Monochromatic Interior Design Principles

One trend you seem to see over and over again on social media, from makeup to clothing to living spaces, is monochromatic color patterns. AKA, picking a color and picking different tones to fill a space.

On today’s show, we were joined by Jenna Hartmann, interior designer at Stone Group Architects. She explained the principles and keys to design in monochromatic hues without falling flat.

Start with a fabric, then pair it with paint swatches to determine if you’re going cooler or warmer with your theme.

The cooler greens on the left go better with this fabric swatch than the warmer greens on the right
Sherwin Williams warm green colors

Sherwin Williams warm green colors

  • Livable green
  • Soft green
  • clary sage
  • green onyx
  • Artichoke
  • oak moss
  • Secret garden

Cool Green Sherwin Williams Colors

  • wispy green
  • Thrilled
  • coastal plain
  • jade dragon
  • Privilege Green
  • Basil
  • rock garden

Looking for inspiration?

These designers of the past are known for their monochromatic design:

• Elsie de Wolfe
• David Hicks
• Dorothee Draper
• Diana Vreeland

Finding Colors in Neutrals

Remember that even if you are attracted to the brightest colors, they will probably appear brighter once on the walls. Often you can look in the neutral section to find colors that will appear green or blue without risking a piece that looks like a bowling pin.

Look for neutral greens for a monochromatic green room
The Sherwin Williams Paint Tray shows brighter greens on the left and neutral greens on the right

Pull additional colors on patterned textiles to add dimension to a monochromatic room.

Add different colors and tones to your design with wallpaper, textiles (like pillows and throws), and upholstery. It’s also a great way to add more texture and depth to your room.

Coordinating Textiles for a Monochromatic Room
Coordinating Textiles for a Monochromatic Room

Natural elements break up the monotony of the color palette while feeling purposeful and unforced.

Carpets and natural fabrics break up the monotony of monochromatic colors
Carpets and natural fabrics break up the monotony of monochromatic colors

Natural elements to consider:

• Rattan
• Jute
• Plants (real or fake!)
• Metal hardware – satin brass is HUGE right now
• Wood tones
• Natural stone
• Leather

Wood tones in the room can completely change the feel of a monochromatic space.

In the photos below, you can see how adding a darker wood or walnut (left) gives the monochromatic color palette a more mid-century modern feel, while the lighter wood looks blends into the color scheme for a more contemporary feel.

Tile and Stone Options for a Monochromatic Green Interior Space

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