Texture + Monochromatic Design

Let’s face it! We are all a little envious of those crisp, white, Jillian-Harris-style homes that are all over social media. The spaces always feel so clean, large and bright - which is why we are all drawn to them. However, designing in a monochromatic colour scheme, especially a white monochromatic scheme, can be super overwhelming. Most of our clients are afraid of their home feeling too stark or institutional. But, as you can see below, these spaces can still feel cozy and welcoming! The truth is, achieving warmth it’s about texture!

Now, when we say texture, we mean everything from wallpaper and fabric, to decor and furniture. Without ample texture, an all-white space will feel flat and lifeless.

Don't be afraid to bring textures together that may not seem like they are the same style. A great example, as seen in the photo above, are the wicker baskets and the antique, ornate mirror. Separately, they don't really belong together. But together, their soft beige tones compliment each other and add visual interest.

Some great ways you can add texture are:

-linen curtains

-velvet upholstery

-knitted blankets

-wire baskets

-statement light fixtures

-floor cushions or pouffs

Be sure, however, not to just add things for the sake of adding them. This can lead to a space that feels cluttered and disorganized. Instead, think about the way you use your space and add texture to accommodate that! Are you always reaching for a blanket because your husband keeps the house at a chilly 18 degrees (ehem...looking at you, hubs)? Do your guests gather in the living room and sit on the floor? Do you have enough storage solutions? Are your walls filled with art or photos?

Pick your design problem, and answer it with texture!

Here are a couple examples that illustrate the importance of adding texture and variety in your monochromatic spaces:

Example 1

Example 2

Now, I don't know about you, but we absolutely adore Example 1. Although both living rooms are designed in the same color scheme, Example 1 is filled with a variety of textures that pull your eye around the space, creating a visually interesting interior. From the fluffy pillows on the sofa, to the tall tree and distressed artwork, this space has a variety of textures that make it come to life! The space feels welcoming, but not cluttered or purposeless.

In contrast, Example 2 is designed with surfaces that are primarily smooth and flat, which leaves the eye wanting more. It is also almost complete monotone (having no variety of tones) which makes it feel institutional, rather than cozy! And I don't know about you...but I'm wondering how long that milk was sitting out before someone took this photo ;)

One of Hella Design Studios first clients opted for a monochromatic colour scheme for their home renovation and, if we don't say so ourselves, it turned out beautifully! We paid careful attention to the lessons above and brought in a variety of tones, textures, and surfaces, to create the insta-worthy of our clients dreams!

Image Sources in order of appearance: