The book “Monochrome Home” is the original title of the german translation of “Black & White: Elegant and stylish home interiors” by Hilary Robertson. The book shows wonderful spaces where only the colours white, black and grey as well as all the shades in between are dominant and that will make you want to reduce your colour palette.
In the spring of 2016, London-based artist Anish Kapoor caused a stir when it emerged that he had secured the exclusive rights to a colour. In doing so, he followed in the footsteps of artist Yves Klein, who patented an ultramarine hue back in 1960. But this time, the colour at stake was not an actual colour but the blackest shade of black: Vantablack. Because this black absorbs 99.96 percent of all light, products and works created using it look like an intervention in space – similar to a black hole – and show the observer that it is not always colours and gloss alone that are needed to create impressive nuances.
A reduced colour palette for more freedom in interior design
Interiors stylist Hilary Robertson made a similar discovery, which she describes in the introduction to her book. She recounts meeting a girl who was dressed entirely in black and white and who stood out from the crowd as a result. Inspired by the consequence and elegance of this timeless way of dressing, Robertson then asked herself what it would be like to likewise dispense with colours entirely in interior design and to resist using the colour scale. After extensive research, she arrived at the conclusion that there were numerous advantages to dispensing with colour: the interior became calmer and more timeless, and less expensive objects appeared more expensive. Additionally, doing without colour meant that objects with different styles and from different eras could be blended together perfectly.
Helpful hints for fascinating rooms
In “Monochrom Home”, Hilary Robertson uses inspiring photos and provides valuable advice on how to succeed using black and white for interiors. The book is divided into the topics “Colour-reduced palettes” and “Monochrome worlds”. On the one hand, examples are shown where not all colour has been dispensed with and grey is used in all of its shades, some with hues of green, blue, brown or purple. On the other, it hones in on interiors where black is dominant and a fascinating environment is created by a skilled use of textures, patterns and materials. 20 sub-chapters with titles like “Shades of white”, “Dark echoes” or “Shades of pale” demonstrate the diversity that becomes possible by reducing things to black and white. With personally written texts, Hilary Robertson introduces each chapter in a knowledgeable and informative way; the detailed captions also contain hints on how to choose materials and surfaces.
Photographs provide an insight into monochrome worlds
At the heart of the book are the 150 photographs by Pia Ulin, which give an insight into the homes of architects, stylists and designers that have subscribed to a monochrome interiors style. These are real homes and not set designs. They include an office building converted by fashion stylist and designer Ingeborg Wolf and her companion Claus Larsen from Copenhagen that is proof that a focus on black can make rooms with a limited colour scheme look interesting. In this case, it is the use of materials like iron, wood, concrete, glass and rusty metal that all contribute to a rustic yet luxurious mix.
About the author Hilary Robertson
US native Hilary Robertson has been working for many years as a stylist and art director with a focus on interiors. With this focus, she has already created interior designs for internationally well-known magazines like Elle, Metropolitan Home, Town and Country and Vogue Living. She has also successfully published several books, including “Monochrome Home”, “Stuff of Life” and most recently “Brooklyn Interiors”.
Posted on 20.12.2017
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