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Design Recipes: Try these monochromatic color schemes

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

Love color? Sometimes your most powerful color statement may actually be lack of color. Many homeowners long for neutral color palettes, typically consisting of white, cream and sometimes gray.

Sound boring? Neutral colors can actually be the foundation for an elegant, minimalist palette if used effectively.

Tone on tone

Tone on tone is a popular color trick used by professional interior designers. The technique involves using tints, tones and shades of the same or similar colors. The result can be a blended palette of similar colors that work well together.


From silver to charcoal, grays may be warm or cool. Gray is one of the most popular colors for those looking to create a neutral, inviting palette. When it comes to using gray, don’t overlook the power of metal. Finishes that you may include in your space such as chrome or nickel can also help to blend with the gray accents and accessories.


So often, people forget white is actually a color. In fact, many designers use white as an accent color. From white furniture to artwork, accessories and accents, white can be a powerful color in your toolbox.

The beauty of brown

Brown is a fabulous foundation color that doesn’t have to look muddy or drab. Instead of the usual deep chocolate tones, which are rich and elegant, consider tones such as camel, toffee or cream. It is also acceptable to mix browns, and even use the color of woods that may already exist in the space, such as architectural features, as inspiration.