How to Master Monochrome Interior Design

Classic, elegant, and timeless: monochrome is an enduringly popular theme for home interior design. This style is a bold blend of black and white, using pattern and texture rather than colour to create depth and interest for the eye. Although some see monochrome as restrained to the point of drab, this simple colour scheme will be forever chic and evokes a sense of calm when employed correctly. Use this guide for tips on how to master monochrome interior design in your home.

how to master monochrome interior design

Blend styles from different eras

Using only black and white shades to decorate your home can easily lead to overwhelming interiors. This is especially true if you focus on one style and have similar furnishings in each room as well. 

Blending styles from different eras is a great way to ensure that monochrome works well in each space. For example, the sleek lines and block shades of minimalism may look inviting in the bathroom or bedroom, while the tiled floors and vintage furniture of art deco will bring life to a kitchen or living room. 

Showcasing the traits of different periods throughout the property also helps to add interest to your overall interior design style which ensures that your monochrome colour scheme does not become repetitive. 

Allow one colour to dominate

Rather than trying to balance the black and white shades evenly in each space, allow one colour to dominate in proportion to the other. This will make the overall look more pleasing to the eye and will produce a sense of peace and balance. 

In areas where you are trying to achieve a sense of serenity, bring white to the foreground. Light, neutral shades naturally create a calming atmosphere. Try designing a mainly white lounge with soft contrasting accents such as black lamp shades and a dark rug. 

In rooms where you can be brave and go bold, put black on the walls and lift the space with white statement pieces. The latter is perfect for a bathroom: for an uber-luxe touch, you could run black marble across the floors and walls and place a white free-standing bathtub at the centre. 

Use contrasting materials for depth

The absence of colour in a monochrome scheme means that you need to focus more on the materials used. Having a range of textures in each room will help to create depth and make the space more homely and inviting. 

Try combining natural materials like dark wood and marble with contemporary options such as chrome for a complex and sophisticated finish. The grain and veining in these natural materials and the lustrous shine of metals mean that the eye has many places to land, in addition to making the space more warm and inviting.

Incorporate patterns in your designs

Patterns also help to break up the black-and-white colour scheme. This can be as simple as using square or diamond tiles rather than plain walls and floors, or as eye-catching as featuring geometric wallpaper. If using pattern on the walls, stick with a larger print to avoid the repetition being too frequent. This will help to expand the space and stop the décor looking too busy.

Make a statement with a bold shade

If an entirely monochrome home seems like too much, make a statement with a bold shade in each room. Monochrome is the best backdrop for highlighting one or two colours as there is no interference from other shades within the palette. 

A fun idea for a monochrome bedroom is to include colourful artwork as a direct contrast. Think the funky pop art pieces by Andy Warhol, framed movie posters, or pretty watercolour paintings. You can also use colour to create feature walls in each room, and tie-in this shade with the rest of the room by adding small decorative notes in suitable spots.

So, there you have it: it is possible to master monochrome interior design! By bearing in mind these simple styling tips, you’ll have a home that will be enduringly chic for years to come, removed from the fast-changing nature of décor and colour palette trends.

About the author

brad smith
Brad Smith

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.

Scroll to Top