Decorating the Monochromatic Bedroom

One Color Can Be Enough

Bedroom with orange walls and accent pillow

Rob Melnychuk / Getty Images

A monochromatic color scheme is one of the easiest decorating palettes to execute, yet it can also be one of the most difficult to get right. Done skillfully, a monochromatic room uses varying tints and shades of a single color to great effect, while mixing various textures to keep things interesting. Done poorly, monochrome might as well be monotonous—it’s a boring room with no variety or interest.

Two common misconceptions about decorating in a monochromatic palette are that it means only beige, or that it means using only one hue throughout a room without variation. Actually, any color can be used—pink, orange, blue, you name it—and while monochrome does mean one color, that doesn’t mean only one variation of that color. For example, a room might be decorated with navy, robin’s egg blue, palest sky blue, periwinkle, and cadet blue, yet it’s still monochromatic because all are variations of blue. Nor does monochromatic mean every single surface of a room must be the same color—you can use white or other neutrals to back your primary hue. In fact, the orange room shown here shows off quite a bit of white on the bed, but the vast majority of the room is colored in various shades of cheerful orange.​

Take a look at the bedrooms featured here. All are monochromatic, yet none are the same color, and none, most definitely, are monotonous.

  • 01 of 11


    blue bedroom
    Anna Marselius Interior Design

    If you like to keep things simple, a monochromatic palette is natural. And when it comes to choosing a serene color to work with, you can’t go wrong with blue. Look at how peaceful this blue and rather minimalist bedroom looks. The brighter blue of the chair and the green fern add just enough contrast to set off the soft blue tints through the rest of the space.

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  • 02 of 11


    white bedroom

    Pure, restful, and elegant, white sets the pace for a glamorous yet peaceful bedroom. The heavily tufted beds, wooden floor, twisted ribbon pendant lights, and the ornate mirror are all the texture and contrast this beautiful white bedroom needs.

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  • 03 of 11


    purple bedroom

    While bright purple is great in a child’s bedroom, and pastel tints look lovely in any room, the deep shades of plum used in the space featured here are elegantly suited to the primary bedroom. Dark walls, despite common misconceptions, can actually make a small room look larger, and are a surprisingly good choice for a room that doesn’t get much light. When walls are as strong as the ones shown here, a white ceiling helps prevent a cave-like feel.

    About This Term: Primary Bedroom

    Many real estate associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, have classified the term "Master Bedroom" as discriminatory. "Primary Bedroom" is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.

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  • 04 of 11


    green bedroom
    Real Simple

    Clean, fresh, and serene, green is a lovely color for the bedroom. When you mix varying shades, as in the bedroom featured here, it has enough interest to carry a room all on its own. Look at all the texture here: velvet upholstered bench, tufted headboard, cut rug, metal side table, printed bedding, and sheer curtains. A wide mix of textures is the secret that prevents monotony in a monochromatic room.

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  • 05 of 11


    gray bedroom
    Michael Abrams

    Quiet, sophisticated, and contemporary, gray has soared in popularity when it comes to interior decorating. Take a look at this beautiful gray bedroom, and it’s easy to see why. While an all-gray room done wrong looks sterile or chilly, there’s not a hint of that here. That’s because there is plenty of texture to add interest, and the shades of gray throughout the room lean towards the warm side. Absolutely gorgeous.

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  • 06 of 11


    pink bedroom
    Stylish Family

    Not just for little girls: pink is suitable for the primary bedroom as well when the furnishings are kept simple. In this bedroom, the pink plaid bed steals the show, but the rest of the furniture is quite traditional, keeping the overall appearance grounded. Solid pink curtains blend with the walls and the carpet, leaving the framed artwork over the bed to lend the sole touch of pattern other than the bed itself. Very grown-up.

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  • 07 of 11


    black bedroom

    Think a black bedroom is only for a vampire or a Goth fan? Although it’s certainly not for everyone, black can actually be surprisingly glamorous, sedate, and elegant, as shown in the room featured here. The black patterned wallpaper, zebra-print stools, glorious chandelier, ornate bedside lamps, and chair keep the space from looking grim. But it’s the white ceiling, bed, chair frames, and baseboards that are critical to keeping the room glamorous instead of glum.

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  • 08 of 11


    tan bedroom
    Benjamin Moore

    Now here’s a room that does monochromatic tan right. The lovely wall color—it’s Truffle from Benjamin Moore—sets the pace for a tranquil, yet never boring, space that gains interest from the varying textures in the bedding, rug, crystal chandelier, and seagrass chair. Here’s all the proof you need that a room decorated only in neutrals can be gorgeous.

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  • 09 of 11


    salmon bedroom
    Feng Shui & Beyond

    Is it orange or is it pink? Neither, it’s salmon, a color that floats somewhere in between. While salmon can be quite feminine, it works well in a shared bedroom when it’s mixed with dark touches, as shown here. The black picture frames, simple round mirror, and black leather bench add just enough masculine flair to make this tiny bedroom equally appealing to both its inhabitants.

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  • 10 of 11


    brown bedroom
    Country Living

    Dark brown walls are very contemporary, but the old-fashioned photos on the walls of the room shown here, along with the traditional furniture, give the space yesterday’s charm. The tan throw blanket and curtains hold to the monochromatic palette, but the turquoise lamp adds a surprising touch of color. While you don’t want to add much in the way of contrasting color in a one-color theme, there’s no written-in-stone law against one or two touches outside your primary hue.

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  • 11 of 11


    yellow bedroom
    Brian Dittmar Design

    Yellow is a cheerful color and can be a bit too intense for the bedroom, but when done right, even a monochromatic yellow room stays restful. The secret is to stick with muted shades of yellow, instead of pure, bright tones. Here, a buttery shade on the walls, ceiling, and bedding is further softened by the grayish-greenish-yellowish fabric making up the canopy, throw pillows, and window shades.​