Designing With Monochromatic Palettes

Monochromatic palettes are far from boring. They’re elegant, bold, textured. Have a look!


Monochromatic (meaning “single color”) palettes have provoked plenty of debates in home decor circles. Some people think it’s too easy and not very original; others love their sophistication and elegance.

I don’t know which side of the debate you stand on, but as for me, if things are both easy AND beautiful, I’m pretty much a fan. (Except I’m not a fan of CoverGirl, or of makeup in general.)

Monochromatic rooms can have all the home decor punch you want without the hassle of matching several colors. Let’s have a look at the different effects of monochromatic color palettes.

Create harmonious rooms

Harmony is an elusive quality in home decor, especially when you’re a beginner. But with a monochromatic palette, the task will be much, much easier.

Traditional Bedroom by New York Interior Designers & Decorators Amy Lau Design

This bedroom is elegant and harmonious because the designer chose shades of green, including on the walls. The yellow and white accents add just the perfect amount of variety for the eye to stay interested and moving.

Traditional Living Room by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Kendall Wilkinson Design

This living room on a blue theme also shows how easy it is to get a harmonious space with a monochromatic palette. I like the single splash of dark blue surrounded by lighter tints and with plenty of white. (And, oh my gosh, what a view!)

Design elegant spaces

Another benefit of monochromatic palettes is the instant elegance it provides to any space.

Traditional Family Room by Burlingame Architects & Building Designers Scheinholtz Associates

This comfy-looking living room seems perfectly appropriate for elegant company. Even though brown can be considered masculine, this room seems to me pretty gender-neutral, which is perfect if you host plenty of parties.

Contemporary Bedroom

This is another example of easy elegance achieved with a monochromatic palette. I love how the red rug and dark floor contrast against the blue-grey of the rest of the bedroom. Easy to match, easy to love!

Make a bold statement

Monochromatic also doesn’t have to mean “timid”. In fact, there are plenty of monochromatic palettes that make a bold statement through your home decor.

Contemporary Living Room by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Susan Diana Harris Interior Design

Monochromatic can also mean bold and bright, as this orange living room shows. It takes plenty of guts, but I love people who stand by their choices!

Traditional Bedroom by Jupiter Interior Designers & Decorators JMA INTERIOR DECORATION

If you can handle it, here’s a similar idea applied to a bedroom. I’m not a fan of the wallpaper; I think it would give me headaches (especially if applied to the curtains AND pillows). But I definitely love the pink armchair and the bedspread. In any case, it’s definitely bold!

Put textures to the forefront

One great thing about monochromatic palettes is its ability to display and layer interesting textures.

Contemporary Living Room by New York Window Treatments Delia Shades

In this space, no bright color to take attention away from the amazing pattern of the window treatments, or from the ruggish look of the art. A matte table at the front contrasts glossy coffee and side tables.

Transitional Bedroom by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Shirley Meisels

Here, the monochromatic palette gives all the space to the texture of the wallpaper and to the fur/fabric contrast on the bed. Note the different materials too: wood, steel, brass and glass all cohabit perfectly.

Feature your favorite color

Do you have one favorite color that you want to feature above all else? A monochromatic base is the perfect frame for your fetish shade.

Transitional Dining Room by Saskatoon Interior Designers & Decorators Atmosphere Interior Design Inc.

Just a few pops are enough to bring all the attention to the colorful elements of the room.

Contemporary Dining Room by Atlanta Interior Designers & Decorators Habachy Designs

Or you can just be really dramatic about it and feature a single colored object.

Super monochromatic

I’ll be honest: I’m a fan. Monochromatic palettes are so easy to decorate with. Getting matching accessories isn’t hard when you know your shade!

How about you? Are you in the yea or nay camp when it comes to monochromatic palettes for home decor? Why? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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