The new monochrome and it's not just black and white

Introducing the new monochrome, single colours given new life when teamed with white. No black allowed...

bedroom with red wall and red throw on white bed
(Image credit: TBC)

Think monochome and what usually springs to mind is contrasting schemes in black and white. Undeniably sophisticated, a safe-bet decorating winner and certainly chic, if not a little predictable. But strictly speaking, monochrome doesn't have to be black. Any colour that's used with white qualifies. Here are a few of our alternative combos that still look chic and sophisticated, but manage to also shake things up a bit...

blue sofa against patterned wall

(Image credit: TBC)

Portuguese Blue

Create a luxe setting with Moorish tile-effect walls mixed with pattern and faux-fur curtains. The uniform colour palette keeps things calm, allowing you to layer up all kinds of patterns and textures without fear of things going too busy.

Wallpaper, Christian Lacroix for Designers Guild. Sofa by Roche Bobois.

white bedroom with red accessories

(Image credit: TBC)

Scarlet and white

Offset the darkness of scarlet with opulent flock wallpapers and bold geometrics for a look that's refreshing and energising yet also calm.

Wallpaper by Sanderson. Headboard fabric Jane Churchill. Velvet side table by Squint. Bed blanket by Larsen.

white sofa against green wall

(Image credit: TBC)

An emerald affair

A malachite print puts a luxe twist on a 1930s palette of emerald and arsenic green, and provides a striking contrast to the white sofa.

Bolster cushion in cotton by Robert Allen. Wall painted in Troll Green by Sanderson

grey living room with white sofa

(Image credit: TBC)

Smokey grey

Layer soft charcoal with white then add texture with gunmetal furniture and delicate late textiles.

Curtain made from Harlequin fabric. Wallpaper by Eco Wallpaper. Lampshades by Belle & Videre.

yellow chair against wall

(Image credit: TBC)

Sunshine yellow

Yellow gets a bad rep as a tricky colour but the knack is to make sure there's a hint of brown in the tones, to keep it natural. The subtle white contrasting pattern on the walls prevents the flat colour from overwhelming, adding texture and interest.

Walls lined with The Vase wallpaper by Clarence House at Turnell & Gigon. Chair by Harry Bertoia for Knoll at Aram Store.

bedroom with attached balcony

(Image credit: TBC)

Used for millennia, this pigment has an earthy appeal. White accessories keep things fresh though, giving the muddiest of shades modern appeal.

Walls painted in Yellow-Pink by Little Greene. Bed throw made in Orsay Rigato linen, C&C Milano.

And finally... In case you're a purist who just can't see anything other than in black and white, here's something specially for you...

black and white dining room

(Image credit: TBC)

Click here for more great Livingetc ideas on working with colour.



Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.