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the mono logs; There's a good reason why our love affair with black and white is everlasting.

Byline: HOME STYLE With Lesley Taylor

monochrome is an enduring interior trend, and why wouldn't it be? It's simple, elegant and, when done right, a hard-hitting design direction with serious style credentials.

Think of stark white backdrops punctuated with solid black furniture and accessories, and complete the picture with carefully chosen textures to introduce depth, comfort and warmth.

Got that in your head? Then you'll see that the monochrome home wouldn't be out of place in the glossiest of home magazine spreads - and I love it all the more for being so easy to get right. And here's how KEEP IT SIMPLE Monochrome is all about the perfect balance between simplicity and luxury. It is the pairing of a simple colour combination and materials like marble, brass, glass, silver and gold. Surfaces should be completely free from clutter, and colours beyond black to white should only really include natural tones, such as greenery.

Given the simplicity of the monochrome colour palette, you can really mix it up when it comes to patterns - from stripes, to herringbone and onto checks and spots. Patterns such as these can create focus and interest in a room, drawing the eye and highlighting key pieces of furniture.

A POP OF COLOUR Plants have been huge throughout 2017 - thanks in no small part to our obsession with Pantone's colour of the year Greenery - and it's a trend you can easily embrace alongside monochrome.

Plants can be set in glass or black planters, or something equally as simple and understated, with lush greens and bold block colour flowers and foliage working especially well against a monochrome backdrop. Ideal placement for plants in the monochrome home includes hallways, entrances and dining tables.

PERFECT SYMMETRY Monochrome is complemented and emphasised by symmetry - think even numbers of chairs, vases and accessories. Balance furniture on either side of the room with furniture of a similar size, though not necessarily of the exact same colour or material.

Leading on from symmetrical pairings, you can enhance the impact of monochrome by using contrasting textures - such as a super shiny table surface with richly upholstered dining chairs, or chairs that feature natural materials - such as chunky wooden seats.

WARM UP WITH WOOD If you're not quite feeling the completely clinical approach that monochrome can achieve without deep colours and warming hues, then wood is your friend. Consider using dark and rich honey-coloured wood, or stripped back pale timber for adding rustic personality. And remember - your luxe materials should be used to lighten, brighten and break up what could be swathes of white or black.

GO BLOCK BOLD IN THE KITCHEN Couple white tiles with big block black cupboards, or vice versa. Whatever the colour combination of the tiles (and remember you can mix and match black and white) every choice looks exceptionally elegant when nestled next to a polished chrome or gold splashback.

STRIP IT BACK In love with monochrome? Then go allout with stripped walls that are taken back to their bare minimum and remove furnishings from the windows.

Large, bright, white spaces are all the better a setting in which your contrasting black furniture will sit - think of these spaces as Scandi/ Monochrome hybrids.

I love the sheer versatility of monochrome - from the slightly more traditional twist that honey-coloured wood can bring into the kitchen, to the allout Scandi style direction that can be seen in white wash rooms with pale pine floors. Perhaps it is this flexibility that forms the secret behind monochrome's long-standing reign as king of interior style directions.

| Lesley Taylor is the author of 10 interior design books and has appeared on a range of network TV shows, including This Morning, giving inspirational advice on home styling. She lives in Wales where she is the founder and design director of luxury interiors lifestyle store Taylors Etc.

lesley's top tips for a mono home 1. Get rid of unnecessary clutter; less is more. 2. Use pattern to introduce interest.

3. Lush plants and natural materials beautifully complement the look. 4. Balance and symmetry are key.

5. Contrasting textures will create focal points.


Textured tiles, like these 3D Hexagon tiles from The Baked Tile Company, look great

Straight lines and the monochrome scheme go hand in hand

Textured accessories, like this lampshade from Vita, will draw the eye. Available from

look. These chevron wall tiles from The Baked Tile Company applied in a traditional chevron pattern to add interest
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 19, 2017
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