When I was furnishing my first home I wanted a white sofa, against the better, wiser judgement of my family and friends. I don’t have children yet, I didn’t have pets at the time; my white sofa days were numbered and I wanted to make the most of them. So I bought one and set it on a plush, white rug against all white walls. I soon discovered that the secret to keeping upholstered furniture white is to never, ever let anyone sit on it. And yet, I see beautiful rooms like this and a part of me still yearns for this ultimate minimalist palette. What about you, could you ever do a monochromatic room like this? Would you crave more color, or would it be more a matter of practicality? While I learned the hard way that a white couch rarely stays that way, there are plenty of other ways to bring this look home.

 

Storage – The key to this look is stick to a strictly edited color palette. Everything that does not fit in will need to be stored away when not in use, so storage is key to making this work. Baskets and ottomans can work well for smaller, everyday items while a larger storage piece like this media console can hide wires and electronics.

Light –  The unsung hero of the inspiration photo is actually the bright natural light that is flooding the room. Never underestimate the power of good lighting! Before committing to a white paint, make sure you observe how your options appear in the light of the room – both during the day and at night. While choosing between 5 practically identical white paints can make you feel a little insane, the extra time spent will make a world of difference.

Natural materials – Woods, sisal, leather and straw are all textures and colors that work perfectly against a white backdrop. If you have hats, bags or baskets in these materials use them to accessorize to prevent the room from feeling cold or sterile.

Understated color – While the overall effect of the room can be monochromatic, there are still subtle ways that you can introduce color into a room like this. The copper of the media console and the reddish tone of the tote bag may not immediately appear to form an express palette, but attention to small details like this give a room a cohesive and well-considered feel.

Sources: Inspiration photo Villa Palmier, capiz light Serena and Lily, concrete coffee table cb2, wine Lorenza Rose California 2014, raffia stool Candelabra, woven drink table Serena and Lily, cactus print Cheryl Humphreys, tote Nomad, console LAXseries

3 comments
  1. 1
    Jennifer Rose Smith | June 24, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I can totally relate to this, Cristina! I’ve always admired a stark white denim sectional just like the one in your photo. Rachel Ashwell actually makes some really gorgeous ones and I seriously lost sleep deciding whether or not to buy one a few years ago. I ended up going with a light taupe linen sofa from RH and I’ve really liked it. It reads as almost white in my space against the darker furniture and I don’t have to be too careful around it. I think comfort/relaxation is the bottom line with a sofa!

    Reply
  2. 2
    Jess G. | June 24, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I think you mean “monochromatic”…monotone refers to a sound.

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | June 24, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      You know, I think you’re right on this Jess! We actually spent some time debating in the office and even looked up a few articles on the different uses of the word, like this one: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100118000730AAQrKlu

      However when I just did a deeper dive on the actual definitions, I think that monochrome or monochromatic is more appropriate here. Updated this post — thank you!

      Reply
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