What are monochromatic color schemes? (with photos)

Monochromatic color schemes use colors that are aligned on the color wheel.

Monochromatic color schemes are one-color design plans. Unlike analogous schemes where colors next to each other on the color wheel are used, a plane of one color, or single hue, varies only the intensity or hue. Intensity refers to how faded or bright a color is, while hue is the hue with white added to it to affect its lightness or darkness. A monochromatic color scheme is considered a good choice for those unfamiliar with home decor as it is easy to do with little chance of anything actually going wrong with it.

Blue can be used in a room’s monochromatic color scheme.

A common example of monochromatic color schemes is the sample ink chip cards available for free at many home improvement stores. The many different colors on each card show light, medium and dark versions of the same shade or color. Smooth, bright variations of the same color can also be on an ink chip card. An example of using varying intensities in a monochromatic color scheme is combining blue-gray, which is muted, and royal blue, which is bright. An example of decorating with a tone and a hue would be using red and pink or orange along with peach in the same room.

The mood that a given color gives off is an important consideration when creating monochromatic color schemes.

While one-color decorating schemes are often sophisticated and pleasing to the eye, as well as easy to put together, they sometimes have the downside of not being interesting enough. For this reason, a neutral like black, white, grey, brown or tan is typically added in interior design monochromatic color schemes. Interesting textures are another important addition to monochromatic color designs. For example, an all-blue room will be more exciting to the eyes if different textures such as stained glass, carpet and velvet pillows are combined in the space.

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The mood that a particular hue or color tends to suggest or give off is an important consideration when creating monochromatic color schemes. Much of this mood has to do with the warmth and coolness, or color temperature, of a hue. In the most basic sense, green is cool while yellow is warm, but in reality there are cooler and warmer varieties of each color.

For example, blue mixed with green cools it down according to color temperature theory, while yellow placed in it warms it. Red added to yellow creates a warm version, but a splash of green added instead will create a cool color. Monochromatic color schemes can contain warm and cool versions of a single hue.

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