Friday, March 2, 2018

We're All Ears :: March Challenge :: Monochromatic

Seeing Miss Malin's earring post the other day inspired me. I loved the sleek look of these earrings that relied heavily on a play of patterns and contrast.

That lead me down a rabbit hole that included Anthropologie and their front page feature on Black & White. Here is what their graphic says Celebrate the Contrast.

Now I don't know if I could go fully monochrome in my life. I like color way too much! But the cool thing about monochromatic color schemes - in this case specifically black + white - is you can add in literally any other color and it becomes really exciting! It can be contemporary and sleek, elemental and tribal (hello, Black Panther!), and also vintage and romantic, depending on the patterns, placement and colors that you use. I also think that mixing patterns that are exclusively black + white is a bold way to bring in texture and life and a bit of whimsy to any design. I think we can all agree that the entire world could use more life with a bit of whimsy, n'est ce pas?

I found some great advice from a Buzzfeed article entitled "21 Ways to Mix, Match and Clash Prints Like A Pro" that has some applicable guidelines whether you are dressing, decorating...or designing.

Here are some of my favorites from the article (and my suggestions for designing earrings):
1. Choose one print to dominate and one as an accent.
3. Keep your fabrics (or beads ;-) in the same color family (monochrome, baby!).
4. Pick different prints that share a single color (like red plaid with red stripes).
6. If you want to use the same pattern, invert the colors (so black windowpane on white, and vice versa).
8. Use the same exact pattern in both a larger and smaller scale (like large circles with tiny dots).
10. Break up patterns with a belt (or in our world I would suggest a metallic or solid color accent spacer - but you could think of it as a belt!)
11.Tie a plaid shirt or printed sweatshirt around your waist for an easy and casual dose of added print (how about using patterned ribbon or colorful fibers to break up the bold patterns?)
12. Textured fabrics (or beads or components), like perforated leather, totally count as a print.
14. Pair two types of the same print (like mixing two florals or two stripes or two dots).
17. Pair neutral (or tone-on-tone) prints with a bold monochromatic print.
21. When in doubt, polka dots and stripes always work!
And here are some pictures of interiors and outfits to get your creative juices flowing.

For the March challenge of We're All Ears, I am encouraging you to go monochrome - black + white. Mix all the patterns. Throw in a pop of a color if you like (and don't forget, metal is a color, too! Just look at that awesome copper light fixture and the gold accents above! And a red hat or shoes...yes, please!). Play with scale and texture. Above all...have fun! See you on Friday, March 16th!


  1. Oh, boy! This will be fun if I can get my head above water to work on this! I will find a way! :D Cool idea, Erin :))

  2. Not to be a design Nazi, Ms. Erin but the teacher in me just wouldn't be at peace until I say this. How can black and white together or separately be referred to monochrome? It is an achromatic colour harmony scheme as neither black or white is a colour. Sorry if I dampened your spirit for this challenge