city, decor, houses, inspiration

famous monochrome homes

The July 2017 issue of House and Leisure is all about glamorous renovations that make the most of a limited palette. When done correctly, a black-and-white interior can be as striking as all-out colour, but achieving this effect without it becoming an uninviting or bland space isn't as easy as the experts make it seem. For more monochrome inspiration, we take a look at a few famous homes that get it just right.

Meg Ryan

Image: William Abranowicz for Architectural Digest

To transform her New York City loft into a perfect, mostly monochrome haven, actress Meg Ryan enlisted the help of architect Joel Barkley and designer Monique Gibson. Art features prominently throughout the home and the kitchen is no exception, with two prints from Ryan's photography collection (one by Sebastião Salgado and one by Annie Leibovitz) displayed in thick black frames, which stand out against the room's white tiles and marble shelving.

Timothy Haynes and Kevin Roberts

Image: Simon Upton for Elle Decor

New York-based design duo Timothy Haynes and Kevin Roberts practise great restraint in their Manhattan, New York, loft, opting for a palette of black, white and a soothing variety of in-between shades. The formal living room features iconic design pieces such as a pair of 1950s armchairs by Joseph-André Motte and a brass cocktail table by Gabriella Crespi from the '60s. A minimalist approach is cleverly punctuated with playful pops of colour in this simple yet striking home.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Image: Compass for Style at Home

Also in the Big Apple, Thespian Gwyneth Paltrow's Manhattan penthouse has all the trimmings, carefully curated in a dreamy palette of delicate whites, neutrals, lavenders and soft silvers. Although decidedly pared back, the dining area is one of the bolder rooms, with a lowered, dark-wood table and leather-bound seats taking centre stage. A shaggy white carpet adds a sense of opulence and large windows flood the room with light.

Alexander Wang

Image: Maciek Kobielski for W magazine

Renowned fashion designer Alexander Wang doesn't think of his Tribeca apartment in New York City as luxe, opting instead for 'serene' as its descriptor, but we beg to differ. His living area features a pair of zebra-skin rugs and is filled with heavy, black furniture in leather, faux fur, velvet and polished wood. It's a daring look and, thanks only to Wang's visionary touch, it works.

Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres

Image: William Abranowicz for ELLE Decor

Decorating in black and white can easily feel harsh, but at Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres' Santa Monica ranch, earthy tones and layered, natural textures make for a wonderfully cosy retreat. In the kitchen and informal dining area, an Italian industrial light fixture hangs above 19th-century American Windsor chairs, while a large, built-in fireplace of white-painted bricks fits snugly against the opposite wall.
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