Monochromatic Colors

How to Use Monochromatic Colors in Bedrooms

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Most design schemes typically focus on using varied colors and accessories to accent bedrooms. Yet, something must be said about a monochromatic scheme used in combination with light neutral colors and rich materials with subtle textures. The look is clean and elegant.

Monochromatic schemes in interior design provide a harmonious, visually cohesive look. Used with light-colored neutrals, monochromatic combinations provide a soothing effect. At the end of the day, this is precisely what you want in a bedroom.

After all, the bedroom should be your home’s most relaxing space. You can achieve a balanced and appealing minimalist look by adding light neutral colors against a backdrop of rich materials with subtle texture, or vice-versa.

A neutral color scheme is best achieved through the use of light hues. White or light cream is often used as a starting point. It provides a fresh and clean feel to spaces. The introduction of natural light against light, neutral colors can really bring life to a bedroom.

Bringing Focus to the Centerpiece of the Bedroom

In the example above, clear architectural glass frames the bed, provoking a feeling of splendor despite the muted use of color. The resulting rectangular wall framed by the surrounding fenestration gives the impression of being a large built-in headboard for the bed.

The bed is the centerpiece of the bedroom layout. The segmented cream-colored fabric built-in bench at the foot and sides surrounds the bed. The actual backboard of the bed, composed of the same cream-colored fabric, has the same segmented pattern to tie it in with the surrounding bench.

The two ottomans flanking each side of the bed serve a practical purpose. They function as an added piece of furniture to sit on or place items on. Despite their contrasting cylindrical shape, they match the color and texture of the bed material. This gives it a unified appearance.

Despite the neutral color of the sheets and backboard, the eye is drawn to the bed due to the subtle differences in colors of the materials used in the room. The textured walls surrounding the bed serve as a backdrop to the featured furniture piece.

Raw Textured Materials

The textured walls, made of polished colored concrete, are bare, but the variation in texture and tone give them a natural beauty without the need for ornamentation. Materials in their primary raw state can profoundly impact the look and feel of a bedroom.

They contrast the smoother surfaces surrounding them, but because of their neutral color, they do not detract attention from the bedroom centerpiece. The natural veining of the material is subtle yet beautiful on its own.

Texture, when used against a monochromatic palette, adds complexity. It creates variety in an otherwise muted color combination.

The Effect of Light and Shadow

When light is introduced, it can give these materials more life with the contrast of light and shadow. The window treatments on each side of the bed are subtle in scale and neutral in color. They allow the passage of some light while adding texture to the glass.

While light is a natural phenomenon that can’t be controlled, it can be manipulated to an extent. The size of openings and the use of window treatments help achieve this. One of the special aspects of light is that it is dynamic. It is constantly changing throughout the day.

This gives the space a different feel, depending on the time of day, the natural angle of the sun, and the year’s seasons. Shadow is equally dynamic, shifting throughout the day and varying in contrast.

Neutral Flooring and Ceiling Colors

The polished natural wood floor tiles add warmth to the bedroom, but their smoothness and regularity make the walls stand out. Likewise, the smooth white ceiling with recessed lights provides a clean overhead canvas that complements the textured walls.

The textured pattern of the wood floor works well with the pattern of the bed material. Despite being laid out perpendicular to the bed, the pattern helps guide the eye toward the centerpiece due to the pronounced joints which run parallel in the direction of the bed.

Notice how the natural light contrasted with shadow provides the flooring with increased luminosity. This adds a more vivid hue despite the monochromatic color composition of the bedroom.

Tints, Tones, and Shades

There are effectively three ways you can vary the colors used in a monochromatic scheme. Remember that a monochromatic scheme starts with one base color. In the example above, that color is beige.

When picking variations to the color, you can alter the tint, shade, and tone. This can be achieved by adding varying amounts of white, black, or gray to the base color used in the monochromatic pallet.

Here’s a summary of how the three color variations work:

Tint: The addition of white to the base color in varying amounts.

Shade: The addition of black to the base color in varying amounts.

Tone: The addition of gray to the base color in varying amounts.

This is helpful when you are selecting paint colors and materials. You want to use these color variations to diversify the original hue when accessorizing a bedroom.

Room Size and Scale

While the bedroom in this example is quite large, the concept works just as well with smaller bedrooms. In fact, using light and monochromatic colors can make a small bedroom feel much larger than it is.

Ample windows, use of mirrors, and open closets (doors removed) are a few additional ways a small bedroom can be made to feel larger. But in the end, the light neutral colors have the most impact.

With light-colored walls, monochromatic furniture, and fixture color scheme, a small bedroom can feel larger than it actually is.

Accessorizing the Bedroom

Plants and flowers are ideal for accessorizing neutral spaces. They bring some natural variation and change in color but without affecting the interior architecture.

The plant to the left helps to break the symmetry of the bedroom, giving it a more natural feel. It does so without detracting from the main element of focus, the bed framed by glass openings.

Besides the plant, the only other accessory in the room is the mirror, with a subtle colored frame. Artwork could be added to the composition. A modern, light-colored piece of art – neutral or monochromatic itself – could potentially work to give the bedroom some individuality.

The remaining pieces of furniture are the nightstand and the full-height, free-standing closet with solid white doors. Like all other pieces in the bedroom, its neutral color helps it blend with the rest of the composition.

Finishing Touches

The bed in the example above lacks accessories in order to emphasize the minimalist feel of the composition. In practice, you would want to accessorize it a bit with throw pillows, a duvet or comforter, or even a throw blanket.

You could stick with the neutral light color for the comforter or duvet. The throw pillows are where you could go with a patterned design. A throw blanket could add some color, though you would want to stick with the monochromatic scheme colors.

You have many options to accessorize the bedroom. The key is to stay consistent with the monochromatic composition. You want to stick with either warm or cool colors depending on what is used in the color palette.

If you follow the rules regarding tints, tones, and shades, you can achieve a beautiful color scheme that feels comfortable and soothing to the eye.

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