Black and white is a timeless, classic combination. “You can’t go wrong with monochrome,” says Martin Waller, owner of Andrew Martin, the landmark interiors store in Walton Street, SW3.

“It’s dramatic but neutral — structural but romantic. Black enhances, white softens, they are made for each other.”

Designers are mad about mono this autumn, including Londoners Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham of Patternity who worked with Tribal Textiles of Zambia on black and white batik, in Selfridges soon and also online.

Rug-and-runner maestro Roger Oates has worked with Islington interiors queen Abigail Ahern on a moody flat-weave edit of black, grey and plum.

Kit Miles has gone geo at Dualit with a toaster and kettle, while New Designers in Islington this summer featured huge collaged mono-prints from Nia Rist and giant floor cushions by Hayley McCrirrick.

Use black in a small space for a wrap-around retreat, with wall or table lights. Add touches of gold metal, and contrast matt with shiny, rough with smooth. On a white-painted wall hang a gallery of black-and-white archive photos. Mix in a little undiluted black and add flashes of lime, sunshine yellow or scarlet.


Broste Copenhagen: Esrum stoneware jug, £20; mug, £10; bowl, £9; plate, £24 (

For affordable mono-chic, Serengeti zebra stripes are £13.99 a roll at I Want Wallpaper. Check out scribble-pattern crockery at Tesco and at H&M online, find black metal or bamboo pendants, £69.99, super-slim black metal shelves and tables, with toning linens and ceramics at H&M in Oxford Street. Lay a table with black cutlery from Ikea at £40 for a 24-piece set, while Neisha Crosland’s luxurious new black-and-white vinyl floor tiles for Harvey Maria are big and clever, and coming to John Lewis next month.

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