10 Beautiful Rooms

This edition was first published in January and is a calming set of mostly monochrome rooms. I hope you will enjoy revisiting it and seeing if there is any more inspiration to be gained. I’m already looking at the pendant light in the first picture and thinking how great it looks over the table even though it’s not in the middle of the room – that is if you dropped in other day when we were discussing overhead lighting.

Welcome to the first 10 Beautiful Rooms of the holiday and I hope it finds you well. Fancy a little peace and quiet and five minutes to yourself. Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and let’s have a wander round shall we.

black kitchen by @kronfoto
black kitchen by @kronfoto

First up is this dark kitchen. This is the year of the dark kitchen. I’m not sure dark will ever overtake white but it’s definitely going to give it a run for its money. Whether you choose black, navy or green, this is the year to embrace something a little more bold. Remember you can always lighten the overall effect with pale floors and tables.

Look also at the huge pendant light. This year, if you’re redoing your kitchen, instead of choosing three pendant lights to hang low over the island (everyone has those) consider instead picking one huge one to really make a statement. This one is like a huge hat but the wire structure allows the light to escape so it’s practical as well as dramatic.

brass pendant lamps in black kitchen by sita montgomery
brass pendant lamps in black kitchen by sita montgomery

Another dark kitchen and yes there are two pendant lights but they are brass and, rather than the cliché of the exposed bulb – which is definitely on the way out by the way – they are more elegant and refined bring a sense of glamour to the space. This is definitely a tip for 2018 – glamour and luxe and generally creating a feeling of fabulousness at home.

black and white bathroom by sita montgomery
black and white bathroom by sita montgomery

Sticking with dark cabinets, what do you think of this bathroom? Patterned tiles are only just getting started (although I have been banging on about them for ages) and they work really well to soften the dramatic black and white colour scheme in this room.

monochrome hallway by sita montgomery
monochrome hallway by sita montgomery – follow her on instagram here

She has used the same trick here; mixing circles and lines but sticking to a monochrome palette and using wood to soften it all. This is a great basis for a scheme as you could totally refresh by adding a green table or changing the lampshades for pink or orange. If you’re stuck for a colour scheme then always consider black/charcoal and white/ivory with natural wood for starters. You can any colour of the rainbow to that and it will work. You can also mix patterns when you stick to only two colours without going wrong.

black and white interiors by sita montgomery
black and white interiors by sita montgomery

A final image from Sita (and you can – and should – follow her on instagram here) and she has used the same trick in this living room. A black and white base into which she has mixed warm leather chairs, green cushions and plants and mixed up the patterns – stripes and the Persian style rug. I look at this and wish I was disciplined enough to pull it off. I would always add more colour or darker walls but it’s a great look.

black and white bathroom by mindy gayer design
black and white bathroom by mindy gayer design

And here’s another black and white bathroom with patterned floor tiles and softening wood. Keep the walls as classic metro tiles and you won’t go wrong with a scheme like this. If you get bored you can paint the bath in any colour you like to ring the changes.

a soft industrial scheme by smith hanes
a soft industrial scheme by smith hanes

This interiors scheme by the Smith Hanes studio shows what they have called a soft industrial look. That is a little more refined that the battered look you sometimes get with this style. Great craftsmanship and luxury items (that might be a wolff cooker in the background) combine to bring a more grown-up feel to the industrial style.

a soft industrial scheme by smith hanes
a soft industrial scheme by smith hanes

Finally, a couple of images to show you how to ring the changes to a monochrome scheme as mentioned above. Below the owner of this Somerset house has introduced an emerald green sofa to the room which warms up the grey walls perfectly. The cover, which looks like it can be easily changed, could be swapped for any colour you like and the room would still look fabulous.

mark homewood's house image by Benjamin Edwards
mark homewood’s house image by Benjamin Edwards

Finally this room below which has incorporated touches of pink, which could just as well be green or, this year’s hot colour teal. So find your starting point – neutral and build up from there.

interior_stylingStyling: @aimeestylist 🙌🏼 Build: @thomasarcherhomes Photo: @jamesgeer Chair: @hub_furniture
Styling: @aimeestylist design: @thomasarcherhomes Photo: @jamesgeer Chair: @hub_furniture

So there you have it – 10 Beautiful Rooms, I hope you have enjoyed them. Now back to work for a bit….

Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Hi Kate,
    Any recommendations on where to purchase similar brass pendant lamps (second kitchen) in the UK please? Thank you, Nicole

  2. Hi Kate,
    Do you know where I could find brass pendant lamps similar to the one’s in Sita Montgomery’s blog in the UK? I’m unable to find anything similar in google.

  3. First setup darken kitchen + wonderful selection of rooms. I love the Sally choice. Brass pendant lamps and decent wall lights are perecfetly managing the decrom of room. Thanks for sharing

  4. I so admire your choices here but like you, couldn’t do the monochrome thing. I don’t do black or white well in clothes and remember reading that you should always choose sheets in a colour that flatters you (so as not to look like death make-up-less first thing in the morning!); it would appear I automatically extended that to the rest of the home environment. I suppose I would clash otherwise 😉

  5. I agree with Sally – wonderful selection of rooms. I have been drooling over that Schumacher wallpaper in the monochrome hallway forever. Maybe this is the year to use it somewhere …

  6. What a great selection to start the wk, Kate! I do love the Monochrome look esp- the first kitchen is fabulous, but I would find it annoying having to climb a ladder every time I wanted something from this top shelves! The second kitchen is beautiful and I love the brass pendant lamps and the wall lights( a great alternative to the usual ceiling spots) I’d have liked them in my kitchen, but can’t face all the extra work with plastering etc! Love the monochrome bathroom too.. we’ve just replaced our white sockets with black in the kitchen( with Studio green as a painted splashbacks, the white ones really ‘jumped out’ at you….they look so good, I’m thinking of replacing all the light switches and sockets to black ones- oh dear, what have I started….!

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