Monochrome Interiors

If you are unsure about decorating with Monochrome in your home, frightened perhaps that it could look too stark or too gloomy, remember it’s really just about getting the colour percentages right and adding a little texture. Think about the success of Chanel, Jo Malone and The White Company branding and you can’t go too far wrong. You may remember that I wrote about Monochrome last Summer –  Style It Dark For Summer – but my love of it has recently been stoked again.

Paintings in black and white

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of catching the Monochrome Painting in Black and White exhibition at The National Gallery (on until 18th February) in the company of film/TV set decorator Tanya Bowd (Howards End).  We had lots of great film chats regarding projects Tanya has been working on – (I digress but promise I will divulge later in the year)! The exhibition covered 700 years of paintings from the smaller ‘sketches’ that were done for masterpieces through to more contemporary block colour canvases of the 20th Century (which were actually my favourite).

Location, location, location

In the Autumn I came across Monochrome again whilst working on a client’s Spring/Summer 18 interiors catalogue in a location house near Winchester (Light Locations). I quickly took a few shots of the interiors before several crates of spring/summer product were shipped in for our shoot! This location is a really inspiring example of a house decorated with the same palette throughout.

Colour class

BTW, there is no right or wrong way when it comes to how extensive a colour palette you use, it is how you use it that matters (another blog post needed to explore I think!). Rooms decorated in different colours work just as well – as long as the ‘look through’ from room to room creates a pleasing contrast.

Blissful bedroom ideas

Black bobble braid on white cushions. Photo: Charis White
Square pillow chic with smart black border detail. Photo: Charis White
Indian black block print bed quilt. Photo: Charis White
Etched glass doors hide a his and hers dressing room. Photo: Charis White
A gallery wall of mixed media art softens the monochrome look. Photo: Charis White
Pop of black against white walls with these black wall lights. Photo: Charis White
Sweet black vanity mirror on a white distressed chest of drawers. Photo: Charis White

Bathroom ideas

Black painted roll top freestanding bath. Metro tiled wall and hexagon mosaic floor in white. Fashionable brass taps and heated towel rail. Photo: Charis White
Glass door painted black. Creating with accessories approx 20% black/80% neutral. Photo: Charis White
Photo: Charis White
White painted floorboards and vintage mirror. Photo: Charis White
Black striped wall lights, dado rail and bathroom cabinet: approx 20% black v 80% white. Photo: Charis White
Vintage brass rail carriage shelf for holding spare towels. Photo: Charis White

Kitchen ideas

Exposed beams and red joist holders give texture to the white painted boards in between. Photo: Charis White
White wood Shaker-style painted cabinets with marble splash back and granite top. The island unit on wheels is painted black and the patterned floor tiles are set within a black border. Photo: Charis White

Pantry ideas

Pantries, sculleries, walk-in airing cupboards and laundry rooms – yes blog readers – these are the rooms of dreams. Any house builders reading – please take note! Photo: Charis White

5 ways to shop the Monochrome look

Fabric and wallpaper

Black Blake Border fabric, Bert & May Photo: Charis White
Photo: Charis White. Deer Park Black L159106 fabric, Lewis & Wood
Photo: Charis White. Campbell Union black and Ivory linen/cotton fabrics, Ian Mankin; Polka Midnight LF1973C/004 from Tango Weaves collection, Linwood
Photo: Charis White. Low tide Lunch LW037/001, Ephemera wallpaper collection, Linwood
Photo: Charis White. Onyx LW071/004 wallpaper from Tango collection, Linwood
Photo: Charis White. Lucerne 110290 from Folia wallpaper collection, Harlequin


Original BTC - Circle Line clip light - Portrait
Circle Line clip light by Original BTC, £155


These ‘Khadi’ cream handwoven cushions with (10% use of) black designery triangular edging, (45 cm sq) are a bargain as are on sale at Habitat at £17.50 down from £25 each.

Photo: Charis White.


New Laura Ashley floor and wall tiles
Patterned floor and wall tiles are definitely a thing right now but they can sometimes be a bit pricey.  However, I am rather impressed with Laura Ashley’s new range of tiles. In particular, these ‘Wicker’ floor tiles are more affordable at £34/sq m than some of the handmade versions which are nearer £100/sq m.


Monochrome Home is a beautiful book written and styled by Hilary Robertson (a stylist I always loved to bump into at press shows but who now lives and works in the States). Check out all Hilary’s fantastic ideas, £14.91, Amazon.


Thank you so much for reading!  If you need any help styling your own home in Monochrome or any other style please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I have a rather fab edited wallpapers, paint and fabric library which is very portable.

In the meantime, don’t forget to follow the blog to receive email alerts for future blog posts. Just press the large blue ‘Follow’ button either at the beginning or end of a post.

With many thanks, Charis x


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