Attempt the look on full-fledged rooms or via smaller design moments, like a floral arrangement—the choice is yours.
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blue home entryway
Credit: Eric Piasecki/OTTO

When you're flirting with décor ideas, there's much to be said for committing to a single favorite hue that makes you extremely happy. The monochromatic approach may be the most basic in color-and-design theory, but the results are stylishly sublime. Below, explore inspiring spaces that illustrate this option, and discover ideas (both big and small) for inviting it into your place.

Blue Mood

Above, a subtle mix of grayish blues "gives this entryway personality without overriding its historic features, strong proportions, and beautiful stripped pine floors," says designer Steven Gambrel. He chose Domingue paint in Swale for the walls, Benjamin Moore Shaker Gray 1594 for the door, and Benjamin Moore Platinum Gray PM-7 for the trim and risers.

kitchen with gray shelving
Credit: Jennifer Hughes

Many Shades of Gray

Maybe not 50, but there are about 15 shades of gray in this calm kitchen. "The tile adds texture, and the copper hardware is a neutral accent," says Living home editor Lorna Aragon.

pink sitting room
Credit: Pieter Estersohn

Pink Romance

In Martha's guesthouse at Skylands, in Maine, soft, pale walls take a cue from pink granite that was quarried on-site and used throughout the property and to line her driveway. (Sherwin-Williams SW 6323 Romance is a similar shade.)

green sitting room
Credit: Pieter Estersohn

Green Galore

At Martha's Bedford home, the living-room walls link to the lawn outside and the schefflera plants inside. Looking for a close match? Try Valspar Ivy Pasture 6004-6C.

standalone white bathtub
Credit: Lisa Romerein/OTTO

Neutral Central

This creamy bathroom adds interest with different finishes. "The tub is shiny, the walls are matte, and the woodwork is in-between," says Lorna. "The brass and gold and the floor's veining act like neutrals."

Try It Yourself

Looking to commit to the monochrome approach? Consider the below paint, wallpaper, and sofa combinations.

Say Yes to Yellows

First up is yellow: From buttery creams to bold golds, they brighten any room like natural rays.

yellow paint swatches
Credit: peter ardito

Golden Hour

Sunrise and sunset—that's what pairing up these dynamic shades gives you (just inside!).

Shop Now: Benjamin Moore Pale Moon OC-108,; Clare Golden Hour Interior Paint,

Benjamin Moore x Alpha Workshops Capsule Collection Kimono
Credit: Courtesy of Alpha Workshop

Marigold Luster

Introduce several gradations—and levels of luster—in one wallpaper.

Shop Now: Benjamin Moore x Alpha Workshops Capsule Collection Kimono in French Marigold, $170 per yard,

Lulu & Georgia Hollingworth sofa
Credit: Courtesy of Lulu & Georgia

Yellow Velvet

Texture of any kind gives a room personality. When it comes to sofas, you can't go wrong with cozy cotton velvet.

Shop Now: Lulu & Georgia Hollingworth Sofa, $3,298,

Buy Into Browns

Shades in this family, however light or deep, are warm, organic, and grounding.

brown paint swatches
Credit: Peter Ardito


Try Valspar's Faint Maple on the walls and use Sherwin-Williams' Sable on trim for intriguing tonality.

Shop Now: Valspar Faint Maple 2008-9C,; Sherwin-Williams Sable SW 6083,

Lisa Fine Textiles Luxor
Credit: Courtesy of Lisa Fine Textiles

Coffee Tones

This hand-printed design mixes café au lait (a neutral) with deep mocha for contrast.

Shop Now: Lisa Fine Textiles Luxor in Coco/Parchment, $42 per yard,

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams London sofa
Credit: Courtesy of Mitchell Gold Home

Curved and Complementary

Curved lines, cushy velvet fabric, and neutral wooden legs (on wheels for ease of motion) complement a latte hue.

Shop Now: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams London Sofa in Sepia, $4,667,

Reach for Reds

Rich, earthy reds from terra-cotta to rust can turn a wall the striking color of a desert sunset.

red paint swatches
Credit: Peter Ardito

Ruby Satin

Terra-cotta and ruby just became our favorite color combination. Why not splash it across your walls?

Shop Now: Farrow & Ball Red Earth,; Behr Moroccan Ruby Satin #64 Interior Paint,

Wayne Pate+Studio Four NYC Casablanca
Credit: Courtesy of Studio Four NYC

Red Mosaic

A duet of burnt reds, plus dashes of taupe, make up this pattern inspired by Moroccan mosaic tiles.

Shop Now: Wayne Pate+Studio Four NYC Casablanca, $68 per yard,

One Kings Lane Ashby sofa
Credit: Courtesy of One Kings Lane

Regal Red Settee

In this regal settee, a wooden base and tufted back break up the plush red-ochre upholstery.

Shop Now: One Kings Lane Ashby Sofa in Rust Velvet, $4,395,

Just a Splash

Apply the monochromatic approach to an entire room—or use it on a smaller scale, as in the ideas below. Stick to one hue you love to group flowers or prized possessions, and even to set striking tables. It's a surefire route to a cohesive look.

yellow and red flower arrangement
Credit: Sang An

Flower Arrangements

You know who's great at creating infinite variations on one color? Nature. To create simply gorgeous bouquets, say, "Give me all the yellows."

white dish display on shelf
Credit: Helen Norman


Style same-shade pieces together to make artful displays. For interest, add something similarly hued yet different, like an ostrich egg.

table setting with red patterned tablecloth
Credit: The Ingalls


Single-minded settings create a super-pretty, immersive table. Here, even the glasses and flatware get in on the burgundy action.


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