Black, White & Grey: How To Make A Colour-Free Colour Scheme Work

Black, White & Grey: How To Make A Colour-Free Colour Scheme Work

I’ll be honest, black and white wouldn’t normally be my first choice, but when I look round I do have a couple of monochrome elements in my home and they are striking. I am a huge fan of white walls. I love my black oval mirrors on white walls, I love our black and white line drawn Matisse nude on a canvas in the dining room.

Technically speaking, black, white, and grey aren’t colours – they’re shades. As a result, learning how to incorporate these elements into your home decor and design can be tricky – which is a shame, given how stunning they can look.

There is something eternally stylish about a reduced colour scheme. It’s simple, effortless, and sophisticated in a way that colours and other shades just can’t manage. However, these shades can also look incredibly harsh, bleached, and unpleasant. Achieving a finished look using these shades requires a huge amount of creativity and effort, and is arguably more difficult than using a conventional colour palette – but it is possible. Here’s how you can achieve monotone perfection in your own home.

#1 – Shades of grey

It’s tempting to think that grey is grey, and there’s nothing else to it, but working with grey is actually all about the different shades of grey. Different shades can create a feeling of texture and depth without the introduction of a colour to help brighten the space. Here’s a few ways you can use grey in combination with black and white, without the overall look becoming too clinical:

  • You could opt for dark grey ready made curtains on a white wall to create contrast. Then choose a mid-to-dove grey for another texture in the room, such as a rug or cushions.
  • Choose a light grey wall colour to keep the overall space light, then use black and white decorative accessories to give the room depth.
  • Choose white walls and multiple shades of grey in terms of accessories; a light grey rug, dark grey cushions, dove grey artwork. The grey helps to warm the white, and provide a little variance, but still remains within the same colour palette.

#2 – Use all three shades together

If you have one of white, grey, and black in a room, then the other two also need to be represented in some form. This is vital if you want to avoid the clinical feeling that monotone can so easily produce; you need to provide depth by using all the options.

This shade variance does not necessarily have to be the star of the show; you can use one main, bold, bright colour, and then just focus on black, white, and grey for your accessories. Just ensure that if you have a decorative feature in one of these shades, the other two are also represented, to help provide depth to the overall design.

#3 – Indulge in textures

The best way to improve a room that is strictly monotone in colour design is to use texture. Texture helps to provide that all-important depth, without the need to introduce another colour into your scheme.

The best use of textures is usually found in soft furnishings. Rugs, cushions, pillows, sheets, throws– they can all make a room feel somehow warmer and cosier, even if the shades they feature are rather stark. Textured wall art is another good option if you don’t want to clutter your home with various accessories; even just framing a textured monotone wallpaper as a piece of art will add a surprising amount of charm to the overall aesthetic.

#4 – Go big and bold

If you’re going to use black, white, and grey as your colour (well, shade!) scheme, then do it. Throwing an additional, bold colour into the mix doesn’t brighten a room up, as many people suspect it will; instead, the additional colour just distracts from the overall theme of the room. This can look messy and unorganised.

If you want a monochrome look, then embrace it, using a variety of grey shades (as mentioned above) to achieve a difference. You don’t need to add an extra colour, so only do so if you truly wish to.

#5 – Think about your metals

Most specifically, chrome and silver– both of which are ‘grey’, and can be incorporated into a black, white, and grey theme with success. Metals can be used in a variety of finishes and shades to help create cohesion and make a room look ‘finished’. From door handles to light switches, choosing both shiny and brushed metal grey finishes helps to reinforce the fact the lack of colour is deliberate, which makes the entire room feel well-developed and rounded.

If you don’t want to use silver/chrome finishes in a black, white, and grey room, then that’s fine too. You can use brushed gold or deep bronze to help warm the space and provide extra interest– this won’t compromise the overall colour scheme and can look fantastic if done right.

In conclusion

Black, white, and grey can be tricky to get right with interior design. However, if you follow the above, you can be sure that you’ll be able to integrate these shades with maximum efficiency, and your home design will look fantastic as a result.

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