Developing a color scheme for your home can be among the most challenging aspects of design. You may love a certain color, but how, and where, do you use it? And then what do you do with the rest of the walls and the floors and the furniture and the accessories? It can all be very confusing.
An easy way to achieve a great look with very little effort—or design knowhow—is to go monochromatic. “Monochromatic color schemes work because they streamline your design,” said Freshome. “Typically, you’d have to put effort into purposefully including a few common threads throughout your design to ensure that the entire look ties together. In this case, as long as you work within the color scheme, unity and harmony are already taken care of. We suggest starting with your base shade, the one that will define your design. Then, round out your color scheme by choosing one color that’s lighter than your base shade and one color that’s darker.”
The paint store is a great place to get inspiration for your main color, if you don’t already have one, and to round out the other colors to use. The secret: paint chips. All the colors you need are right there on the chip
“When applying the monochromatic look to fashion, it’s all about using varying hues of the same color to achieve a look that is cohesive, but not repetitive—the same applies to interiors! Instead of using one color, think of using one color palette,” said Gray Malin. “This will ensure that you still achieve the monochromatic look you’re going for, without overdoing it and accidentally making your room look like one color spilled all over it. For instance, if your main color them is ‘blush,’ employ colors all throughout the spectrum of pinks—rose, deep red, barely-there-pink, etc. Just make sure that your colors complement one another, even when they are in the same palette (i.e. maybe stay away from pairing something like neon magenta with a dusty rose).”
If you just don’t know where to start, focusing on one key piece you love can be a great jumping off point.
“I like to set the tone of the color palette for a room with the carpet,” designer Sasha Bikoff told Elle Décor. “You can deconstruct the colors in the carpet and spread them around the room.” Placement is also key to creating a great-looking space, so consider this: “Bikoff suggests using the more calming, softer shades on large surfaces like the walls and the ceiling, and saving the brighter hues for smaller, more whimsical pieces that you want to stand out.”
Here are a few favorite colors to consider.
Gray has gone from being the “it” color to being considered a neutral without an expiration date, and although the color can read soothing, a monochromatic gray space doesn’t have to be sedate. We love how the deep gray walls in this San Francisco living room bring out the architectural detail. This turn-of-the-century home from Coco Lapine Design shows how to do gray monochrome with neutral beige woven in. The result is a stylish look with a relaxed feel.
Behr’s 2019 Color of the Year is Blueprint, a “a mid-tone blue that charts a course for people to reimagine the colors and design of their home,” said Behr. If you’re inspired to do the same, you can keep the space monochromatic by also using their Watery, Antigua, Dark Navy, and Blue Metal colors.
You might think an all-white room would lack personality, but look at how luxurious this space is. The secret: layering in texture and pattern.
“The most attractive and enjoyable way to complete your color scheme is with texture and print,” said The Spruce. “Texture adds interest to the room through the uneven surface that varies how light hits the surface. A texture can appear light and dark, even when created with the same color. Throw pillows, rugs, and window treatments, are beautiful ways to create texture.”
It may take a bit more of a commitment to color to go monochromatic green, but just look at the luscious results when you do.