Monochrome Do's and Don'ts - Inside Interior Crowd

Monochrome Do’s and Don’ts

Carly Zinderman for InteriorCrowd
by Carly Zinderman for InteriorCrowd
November 10, 2015

Monochrome tends to be a polarizing design technique; you either love it or hate it. Part of this is because there is a right way and a wrong way to do monochrome correctly. Think about it. Sometimes you walk into a monochromatic room and the effect is breathtaking. It seems so perfect. Yet sometimes, you step into a monochromatic room and the effect is depressing. To do monochrome correctly, follow these general guidelines.

Via: Z Gallerie


Mix Hues

Just because you chose a single color palette doesn’t mean that you have to stick to it so strictly. White can look super sterile if everything is in the same bright shade of pure white. To warm it up, especially if your style is more traditional or eclectic, use shades of cream and beige. For a modern home décor scheme, pale grays can work well and help to make the white look brighter and sleeker.

Use Layers

Because single colors can quickly look flat and fade into each other, it can be beneficial to use layers of color to help differentiate. For instance, a blanket on a couch set on an area rug on a larger carpet or floor can help the eye focus on the pieces rather than just the couch.

Combine Textures

Whether you are layering or not, using different textures helps to add interest. Using pieces from different styles is also a great way to make monochrome work. A woven basket, a painted table and a nubby blanket can all appear in the same room. A furry throw, a popular trend, can work in a modern home or as a rug under a coffee table or even as wall décor.

Do Something Unexpected

When people think monochrome, they tend to think white and bright. Going dark can also work and be unexpected. Because dark goes toward cozy rather than open space, it works best for a bedroom or study, rather than a dining area or living room.

Another way to make monochrome unexpected is by using it in an unconventional way, like a black and white children’s room, rather than the traditional pink or blue.

Go Classic

Although technically two colors, black and white is a classic monochrome color palette that never gets old. For a warmer, more traditional take, switch white for cream tones and use the black minimally. In a modern kitchen, go all white and use black for stunning accents, like lacquered bar stools or table and chair set.

Domo Himalaya Wall Decal | Wayfair


Pick a Drab Color

If you want to do monochrome, don’t go with a shade of beige that will fade into the background. Beiges can be made to work if mixed with metallics or deeper shades of beige, but they can go drab quickly, so use with caution.

Pick a Color That You’ll Fall Out of Love With

Pinterest has plenty of photos of brightly colored monochromatic color schemes that look amazing, but being surrounded by a bold color at all times can get old fast. Not to mention that it can be hard to work into a larger home without feeling claustrophobic or being unable to make the theme cohesive.

Force It

If monochrome isn’t working for you, because you find it too hard to maintain, or it no longer works for you, don’t be afraid to gradually add new colors and pieces into a room.

Be Afraid To Stick to One Color

On the other hand, if you have been considering a monochromatic scheme but are afraid of finding it too restrictive, don’t be. Monochrome can actually make decorating easier because you already have your color palette taken care of.


And if you still have questions about how to make monochrome work in your home, then consult an Interior Crowd expert for a unique monochrome design that you can call home.

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About author
Carly Zinderman for InteriorCrowd
Carly Zinderman for InteriorCrowd

Carly Zinderman is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. She enjoys writing on a variety of subjects including food, travel, beauty, fashion and home decor. When she is not writing, she is constantly rearranging her furniture and seeking interior design inspiration.

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