Monochromatic Looks That Work

Layering shades of color with a common hue not only creates a stunning look, but also is easy to do, even if you're not a pro.


When you decorate with a monochromatic color scheme, you use the same hue throughout the elements in a room, from the floor to the furniture, wall paint color, artwork, and more. The shades of the main color can vary greatly, from a rug in the darkest of shade of the hue paired with paint or furniture in lighter shades. Still, the shared undertone is the common thread found in a monochromatic space.

Image via: Sita Montgomery Interiors

Why Monochromatic?


Decorating with a single color/undertone might seem drab, but in fact, the end result can be stunning. When you design with a monochromatic color scheme, you create a stage for the architectural details, unique textures, organic elements, and subtle touches of color in a space to stand out and be the star of the show.

Monochromatic color schemes can also afford you the luxury of changing your décor whenever you like. By painting your walls in neutral colors and choosing furniture pieces in the same shades, you establish a base upon which you can layer colorful fabrics and trendy accessories that are easier, and cheaper, to switch out as the seasons or your tastes change.

Image via: Blayne Macauley

Not Only Neutrals


You're not just limited to whites and neutrals when designing with a monochromatic look. Bolder colors such as blues, greens, and even violets can be layered in a space using shades of the same hue. Blogger Kristy Wicks created a beautifully layered monochromatic design in her dining room by carrying the same blue hue throughout her wall color, light fixture, glass centerpiece and upholstery fabric. Kristy chose her palette based on a single blue undertone and added interest with a combination of darker and lighter shades of blues and grays.

Image via: Kristy Wicks

Layering Colors


While the same hue and undertone are commonly used in monochromatic color schemes, you can vary shades and even contrast with bolder colors with as you build your design. In this craft room, a warm gray undertone is used throughout the floors, walls, fabrics, and paint colors. However, the blues used in the art, accessories, and table are blues with that common gray undertone as a way to add contrast.

If you're unsure of what complementary colors to use in a space, look to the color on your walls, and find colors with the same undertone, even if the color contrasts. By sticking with a common undertone, you create a space where your colors blend effortlessly and beautifully.

Image via: The Creativity Exchange

Where to Start in Creating a Monochromatic Look


When building a monochromatic design in your home, a great place to get started is by looking to your floor. Whether you have carpet, a wood floor, or a favorite rug, you can base your color palette on a dominant color found below and begin layering up, using the color pulled from your floor on your walls, fabrics, and furnishings. Look for elements and pieces in the same color family to create and layer your design. If you stay within the same undertone and hue in your choices, you will begin to layer your monochromatic look.

Image via: Sita Montgomery Interiors

Final Touches: Adding Contrast


It's easy to incorporate contrasting bold textures, patterns, and organic elements as you add final touches to a monochromatic space. In this gorgeous dining room, Amanda Carol from Amanda Carol Interiors added pretty organic boxwood centerpieces and a bold stripe fabric on the chairs, giving this monochromatic space contrast. Finishing touches like these are great ways to balance and add subtle contrast to monochromatic rooms.

Image via: Amanda Carol Interiors

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