It’s been a while since I’ve written an interiors blog post, and with our loft refurbishment picking up pace again this week with the mega panelling going in, I wanted to share with you how we’ve added monochrome into our home and how I work with this colour palette.
It wasn’t intentional, I didn’t start off by thinking that the house would mostly be monochrome when we moved in, it’s just happened this way. It’s something that has built up over time, and has grown from room to room, culminating with the loft which is primary monochrome with hints of pink and gold.
The big question…..how did my love of monochrome begin?
The kitchen. That’s where it started. When we started our kitchen extension two years ago I wanted a modern black kitchen. Sleek and simple. Clean lines. No fuss. And, that’s what we’ve achieved. The kitchen is colour matched to Farrow and Ball Off Black, and my love of this colour has grown around the house, often paired with white tones or light grey for contrast.
So, how do we use monochrome in our home?
Moving on from our kitchen the downstairs toilet is painted in Farrow and Black Off Black with black and white crazy patterned tiles, combined with black and white floor tiles from Mandarin Stone that flow in from the hallway. It made sense to paint the room in this colour as it is adjacent to the kitchen.
Then the hallway is primarily light and white, with walls painted in Farrow and Ball Blackened (a light grey colour, not dark as you may expect from the name) and with the black and white floor tiles.
One of our plans for later this year, once the loft is finished is to paint the stairs and re-carpet, and this will all be monochrome too possibly with a hint of pink added to the stair runner taping.
Coming up the stairs to the bathroom this room also has Farrow and Ball Off Black walls, white tiles with black grout, black and white floors tiles in the same range as the hallway from Mandarin Stone but with a different pattern. Hints of gold in the shower and taps break up the pure monochrome look, and add a feeling of luxury to the room.
There are three bedrooms on this floor, two of which break away from the monochrome colour palette (I’ll talk about this below), and the office (our third bedroom) is painted in a light grey with an Off Black colour blocked wall to reflect the colours of the bathroom at the opposite end of the landing.
Last up, or what I like to call the final piece of the puzzle (but is there ever an end to house renovations?) is our loft. This will be more monochrome than any room of the house once it is finished, with black reeded panelled walls and doors, combined with Farrow and Ball All White walls, with pink and gold in the bathroom. Watch this space.
Finally we’ve even gone as far as monochrome-ing the back of the house with it’s white rendered walls, and now black exterior to the loft which has been updated as part of our ongoing loft refurbishment.
How I add colour to monochrome?
The entire house isn’t monochrome. There is actually quite a lot of colour. I have a core colour palette and find a really useful tool for seeing what colours work well together is the Farrow and Ball colour tool at the bottom of each chosen paint colour on their website. Our house is mostly painted in Farrow and Ball colours which make it easy.
Our living room is painted in Hague Blue, a dark navy blue, that compliments Off Black and Blackened, so it works well with the flow of the house. To add elements from our monochrome hallway into this space, we had the hearth tiled in the same tiles as the hallway for consistency and to help tie the rooms together.
The kids bedroom is the biggest anomaly, but colour and fun in a kids room is so important to me. The walls are painted in light grey (Dulux Polished Pebble, very similar to Farrow and Ball Blackened) and colour blocked in Farrow and Ball Oval Room Blue, which compliments my colour palette. This is then teamed up mostly with bright yellow accessories and bedding that work so well in the space.
Our spare room is a dark grey, which I would still call monochrome, and in this space I’ve added in hints of pink in the bedding and the blind. Pink is used a bit throughout the house and fully compliments all the dark and light tones. Our front door is painted in Farrow and Ball Calamine, and our loft bathroom has a pink geo tiled floor.
Going back to the kitchen we’ve added colour to the space with a bright blue cobalt velvet sofa and large colourful prints.
So that’s how we’ve used monochrome and how we added monochrome into our home. If you’re thinking about doing something similar start by creating your core colour palette and work from there, it certainly makes deciding on the decor for the next room so much easier.
Here are a just a few of my tips for using monochrome that I’ve picked up over the past two years…..
My tips for using monochrome in your home?
- Define your core colour palette up front. I’m not an interior designer by name, but I believe there should be no more than 5 colours in your home. Use this throughout, and it will easily help tie the rooms in your home together, and make decorating the next room so much easier, without having to think about what colour it should be. Our colour palette is Farrow and Ball Off Black, Blackened, All White, and Hague Blue, and we have also used Calamine and Oval Room Blue too. If you place all of these colours together as a colour chart they all compliment each other.
- Be bold (and brave). Monochrome is making the most of black and white, or other dark colours. Don’t be afraid to go dark. Even in the smallest of spaces black colours will look amazing, and can work better than lighter colour. For example take my downstairs toilet and bathroom, using black here has certainly not made the room any smaller. On the flip side adding an Off Black colour block to our office walls made the room feel bigger. So my advice is to go bold, you can always reign it back or start again if it’s not right for you.
- Once you’ve chosen your monochrome colour palette, don’t be afraid to add colour to it. Black and white pretty much go with anything. Throughout our house I’ve added hints of gold and brass in the lighting, switches, threshold strips, showers, taps and tile trims. Bright colours and neons look amazing, and all help to give each room it’s own design style and identity.
- Research it! If you’re not sure create styleboards and moodboards for each room to help with your decision. Look at what other people have done too, Pinterest and Instagram is amazing for inspiration, and my Pinterest is packed full of monochrome ideas for kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and loft spaces.
That’s it, that’s how we have used monochrome in our home and how I added colour to my black, white, and grey walls. I hope that this post is useful if you’re planning a monochrome colour scheme in your home or a future renovation.