Monochromatic Colors: 9 Ways to Pull Off the Trend Like a Pro


Leigh played off the natural color palette of the marble to influence the rest of the colors for a powder room design. “A lot of natural stones have monochromatic colors throughout the pieces,” she says. “We played with black, gray, and blue hues so that the room felt multidimensional and elevated in its own right.”

Why is it called monochromatic?

The prefix mono (derived from Greek) means “one, alone, single.” Chromatic is defined as tints of tones or relating to color. Put the two words together and you’ve got a single hue color gradient that can take a living room from lame to lively.

Is monochrome all one color?

Just because you decide to go monochrome doesn’t mean you have to stick to one paint color and try to match everything else to it exactly. A monochromatic scheme is a subtle mix of blending different but similarly toned colors that each act to highlight an area in a design project. It creates a layered design but in a way that keeps the eye from feeling overwhelmed, Blazek explains.

How do you find monochromatic colors?

First and foremost, start with a paint color that you love—the rest of your design will be inspired by this color family. Meyer recommends starting with the floor and the walls—that way the entire room is “engulfed in a color.” You can paint the wood floors or use concrete tile, but carpet or an area rug works just as well. Your wall color choices shouldn’t match the floor exactly. “Color is a very powerful thing,” Meyer says. “Successful monochromatic rooms are about subtle variations from a specific color with tiny moments injected with a brighter or deeper version of your base color.”

If you’re nervous about diving into a monochromatic color scheme, New York designer Laura Bohn (who’s spoken to us on the subject before), has this paint color tip: “If you have a color you love, choose the very lightest shade on the spectrum of that color. In some cases, it will almost look white, but you’ll have enough color, believe me. You won’t make a mistake. If you’re looking for something more intense, of course, you can bump it up. But if you’re afraid, and many people are, just go with the lightest shade.”

Once the surrounding color combinations are in place take the decor to the next level by implementing decorative items that go into the space (lamps, objects, art, pillows, and small accent pieces.) “When you go out looking for ‘things’ and you are looking for a specific color the hunt becomes easy,” Meyer says. “Even mundane objects can be taken to another level when it is a beautiful color.”


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