Using a Monochromatic Color Scheme
Design tip from Caroline Baker, assistant interior designer
Touch of Tradition Home & Garden Shoppe
7313 Carroll Road, Suite D, Sorrento Mesa
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Caroline Baker is a color expert and the assistant interior designer for A Touch of Tradition Home & Garden Shoppe, a full-service design studio, and furnishings, lighting and accessory shop. From exclusive fabrics and window coverings to ready-made and custom furnishings, lighting and accessories, TOT-HOME offers stylish interiors with enduring appeal for every style of decor.
Although it’s very refreshing to have a room in a single color scheme, known as monochromatic, it’s often difficult to know how to get that finished-room look using just one main color. A monochromatic color scheme can be calming or dramatic depending upon your color choice and what you want the space to convey. Here are six tips to get you started:
Choose your color scheme.
Start by choosing the main color of your monochromatic color scheme. Use this color for your largest area — generally the wall. Monochromatic does not mean using only a single color for everything, but rather a space consisting of a single color scheme. Next, select varying shades of that color to obtain contrast. For example, if your selected main color is purple, then you can also use accent shades of lilac, lavender and violet for fabrics, flooring, window coverings and more.
Select accent shades.
Accent shades may not work well together with your main color choice if they have different underlying tones. For example, if beige is your color choice, a pink-beige wall tone may not work well with a green-beige carpet.
An easy way to check that undertones match your main color choice is with a paint fan deck, available at your local paint store. Generally, the blocks of color running top to bottom on the same page are all shades of the same color. For example, if bright green is your color choice, try Benjamin Moore’s 2027 series with Eccentric Lime (30) on the walls, Spring Moss (20) on the dining table, and Dark Lime (10) on an accent wall.
Change the sheen on surfaces used in the room.
It’s likely that you’ll use a fairly flat finish on the walls (like eggshell or flat), so make the floor, tabletop or counter surface — or even a piece of furniture — a high gloss.
Imagine the elegance and drama obtained by a single color in an all-white master-bath suite when combined with honed Crema Marfil counters, a sleek, glossy soak tub and vessel sinks, large satin-finished porcelain floor tiles, polished-nickel hardware and textured mosaic-glass walls. A variety of finish materials combining different sheens does the trick.
Add texture to the space.
Your walls are likely going to be relatively flat unless you opt for an interesting treatment, so add texture to flooring, window coverings, and then fabrics used throughout. Nubby pillows, tufted area rugs, and woven window coverings are easy to find. For kitchens, I love to use honed quartz and granite counters and use polished tile as an accent.
Provide contrast and texture with textiles.
Using all solid fabrics is fine, but you can find monochromatic or tone-on-tone patterned fabrics to add contrast. Often, fabric companies show the coordinating solids, patterns and textures together.
I love to use Kravet and Maxwell textiles. Fabrics with great texture include silks, linen, wool, burlap and cotton. Whether you opt for a “hard” treatment like wood blinds, or a “soft” one like panel drapes, you can use window coverings as an area that adds pattern.
Use accessories to create visual interest.
In a monochromatic space, the use of smooth glass and rough-textured ceramic accessories in the same color can create a very finished effect. Accessories can be as diverse as a large plate on a stand, a fabulous piece of art, or a quilt on the wall or bed, but keep their scale right for the space and with each other.