Contemporary Interiors: How to
Make Monochrome Work For You


The monochrome trend embodies timeless and classic design, whilst maintaining a modern feel.

How to...
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Sarena Shetty
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July 1, 2017

 

Whether you choose to go for bold black and white interiors with strong geometric themes or simple and elegant shades of grey for a Scandinavian aesthetic, monochrome is the perfect building block for any chic and contemporary interior.

Take a look at our top tips to get you started to create a space that will most certainly never go out of style.

Strong Foundations

Monochrome is the perfect base for any interior project. The juxtaposition and interplay between black and white help to visually break up a living space. You can add grey to the mix to blend the aesthetic and create a cohesive theme in a room.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

 

Scandinavian interiors often use minimalism so white or grey walls act as the perfect base for a pared-back Scandi vibe. You can build upon these foundations but it’s a great place to start creating your monochromatic look.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Black walls create a dramatic back-drop that still maintains a homely feel. Here the black walls work to create the perfect canvas to build upon. Pair with natural woods for a look that’s chic and inviting.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Black and white work well to break up your space, defining common areas to create a more open and airy feel. Here the monochrome palette creates a coherent look between the living and dining spaces. The white walls, dark room divider and smoky furniture works to create a sophisticated and grown-up aesthetic – a great example of zoning done well.

 

Image via home-designing.com

 

 

A top tip for small spaces, pair a black wall with a black sofa like in this cool loft space. This is visual trickery at its best, the sofa blends into the wall to give the illusion that it’s taking up less floor space in your room.

 

Image via elledecoration.co.za

 

Furniture can be the perfect starting point for any interior scheme. Try choosing a black, white or grey sofa as the building blocks for your monochrome look. You can then build up from here with accessories.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Layer it up

When your colour palette is limited it’s important to use natural light and incorporate contrasting textures and materials to keep the look warm and liveable. Layering is key, keeping the look fresh and contemporary whilst adding comfort.

Here the gorgeous grey rug, scatter cushions and throw create a cosy haven in this otherwise minimal interior.

 

Image via cocolapinedesign.com

 

Berber or sheepskin rugs are so on trend and a great way of bringing texture into a space – ideal for adding a snugness to an otherwise cool interior.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Plants bring a monochromatic scheme to life with gorgeous foliage that brings a touch of colour to your room too. For a sleek look stick to greenery – great choices are eucalyptus, cheese plants and cacti.

 

Image via vintageindustrialstyle.com

 

Black and copper are a marriage made in heaven. Try planting in a copper hanging flowerpot for a modern and contemporary feel.

 

Image via makemeloved.com

 

Go bold

Monochrome stripes, herringbone patterns checks and spots work to create a lively interior that will not go unnoticed.

Start in the hallway if you’re feeling brave. This showstopping zig-zag wallpaper is a real way to make an entrance. What would be brash is simply stylish purely because it’s in black and white.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Geometric patterns work harmoniously with monochrome colours. This monochrome rug elevates the whole aesthetic in an otherwise somewhat tired dining room – a simple accessory with a striking pattern.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Black and white tiles are a classic and distinctive choice. A checkerboard floor is perfect for hallways, kitchens and bathrooms alike. Try bringing this trend into the dining room for a clean and refined look.

 

Image via Nyde

 

Break the rules

Add a pop of colour to a monochrome room for stand-out style. My advice is to add accents of acid yellow for that extra punch.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

If you prefer something a little more subtle but still want to experiment with colour, muted lemon yellow works well with greys, black and white.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

It’s so important to create a comfortable atmosphere for your home and lighting is a wonderful way to bring ambience into a space. Kill two birds with one stone by using copper or gold pendants to add all important colour and illuminate your space at the same time.

 

Go eclectic

Similarly to using various textures, mixed materials can also depth to your room. Wood brings a natural warmth to moody blacks and crisp whites, whilst accents of brass, gold and marble add a luxe finish.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

When restricting your colours, feel free to be bold with your choices. Mix up decades by pairing on trend 70s accessories with mid-century modern pieces and antiques at once. The black and white theme will keep the scheme consistent.

 

Image via mydomaine.com

 

Mixing finishes adds a unique richness to a black and white interior. Try pairing matt white with shiny black surfaces to add interest into your space.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Make a display

A gallery wall is a gentle introduction to the monochrome trend when you don’t want to commit to tiles or walls. Use mismatched shapes and sizes for a captivating display.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Alternatively, if you prefer precision and uniformity try framing similarly themed prints in a row.

 

Image via elledecor.com

 

 

When sticking to all white walls use your bookcase to introduce that flicker of ebony – the perfect marriage of form and function.

 

Image via elledecor.com

 

Place frames against a black wall for an artistic and tasteful display that really stands out. Ideal for art connoisseurs and aesthetes.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Lay it bare

Go minimal. Black and white interiors are synonymous with Scandi-chic living because of the pared-back aesthetic. For a mindful workspace remove the clutter from your colour palette as well as your desk.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

This visually simple living room instantly evokes a sense of calm, the perfect spot to relax on after a hectic day. Clean, crisp and pure proving less really is more.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

When you strip back to the bare bones of colour and restrict your palette to monochrome you’re actually opening yourself up to a whole new range of possibilities.

Whether you prefer clean and crisp interior styling or an eclectic hodge-podge, when monochrome is employed you can go wild, safe in the knowledge that everything looks chic in black and white.

 

Sarena Shetty

Sarena Shetty

Sarena is the founder of FindDesign, a curated platform for beautiful contemporary furniture and homeware. Aside from her addiction to good design, she's a self-confessed 80s pop fanatic and knows all the words to careless whisper.