top of page

11 ways to max up your monochrome scheme

Effortless and stylish, those varying tones have a powerful way of expressing themselves, says Sam Wylie-Harris.


When it comes to duality in design, there isn’t a black or white answer as to why a monochrome scheme works so well in the world of interiors – it just does.

The foundation for a minimalist style, there’s a sense of simplicity if you favour subtlety over drama, especially with varying tones of grey – or you can go bold with a stark black and white statement-making contrast.

Either way, it’s no surprise this timeless classic is easy to update with modish pieces and decorative accessories.

Here’s how to strike the right balance for visual impact…

1. George Cream & Black Spot Decal Mug – Set of 4, £10,


Spot the difference… whether it’s an Americano or cortado, your favourite coffee will taste that much better in one of these striking mugs.

2. Spode Zoological Gardens Set of Pasta Bowls, £52.70, (was £62), Spode


These pasta bowls are tailor-made for spaghetti al nero di seppia (spaghetti with squid ink) – and thrill of exotic wild animals on the dinner party guest list.

3. Small Donut Lamps, £10 each, B&M in-store


If you’re bookending a bureau or sofa with side tables, these donut lamps lend interest with their curvaceous shape – and you can always style the white on one side and black on the other.

4. Palm Leaf Print, Black & White Palm Tree Photograph, from £49; Monochrome Coast, Black & White Beach Painting, from £59; Land Rover Defender Beach at Dawn, Black & White Photography, from £49; Surfer, Black & White Photography, from £49; Vintage Star Shell, Black & White, Shell Art Print, from £59; Framed, Beach House Art

(Beach House Art/PA)

Graphic art prints are super effective when it comes to creating a chic monochromatic aesthetic – especially if you group them in different shapes and sizes. After all, there’s a reason why photographers still shoot in black and white; somehow everything looks more striking – and graphic.

5. Concrete & Wax Candles, from left: Large Candle and Holder Set, Grey, £55, Slim Candle and Holder Set, White, £38, Mid Candle and Holder Set, Black, £45, Concrete & Wax

(Concrete & Wax/PA)

These cool candles come with a concrete holder for a fluid line and look great grouped together. Available in Lime, Basil & Mandarin, Tobacco & Oak, Sandalwood & Black Pepper Amber Noir, Curious Rose, and Cherished Leather, we’d love to add all these fragrances to our scented stash.

6. Moxie Abstract Face Art Wallpaper Mural, £25.95 per square metre, WallpaperMural


When you want to beautify your living space, this face line art print solves the decorating dilemma of how to create a wonder wall tailored to your exact spec. Made to order, you can always start with one panel and then really go to town when you realise your monochromatic muse is a huge hit.

7. Borneo Black Wicker Chair with Boucle Latte Cushion, £224.99 (was £299.99), Desser


No monochrome scheme is complete without an accent chair, especially when you want to add interest with wicker, texture and timber. With sweeping arms, cane panel, deep seat and black finish, this piece will add visual interest and dimension to a neutral scheme.

8. Memphis – White Sideboard, 90cm, £99, Out & Out Original

(Out & Out Original/PA)

More than a decorative afterthought, cue this modish cabinet with storage room for all your dinnerware, table-scaping props and stemware. With a melamine coating for a glossy effect and metal feet, it’s contemporary and chic.

9. ‘La Femme’ Screen Printed Cushion – Black, £59, Bon Bon Fistral

(Bon Bon Fistral/PA)

When it comes to soft furnishings, a statement scatter cushion with a sophisticated silhouette will enhance a plain sofa or armchair – and make it look and feel more luxe.

10. Monochrome Bud Vase Trio, £13.99, The Wisteria Tree

(The Wisteria Tree/PA)

While the beauty of monochrome is all about styling your décor around a palette of black and white, every canvas needs a little colour… namely greenery. These bud vases are perfect for freshly cut foliage, olive stems and eucalyptus.

11. Charcoal Grey Bedtime Bundle, Duvet Cover, Sheets and Pillowcases, from £177, (was £263), Piglet in Bed

(Piglet in Bed/PA)

If you’re updating your bedding, grey is the go-between for light and dark – and an instant refresh layered with white; plus a few lush ferns to help filter toxins. This charcoal grey set is made from stonewashed French linen with natural breathability and pre-washed for softness.


South Wales Mag-250x250.jpg
bottom of page