Why would anyone limit an interior design palette to a single colour or hue? There are lots of reasons, and all of them are good ones.
If you’ve ever looked at a paint wheel you know how overwhelming making choices from the mountain of available colours can be. Confining your palette to shades of one colour can simplify the design process. Looking at one or just a few cards of colours may feel like a relief. It makes for an easy way to design around a favourite piece of furniture, too, such as a navy blue sofa, and can result in a sophisticated look without performing the difficult task of matching colours.
Monochromatic colour schemes use a single colour on most surfaces of a room or an entire home. They bring unity and harmony to a living area and often have a calming effect on the senses. And although these schemes use just one hue or colour, they incorporate several shades of it. So the choice of blue for a room design could pull in darker shades, like navy, along with paler tints of the base colour.
This design technique also makes a great backdrop for collectibles and artwork. Classical elegance takes a backseat to your treasures and gives them the starring roles in the chosen space.
But lest you think that monochromatic means boring, another reason designers choose this scheme is for the dramatic impact it can have. Selecting draperies, rugs, upholstery, and walls in different shades of your base colour adds interest without losing the harmony and balance. Using a wide range within a hue gives a room depth. Darker shades can also be put to good use in pillows and other accent pieces.
An important way to keep monotony at bay is to use a neutral colour like cream or grey on the woodwork, ceiling, flooring, and fixtures. Mixing it up with some wood tones on furniture and base floors can have a pleasing effect too.
With your colours fanned out across a hue in varying tints and shades, you can make your design plush by adding layers. Texture is the best way to do this. It adds dimension by modulating the evenness and regularity of your space. Light will catch the variations of height across your fabrics and change how their colour is perceived. Pillows, upholstery fabric, window treatments, and rugs are all good places to introduce different textures. But it can even be done with the surfaces of end tables and chair legs. Amazing results can be obtained by pairing opposites, too. A shiny silk pillow looks wonderful on a flat leather chair.
Patterns also enrich a monochromatic space. Trim helps too and comes in many types like brush fringe, bead trim, and nail head trim. Use just a few, well-place ones, though, or your eyes will behold a jarring hodgepodge rather than a harmonious ensemble.
What if you tire of one hue? Not to worry! Monochromatic design can easily be tweaked by adding colours to create a new look when the mood strikes.