To bring a monochrome scheme fully alive, the room needs an even balance of black and white accessories.Use square bookshelves lined with sculptural vases and unusual ceramics add real impact. Look for striking monochrome prints, photographs or paintings to complete the look.
Before choosing fabrics and furniture, decide on the style that you would like to draw from – do you want to go modern and minimal, using only pure white and jet black to recreate the graphic Mary Quant look? Or perhaps you are inspired by rococo style, with elaborate pattern and detail? Alternatively, you may prefer a glamorous Art Deco feel with mirrored pieces set against a monochrome scheme.
Once you’ve decided on a style, create a moodboard by collecting black and white fabric samples along with pictures of furniture and accessories. Spread them out on the floor or on a table and separate them into different looks. Pick out your top two fabrics, one or two favourite images of furniture and accessories and decide which items you are most drawn to. This will determine your scheme. From here you can build up on the theme, adding furniture and accessories that work together and editing as you go.
Choosing artwork and accessories to complete a room can be particularly rewarding. Visit the Crafts Council, or Contemporary Applied Arts, for an inspiring collection of diverse ceramics and glass. Mix these with more affordable pieces picked up from favourite department stores and local secondhand shops.
When deciding on art, black and white photographs are an obvious choice; try http://www.artnet.com or http://www.specialphotographers.com. Paintings with a monochromatic palette and charcoal drawings will also work. Finally, it is important not to overfill the interior. Be selective and make sure you leave plenty of clear wall space as well as room between furniture – this will help to create a restful atmosphere.