black accents. Simple white furniture, white walls, and picture frames and accessories in charcoal or inky black make for a classic monochromatic decorating scheme. Add texture and warmth with materials such as woodgrain, wool, rattan and leather.
2. Avoid the brights: Limit use of the colour in it’s ‘true’ or ‘bright’ form when blending tones of one colour to give a room a welcoming, harmonious feel. Use the true colour sparingly, keeping it as a minimal accent so that the tonal layers are the main attraction. The glossy leaves of a carefully placed pot plant, for example, will help highlight delicate layers of soft, cooling green.
3. Embrace the eclectic: Monochromatic decorating encourages you to mix pieces from different styles and eras. You can be as eclectic as you like, with accessories and statement pieces from yesteryear in perfect harmony with today’s finds. The same goes for mixing materials, from recycled bricks and modern metallic finishes, to fabrics and timber. Just stick to shades of the same colour.
4. Start here: A paint colour fan deck is a handy tool to use when picking which shades will work. Simply find your chosen colour, then select the shades that surround it, going lighter or darker and adding in shades of grey for added depth. Play with dark shades to add a cosy atmosphere to a room. Think dark, intense walls providing the backdrop for a glowing centrepiece in a lighter shade of the same colour, or a beautiful sofa in soft touchable velvet.
5. Keep it plain: Steer away from pattern and opt instead for texture and tone to keep the layers interesting. If you can’t live without pattern, limit yourself to one piece that picks out several tones – or at least one dominant shade – of your hero colour.