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How to pull off a cosy monochromatic space at home

Many people tend to play it safe when it comes to decorating their homes. White is the universal colour for a minimalistic approach and it’s usually paired with monochromatic tones simply because it somewhat guarantees satisfactory results. Black and white spaces also serve as a simple base before homeowners venture into exploring with other design elements like patterns, metallic and colours.

It may be easy to decorate in monochromatic tones as there are plenty of accessories and furniture pieces that come in black and white. Oftentimes the final outcome appears lacklustre because a monotonous space usually gives you the impression of being incomplete — your room feels like it’s missing something.

There’s no need to highlight the elephant in the room. You can easily tell that a corner is obviously in dire need of a print, some textures or an indoor plant to spruce up the space. Whether it is a piece of lighting fixture or some soft furnishing, putting a monochromatic space together is definitely not an easy task.

But sometimes, it is about playing with scale and volume, as well as choosing the right elements to create a cosy monochromatic space.

Dark Wood Furniture

When it comes to choosing furniture for the monochromatic space, it is good to go for pieces that blend into the space – darker tones work best in this case. Introduce elegance by picking legged furniture pieces, from chairs to lounges, and shelves to coffee tables. A simple act of elevating the furniture off the floor immediately creates the illusion of space. (Credit: Commune Life)


If you have only general ambient lighting in a black-white space, the room will appear flat and uninteresting. Inject a cosy vibe with mood lighting and shadow effects by choosing light fixtures that are textural and sculptural. Add a unique touch with semi-opaque or metallic material in a classic shell. Sleek transparent finishes also make it easy to match with other pieces in the room. (Credit: Lightcraft)

Textured Grey Rugs

Make a statement with a piece of rug that stands out in the room. When deciding its colour, go for something in between – grey tones work best — to create a complementary setting for other larger pieces in the room. If you’re considering the rug as the piece de resistance in the room, go for something that is sculptural with flora-inspired elements or geometrical shapes. Never settle for a monotone rug. (Credit: Omar Khan Rugs)

Classics for Character

A three-seater sofa is great to have but you need a lounge chair that speaks extravagance in the room. Perhaps something that is inspired by the 17th century English or French classic archetype but still modern at the same time like the wingback or egg chair in full black upholstery. The tall lounge chair sets the room with character and elegance, best paired with a round side table and a bookshelf. (Credit: Tom Dixon)

Wallpaper as Art

Wall coverings add texture and character into a space. Look out for scale, patterns and detailing that would enliven the mood in the room. Avoid repetitive lines and large prints that are disruptive to the ensemble – especially black and white stripes, polka dots and checkers. Pick something Chinese-inspired or intricate nature-inspired renditions that double as a piece of art; eliminating the need to add a wall-hung piece that would cost you extra moolah. (Credit: Pierre Frey)


How to pull off a cosy monochromatic space at home

Martin Teo


Martin has a bent for history and food culture, especially of the Peranakan heritage. Since the pandemic, he finds joy in plant parenting and continues to expand his collection of Philodendrons, Anthuriums, and Syngoniums. On his free time, he finds time scouring through the latest cafes in search for the best croissant in the city.


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