This admission was met with open-mouths and incredulous stares as I was advised in no uncertain terms that ‘grey’ is not a colour that should even be considered as a favourite, simply because it’s just so boring! So boring in fact that it’s almost invisible.
But I don’t think it’s boring. In fact, if ‘grey’ could talk, I think it would be quietly non-judgmental. Rather down to earth, and a fantastic listener. It has a presence. It says, “I mean business”.
I love the romanticism of it. It’s neutralness. It’s soft, calming presence. It’s actually formally, informal! It’s a classy colour. It’s a classic colour. It’s a welcoming shade that can pair effortlessly with other classics. Think charcoal. Or baby pink.
Gone are the days when the key neutrals seen in every home…” Yes, yes, we’re going for the magnolia – neutrals are best, we’ll add colour accents with some bright cushions…” were bottom of the barrel beige. Grey now reigns supreme as the trendy base colour of choice, primarily due to its versatility and chicness.
Grey is timeless. Grey is on-trend. Grey allows us to be as subtle, or as bold, as we dare! And a muted palette of greyness can work in the kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom. On floors, walls, ceilings, furniture, accessories…it is always neutrally stylish.
Grey may be ‘boring’ but imagine the drama when it’s teamed with a vibrant burnt orange. Or paired with a deep mustard yellow. A bright teal blue or a stunning emerald green.
Grey can be warmed up – or cooled down - depending on how we want to pair our greys with our furniture. Cool greys have hints of blues or green within them, making them the perfect partner for pale wood. Or warm things up with contrasting sheepskins and faux fur throws.
But wait. Is grey a colour of compromise because it sits somewhere in the middle, between the two extremes of black and white?
Well I believe that grey is most definitely not a colour of compromise. It is a colour in its own right, and one which has worked hard to rise up the ranks within the interior design world, and for that, grey deserves to be given some credit.
As for 50 shades of grey, there are in fact around 500 shades of grey* which can be distinguished by the human eye and this perhaps goes some way towards explaining why grey has become an interior designers’ favourite!
But even with all these varieties, it doesn’t mean we can simply slap some grey on a wall and expect the magic to happen within our interiors. The space must be balanced carefully.
• Soften a small space by painting walls in a light grey with warm undertones.
• Create a clean, spacious and neutral feel in a kitchen using grey as a softer alternative to the previously trendy, yet stark and sterile, white.
• Use grey as a super punchy backdrop against furniture in lighter and darker hues of grey.
This shift towards creating a home that is a comforting retreat from the outside world yet is also a chic environment means that, in my opinion at least, grey is here to stay.