Always stylish and beautifully chic, the monochrome look in a home never fails to impress. Black and white is timeless and in a bedroom or living space can be both classic and sophisticated. But for this room scheme – for which we were proud to win a Residential Interior Design award – we opted to mix the monochrome with some carefully chosen bold prints to create a Tropicana meets Out of Africa theme.

This sleeping and living area with a spacious bathroom is eye-catching and has been inspired by Sarah’s own global travels. Whilst working as an interior designer overseas, she was always drawn to the hand-finished work of the crafts collectives she came across whilst travelling in South Africa and never failed to be moved by the sight of landscapes filled with vast palm plantations. Here, she has woven these sources of inspiration the simple elegance of black, white and shades of grey, with a generous injection of African-inspired pattern and jungle-colour, creating a look brimming with drama, vibrancy and warmth that can be replicated in your own home.

Here, you can see a feature wall of Gaston Y Daniela paper with its graphic palm leaf print in banana-yellow and parrot-green. Accessories in a variety of patterns and colours, bring life and impact to the scheme. Plump cushions made from Larsen hand-stitched embroidered fabrics are evocative of zebra stripes, with the stripey theme emphasised further in smaller Dedar scatter cushions backed in an opulent yellow-gold silk, whilst there’s a burst of colour and a nod back to the scheme’s plantation influences with a single palm print cushion by Jab in a crisp white and jewel-green. Throws in geometric patterns complete the soft furnishings –  one used as a bed cover is a washable fabric from Jim Thompson and the dog tooth throw in black and white was a bespoke purchase for Sarah’s own home products website Nielsen House ( from a local woollen manufacturer.

To add the wow factor to a bedroom, an oversized headboard is a clever and often cost-effective way to make a statement. By using just six panels fixed to the wall and covering them with faux leather, Sarah has kept the cost down –  and her choice of finish has the added benefit of being practical too, as unlike some bed heads, it won’t mark with hair gels and other products that can be hard to remove.

The same focus on practicality runs through her choice of furniture in this room. The sofa is leather which is less likely to stain and the chairs are a wipe-able rattan-look which is very much on trend this year. And the grey tonal Fabula by Nielsen House rug in the centre of the room inset into the wide ebony floor boards, achieves a sleek finish, whilst also helping to avoid any trip-up accidents.

Sarah’s love for Africa shines through also in the bathroom area. Though more monochrome than other parts of the scheme, it still avoids restraint. Native-influenced prints, both on the walls and in floor tiles, work their magic with a wipeable Abbot & Boyd wallpaper in a tribal-inspired print, and geometric encaustic tiles in three shades by Ca’Pietra. A generous bath and super-sized shower add an instant dollop of luxury and marble and slate have been used to finish the wet areas. Tip – large tile sizes keep grouting, with its need for continued maintenance, to a minimum. 

We love this scheme and hope you can take elements as inspiration for your own home makeover. Through our home products website we can help you restyle your own space – please contact us for further information.