The secrets to decorating in one colour scheme

A monochromatic colour scheme offers you simplicity and harmony in a space which you can’t get from other colour schemes. We are going to take a look and explore the secrets of decorating using this simple colour technique.

25 June 2019

What is a monochromatic colour scheme?

Monochromatic means one colour. You would think that by using one colour to paint and decorate a room, it would end up looking bland and boring. However, monochromatic colour schemes challenge this misconception. By using tones, tints and shades of the same base hue we can create a collective sense of harmony in a chosen space. This colour scheme is preferred by many people as the minimalist style can highlight objects within a room. This approach can also simplify the design process as colour clash concerns are eliminated.

How do you create a monochromatic colour scheme?

We have to start with a base colour. Once we choose the base colour, we then pick out tones, shades and tints of the same colour. We then apply these colours to accent walls, trim work, accessories, furniture and features within the room. We recommended that you pick and see two options of the base colour for your walls - a lighter version and a darker version. Our high-quality digital renders generously allow you to visualise up to three versions.

Did this room just get bigger?

Monochromatic colour schemes are perfect for decorating small spaces. Using the same colour but in different shades can make your space visually appear larger. For more tips on making your small spaces feel bigger, check out Small rooms, big ambitions.

Throw in some textures, prints and patterns

Unless you’re going for a complete minimalism look, throwing in some textures, prints and patterns in the mix can really liven up your monochromatic colour scheme. Elements in woods, fabrics and furniture will help break up the colour and add interest and depth to the room.

Perfect for wainscoting

If you have any wainscoting – decorative paneling applied to the walls - in your room, a monochromatic colour scheme is a perfect fit. Painting it the same colour in a few shades darker or lighter will make the feature a lot subtler and make the room feel more contemporary. If you decide to paint the lower portion in a darker shade it will help ground and elevate the space.

Go intense, go bold

A lot of the time people like to keep it simple and choose a neutral base colour, but we like to challenge the norm. By choosing an unusual or intense colour like purple, you can make a strong, bold and lasting impression.

Keep it from overwhelming a room

Too many shades from one colour can quickly overwhelm a room. It's important to make sure your colours are different enough to provide some contrast, yet similar to create that cohesive look. Shades that are too similar can leave the room with a muddy and vague feeling. Our colour consultants take the time to think about how each colour fits within your space so you can create that cohesive look.


A monochromatic colour scheme doesn’t have to be boring. You get to be as creative as possible using variations of the one colour. Simply by sticking to the scheme, being bold and throwing in textures, prints and patterns, you can have a room that is easy to manage, avoids colour clashes and is easy on the eye.

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