If you’re worried black and white will look too harsh in your new home, why not try softening the look using similar, more versatile, colour pairings?
Create a stylish scheme

How to get a monochrome effect

Five creative ways to introduce a monochrome look into your home that’s not always black and white.

“I love the idea of using monochrome in my new home, but I’d like to introduce colour. How do I get a similar look without using black and white?”

Black and white is a striking combination, and one that never seems to go out of style. Decorating with this crisp, clean palette is guaranteed to make a statement, and create an elegant feel almost any home.

But if you’re worried black and white will look too stark, why not try softening the look using similar, more versatile, colour pairings?

Here, we explore how to achieve a monochrome effect using more subtle shades, toning down the drama without compromising its appeal.

1) Charcoal and soft white There’s something very absolute about black and white, which is why toning it down, just a fraction, makes it feel more palatable without losing its graphic punch. Team with brightly coloured accessories for a pleasing contrast to lift the look.

Which paints? Contentment, Lavaliere Stone

2) Navy blue and soft blue/grey

Blue and white is a classic, fail-safe colour combination, but swapping out white for a soft blue-grey hue will add a sophisticated note to your scheme. Choose navy as an elegant substitute for black, adding depth to your scheme without overwhelming the look.

Keep white woodwork glossy where possible – it will really stand out against the deep blue walls.

Which paints? Prelude Blue, Horizons, Finnish Blue

3) Dark grey on grey

Pale grey has become popular in recent years as a versatile alternative to white and cream. At the other end of the spectrum, dark grey is an elegant choice, and will give a restful feel to your home when matched with a lighter shade. And because grey doesn’t draw the eye, it’s the perfect backdrop for statement furniture.

Which paints? Nobel Blue, Blue Facet

4) Dark green and pastel green

Deep, muted green paired with delicate pastel shade will create a feeling of freshness in your scheme, and is an excellent way to bring a sense of the outdoors inside. Green is generally viewed as a tranquil colour, so it works well in spaces where you want to feel relaxed.

Which paints? Signature Blue, Whistle Stop, Blue Silk

5) Taupe and white

Pairing warm taupe with a crisp shade of white is a fail-safe way to achieve a chic look in your new home, particularly if you’re nervous about using bolder colours. Keep the look relaxed with neutral accessories in tactile fabrics to add interest to the scheme.

Which paints? Fairy Dust, Vase Blue

Top tip

Add interest to a darker scheme by introducing mirrors to play with perspective and bounce light around your room.

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