Design Dilemma: Three Key Rules to Monochromatic Rooms
What’s another word for a monochromatic room? BORING! Or at least, there’s that danger in the wrong hands. That’s because decorating a room in all one color can be extraordinarily hard to pull off. Where’s the variety? Where’s the contrast? Where’s the interest? If you’re going to do it, you better know what you’re doing!
Here are three secrets to making a monochromatic room work:
1) Keep things to the same palette, but choose variations on a color. In other words, if you’re a fan of gray and want to do a monochromatic gray room, choose different types of gray to keep things interesting — silver, steel, cloud gray, charcoal gray.
Below, if you look closely, a monochromatic white room isn’t really strictly white. There’s a crisp decorator’s white on the walls, but the lamps are antique white, the headboard ivory, the linens on the bed almost a pink. The variation in whites provides a feeling of depth, richness, and complexity. It’s not dissimilar to adding seasoning to a dish.
This blue bedroom below also picks up on the same idea. Look at how many variations of blue there are, right down to the blue-gray cat!
2) Inject lots of texture. It’s texture that’s going to play a starring role in a monochromatic room. So be sure to inject a mix of materials whenever you have the opportunity.
Below, a blue living room room makes liberal use of texture by coating walls in a glossy slick paint, but incorporating a plush velvet blue sofa for contrast. A blue leather chair provides yet another texture. This room also makes use of principle number 3 by injecting a pop of bright yellow in the paintings for contrast.
3) Break your scheme with a shot of color. This is a favorite design trick as it underscores how important a little variety is to an interesting room (and life!) It’s counterintuitive but a slice of color actually emphasizes all the “one color-ness” of your space. It also suggests that you are confident, a bit of a risk-taker and you knew what you were doing when you bought all black furniture, textiles and paintings. Think how boring the room below would be without the bubble gum pink table and yellow painting.
Note that injecting a little pattern in place of all solids can also achieve the same effect. Below, a mauve living room is substantially enlivened by patterned wallpaper above the fireplace.
Adhere to these three key rules of monochromatic decorating, and your space is sure to be a happy, interesting, and inspirational place for both you and others!
Images: Brandon Barre; Light Locations; via ApartmentTherapy.com; Architectural Digest; Martha Stewart; viaFlickr; theFrencheye.blogspot.com