Bring monochrome home:why black-and-white is always right for creating chic and timeless interiors

Monochrome is a chic and powerful look. The National Gallery celebrates the infinite variety of black and white at a new exhibition.
‘Black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.’ Coco Chanel (1883-1971).
Opening next Monday (until February 18) at the National Gallery isMonochrome: Painting in Black and White, with more than 50 works spanning from over 700 years filling seven rooms.
Find paintings by old masters such as van Eyk, Durer, Rembrandt and Ingres along with modern artists such as Bridget Riley and Gerhard Richter. “Here is a radical new look at what happens when artists cast aside the colour spectrum and focus on the visual power of black, white, and everything in between,” says National Gallery Director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi.
As for interiors, monochrome has always been with us, a sure fire path to elegance, by turns delicate, with fine drawn patterns and tones of grey; homely with traditional weaves of checks  and herringbone; to dramatic, with boldly contrasting stripes, spots, chevrons and op art. Or you can do it all on a budget by simply using paint.


Brixton based fashion design duo Eley Kishimoto are known for their radical take on pattern, which recently they’ve taken into interiors. Their favourite black and white motifs, in a uniquely complex  twisted geometry, are now translated into audacious mix-and-match wallcoverings and fabrics for the trend-setting label Kirkby Design.  Black-and-white motif fabric, from £105 a metre at Kirkby Design


Black and white tiles create a classic patterned floor. These Harley Street porcelain tiles are from Walls and Floors, £29.95 per square metre


Add drama to a hall floor with this baked porcelain tile inspired by a Victorian original. Use for a border, perhaps, or add a black border to a patterned section.  Paxton pattern tiles, £41 a square metre from The Baked Tile Company


Surface View has a vast archive of wallpapers. This image is from itsRoyal Academy of Arts Collection, £65 a square metre, made to fit your wall


Stripes are the definitive mono classic — and as they widen, so does the impact. Running stripes horizontally appears to expand a space. This bold, contemporary Eco wallpaper is £27 a roll from Brewers


Hand-glazed stoneware made in Portugal has an arty abstract black and white splatter design that’s different on every piece. A dinner plate or pasta bowl £10, mug or small plate £8, at West Elm
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