2233 Wisconsin Ave NW • Washington DC • 202 333 2300

Monochrome or Kodachrome?

This design for an elegant and comfortable living room started with a medium grey sectional. A very nice, comfortable, neutral piece, but not terribly exciting. The room is large enough for two seating areas, so we needed some complimentary seating, as well as tables, rugs, something to hold tv components, and some display. So what to do next? We chose to use a monochromatic, neutral color scheme for a sophisticated, versatile, coherent look.

A monochromatic color scheme in soft neutrals can create a harmonious and unifying effect, or it can look as though you just couldn’t commit to a color. I’m excited about this plan for a monochromatic scheme that will be anything but boring.

How to create interest without adding color? First, vary the color values for contrast. We’ve added bright whites, clean blacks, and a range of greys from silvery light to deep.

Add varying textures and sheens. Use ultra-strong textures, like our super cool shaggy rug with white and silver accents. Contrast the rough textures of the rugs with smooth and shiny, as in the polished nickel lamp, the shiny glass tv unit, and the simple sculptural silver cubes.

Add eye-catching detail. The shiny nickel nailhead on the black leather ottomans are like adding jewelry to an outfit. Just the right amount of bling.

Change up styles and shapes. The highly ornate carving on the zebra chair contrasts with the slim, sleek line of the black bookcases.

One strong pattern that zebra chair again, enlivens a room filled with solid neutrals. The finishing touch…a graphic geometric mirror in an unexpected shape. Although, we might not be quite finished yet…a few touches of a brilliant red in the accessories and artwork perhaps?

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