Get the look: monochromatic decor

Fred and Ginger. Gin and tonic. Peaches and cream. Certain couplings have enduring appeal, and black and white is of them. A monochromatic palette helps you achieve a clean look, with subtle neutral tones working harmoniously to create a bold effect.

The monochrome look is versatile and can manifest in many ways: a minimalist style works for some, but experiment with styles according your taste. Shabby chic, art deco, traditional or contemporary styles all shine in black and white.

Patterns are a good way to bring monochromatic accents into a room where much of the furniture is built in, and thus limiting your ability to bring in many new shades. Use prints to liven up a room where either black or white block shades dominate.

Experiment with a third colour to strengthen the black and white effect – try adding flowers, furniture or simple accessories. Think about what objects you might add to a room when incorporating the permanent fixtures into the space.

Using the same shade in different textures bring depth, and will prevent the room from looking stale or cold (especially with white). Mix soft furnishings with sentimental objects and add or remove items as needed to achieve the right contrast.