Not a fan of high voltage hues? Scandinavian inspired minimalism is for you, realised in sophisticated monochrome…

There’s a lot of talk being bandied around about the latest colours to hit interiors. This year saw pastels take centre-stage and jewel tones are heralded as next year’s heroes. But black + white is a classic colour scheme, and there’s plenty of pretty going on in this area of town if you’re a lover of monochrome.

Our black and white minimalist look has been styled by Zanui’s inhouse stylists. We think it makes a nice contrast to the Natural/Tribal look with its sleek lines and understated palette.

Zanui Chloe Chaise Lounge, j.elliot HOME Carraway Side Table, Zanui Scarborough Black Side Table, NSW Leather Co. Sheepskin Animal Hide Rug, Pale Grey and Amigos De Hoy leather cushions, available online at Zanui.

“This look is a take on the Scandi trend,” Homewares buyer Stina says, “but instead of focusing on a mix of wood and whites, we are looking for a more sophisticated take on the Nordic style.”


Zanui Chloe 2.5 Seater Sofa, Black, Beaumont & Braddock Cube Concrete Square Side Table, NSW Leather Co. Sheepskin Animal Hide Rug, Pale Grey, Amalia Chunky Weave Wool Rug, Black, and Amigos De Hoy leather cushions, available online at Zanui.


Much has been said about the power of svelte and clean lines to evoke an emotional response in the viewer. Classical curves (like the ogee) are said to have romance whilst minimalism pivots on a more austere kind of elegance.

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L to R: Barber & Osgerby Olio collection for Royal Doulton, Amigos De Hoy Metal Dipped Serving Board and Small Spoon, and Casa Uno Marble and Slate Boards, and Iniko Huxford Charcoal Grey Desk, available online at Zanui.

Minimalism arose in the 1950s and is characterised by its use of large, simple forms in art movements. In interiors, this translates to a less fussy, more functional aesthetic at its most extreme. It works on the premise of paring things back – thus its clean lines are central to its strength.

Zanui Chloe Chaise Lounge, j.elliot HOME Carraway Side Table, Amalfi Marble Cube Candle Holder (Set of 3) NSW Leather Co. Lark Faux Fur Throw, Magnet, available online at Zanui.

“For this look, clean lines, black powder-coated metal furniture and decorative pieces like skinny candlestick holders and marble + concrete accessories are key items,” Stina says.

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L to R: Zanui Samson Bed, Zanui Scarborough Ash Side Table, and Ballard Floor Lamp, and Perfect Timing Diamond Hour Glass, 30 mins, Endless Road Cushion, and 1/4 Leather Cushion, available online at Zanui.


Your basics are those larger standard items of furniture: your sofas, your bed frame, your dining table… These form the foundations for your look. They are the building blocks for your interior style. Take time when you’re choosing these pieces. They carry a higher price tag because they should be with you longer.

More traditional pieces are often more versatile. They allow you to change up your aesthetic with your accents (your cushions, throws and vessels). But if you’re head over heels for a hot pink sofa, we’re not ones to stand in the way of true love.

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L: Zanui Chloe Light Grey 2.5 Seater Sofa, Boston Check Throw, Midnight, and Square Leather Cushion. R: Zanui Chloe 2.5 Seater Sofa, Black, Beaumont & Braddock Cube Concrete Square Side Table, Ballard Floor Lamp, Black, and Amalia Chunky Weave Wool Rug, Black, available online at Zanui.

For this look, we have chosen the Chloe 2.5 Seater Sofa and the Chloe 3 Seater Chaise Lounge. The Chloe sofa design bridges classic and modern aesthetics. Its wooden legs collude with the Scandinavian style.

Rapee Crossroad Throw
Zanui Samson Bed, Zanui Scarborough Black Side Table, Rapee Crossroad Throw, and Eat Sleep Create Repeat Framed Print, available online at Zanui.


Working in monochrome doesn’t need to be a strict exercise. Nor does it need to be masculine, although it holds the potential to be truly handsome. Explore juxtaposing different grey tones with deep blues or arrest the eye with carefully located injections of colour for that personal touch.

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L to R: Barber & Osgerby Olio collection for Royal Doulton, St Albans Storm Cotton Throw and j.elliot HOME Pom Pom Throw, available online at Zanui.

“Whites, blacks and all shades of greys work as the colour base for this look,” Stina explains. “But you can easily add splashes of moody dark colours, like navy, or match it with a lighter pastel palette of powdery pink or pale blue.”

13 Bambury Boston Throw and Boston Check Throw, Midnight
L to R: Square Leather Floor Cushion, Endless Road Cushion, Vito Cushion, Sheepskin Animal Hide Rug, Pale Grey, Lark Faux Fur Throw, and Boston Check Throw, Midnight, available online at Zanui.


Incorporate wooden surfaces, faux fur, Icelandic sheepskins and heavy woven knits to add warmth and texture to this look.

Pots and plants work well to soften a minimalist space but clear or tinted glass vases and lush flowers are the go-to for complementary foliage.

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L: Zanui Chloe Light Grey 2.5 Seater SofaBoston Check Throw, Midnight, Marble Crosses Print Art and Square Leather Cushion. R: Zanui Samson bed and Amalia Chunky Weave Wool Rug, Grey, available online at Zanui.


Soften the edges of this style with your own curated collection of artwork. Choose a statement piece that you adore to occupy pride of place. Look for dramatic colour play and size to maximise your visual impact.

Or opt for framed prints in multiple sizes to create personalised gallery walls in place of larger canvas wall art. Photographic art, monochrome geometric patterns and animal portraits work beautifully as well with this look.

Crawford Table Lamps, Ballard Floor Lamps, and Hartman Table Lamps, available online at Zanui.


Consider alternatives to your traditional ceiling lights to increase the ambience within your space. Look to pendants, table lamps, and floor lamps for more subdued light and shade.

Metallics also work well within this monochromatic scheme. They add a touch of unpredictability thanks to their refractions and light-play. Introduce some decorative metallic accents for just a suggestion of decadence.

“We’ve seen the metallic trend for a couple of years now,” Stina says. “Copper was the go-to metallic shade for 2015 but this year we’re seeing more brass and gold finishes, as well as matte black metal pieces.”

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.