Using a Monochromatic Colour Scheme Without Getting Bored

By Michael Peters (Sydney, Australia)

A monochromatic colour scheme is one of the classics: all serene blue, or all sunny yellow, or all stately green. Monochromatic colour schemes are easy to balance, easy to live with, and give an elegant effect.

How can you keep it from being boring?

First, you can use different shades of the same colour. A pale apricot with rich terracotta and deep burnt orange makes an exciting monochromatic scheme. Palest celadon green tones perfectly with jade green.

You can also choose a more complex colour to begin with. Monochromatic blue painting schemes are always popular, but begin with teal or periwinkle instead of clear blue, and the overall colour scheme will be a standout.

Use multiple textures. A matte paint with a glossy one gives a bit of contrast even when they’re the same shade. Bring in additional textures with other building materials and soft furnishings, and your space will be visually rich and interesting even if it’s monochromatic white or brown.

Don’t hesitate to add neutrals. Your rose-coloured boudoir will look fresher but no less romantic with a slick of clean white paint on window sills and mouldings. The orange colour scheme we described above would gain depth from dark stained woods.

Sometimes we stick with one colour just because it seems easier. But when you put the same amount of thought into your monochromatic colour scheme as you would with a more complex plan, you can have an equally sophisticated and rich look — with just one colour.

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