May 15, 2024

The Monochrome Movement: Decorating with Black and White

The Monochrome Movement: Decorating with Black and White

Sticking to a black and white colour palette can be very effective in any living space. Also known as a monochrome approach, this style has been popular with interior designers throughout the decades. And it’s much more versatile than it might sound. Best of all, it’s also hard to get wrong!

Read on as we dig a little deeper into the monochrome movement, including the design styles it works with, the different shades of black and white and the effect of different finishes in your living space.

Why opt for black and white?

One of the main benefits of black and white schemes are their versatility. These colours can be applied to many a style, from modern minimalist and homely rooms to vintage and retro spaces. It’s no surprise that they’ve gained a timeless reputation, staying ever-present through the years.

Above all else, black and white schemes provide great balance. The use of monochromatic colours creates unity and cohesion. It also keeps rooms tidy, without lots of different colours making spaces feel too busy.

Take inspiration from Frenchic Fan Gemma (over at @life_with_the_grays_) who used Blackjack to transform her hallway...


Best of all, blacks and whites can be used to make rooms look bigger with the right approach. Using lighter colours on the top half of a room can create the illusion of space, as discussed in our post on half and half walls. This impression is amplified when the colours of choice are black and white.

Choosing your blacks and whites

You might think that a monochrome scheme is pretty restricted when it comes to colour choices. However, within this strict palette, there is some variation in the whites and blacks you can plump for – including off whites and off blacks.

Off blacks range from soft blacks like Panther and Dark Horse to blacks with subtle undertones like Black Forest with its hint of velvety green. Off whites provide even more flexibility, as lighter colours are much easier to infuse. They range from warmer off whites like Yorkshire Rose and Powder Puff to cooler shades like Peppermint and Cloud 9.

It can be helpful to work with off-blacks and off-whites depending on the light in the space and the mood you are after. This approach can allow for more interest by providing a layered feel.

Take a look at these seven gothic glam interiors and see for yourself...


Don’t forget the finishes

Your monochrome colour scheme can also be impacted by different finishes. Matte and low-sheen finishes tend to provide a softer feel compared to glossy surfaces like laminated kitchen cabinets and worktops.

As well as different materials, these finishes can be incorporated with your choice of paint. Frenchic’s Chalk Wall Paint range has an ultra-matte finish, for example, whereas the Trim Paint range has a satin, soft sheen. This allows you to add a little sheen to surfaces like skirting boards and doors without being too glossy and striking.

Changing names for our black and white paints

Frenchic has made it easier to find the shade of black or white you’re after. We’ve renamed our bold black paint as Blackjack and our clean, bright white as Whitey White.

These two paints will have the same name across the different ranges, so you don’t need to worry about getting a different colour when you opt for the Chalk Wall Paint versus the Lazy Range, for example.

Find out more in our update about new product names for black and white paints. And be sure to check out our range of stunning off-whites and off-blacks too.


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