As designers, we definitely appreciate a good paint trend more than the average person. From our annual paint predictions to trending painted tile refreshes, we always pay attention to what’s new, interesting, and worthy of a brush crush.
But considering the time and money that goes into repainting your home, we do appreciate a paint trend with some staying power (there’s a reason we always keep these neutral paint colors on standby). Don’t get us wrong — we’ll always appreciate an impressive TikTok wall mural — but we’re here to reveal a more immersive paint trend that works across spaces and styles.
Meet the "monochrome paint" trend
Enter monochrome paint. A catchall term for painting the walls, trim, and ceilings the same color, this tonal look is equal parts cool and timeless — we don’t see it fading away into obscurity in a few months. On the contrary, it’s been slowly gaining steam for a few years now and shows no signs of stopping.
Plus, the all-over paint look has a way of making your space feel both serene and seamless — it’s basically like being hugged by a room. Given our post-pandemic obsession with all things cozy, this look feels particularly topical. We think it works especially well in traditionally calming, serene spaces like bedrooms, bathrooms, and Reading Rooms.
Ahead, Havenly interior designers shares her pro tips for pulling off the immersive and cozy monochrome paint look, alongside all the inspo you need for painting walls and trim the same color.
1. Go with a bold yet calming color
By nature, this paint trend is bold — all-over color leans dramatic no matter how you slice it. So when selecting a hue for your monochrome paint look, make sure to consider atmosphere and mood — you’ll want to go with something that leans grounded and tranquil. By all means, embrace a saturated hue like navy (we’re fans of Benjamin Moore Hale Navy) or sage green, but always remember color psychology when swatching.
2. Highlight eye-catching woodwork
This look can certainly still sing in a modern, trim-free space, but we do think that ornate moulding or texture-rich millwork keeps the trend from falling flat. If your space allows, consider adding some picture moulding, beadboard, or shiplap before painting for more textural drama.
3. Mix paint finishes
To provide subtle visual variation, always incorporate different paint finishes. We recommend going with a matte or eggshell finish on the walls and ceiling, and a semi-gloss for the trim and doors. This understated sheen will add a touch of dimension and visual interest.
4. Include architectural features
If you have a standout design feature like a fireplace (bonus if it’s vintage like the above gem), consider swatching it in your chosen paint color, too. Doing so only adds to the cozy, saturated drama and really brings the look to life. You can even take things one step further with tonal furniture and decor!
5. Consider a tonal ceiling wallpaper
If you’re not sold on painting the ceiling the same color, consider a tonal wallpaper moment instead. It adds a subtle pop of contrast, while still living in the same cozy, slightly maximalist design arena. In the above living room, we especially love how the wallpaper ties in the furniture, drapes, and brass hardware — overall, it unifies the whole palette.
6. Layer shades of the same color
When going with such a bold, all-encompassing color story on the walls and ceiling, furniture and decor selection is paramount. We love the use of tonal, slightly darker navy curtains in the above space, plus the pops of complementary brown and burgundy in the furniture and area rug.
7. Lean into low ceilings
Painting the walls, trim, and ceiling the same color is a great choice when refreshing a room with low ceilings. While this may seem counterintuitive, the monochrome look will actually emphasize the already cozy, inviting atmosphere present in tight spaces, like a remodeled attic or small guest room.
8. Add high-contrast furniture
To pull off the monochrome look with a dark, saturated paint color (like trending brown), add in a touch of levity with furniture and decor. The above living room sings thanks to the high-contrast ivory furniture and white drapes. Without these crisp additions, the look can lean too heavy and dark.
9. Neutrals count, too!
You can hop on the monochrome bandwagon with your favorite white, beige, or tan paint color, too! Rather than going with a warm white on the walls, a true white on the trim, and a standard flat white on the ceiling, swathe your entire space in the same neutral hue. This subtle switch will make your space feel that much more warm and cozy.
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