50+ Shades of Grey
Haller continues, “also this trend has really taken off because grey is a colour that recedes, allowing for more vibrant colours to take center stage”.
Now, instead of “grey days” we look to the wise and intellectual “grey matter”. The colour of knowledge, that makes us look super intellectual as well as elegant. As mentioned earlier, you can use it as a versatile backdrop for bright accessories, you can turn to hues of delicate pale dove greys and silvers to create a soft and fun space or play with darker blue/slate and charcoal greys for a more modern look.
Grey is an interesting colour that conjures up different feelings for different people.
There’s the “grey day” which is full of misery and drizzle and that’s pretty much what I thought of the colour back in the day. The dull grey corridors of my school seemed to go on for miles.
However, this quiet achiever must have paid for some serious PR because it has increasingly shaken off its drab image and today it rubs shoulders with the cool colours. Personally, I’m a huge fan but I’m not sure why or when that happened. Maybe fashion saturated my life with it, or the colour and its hues became more interesting or maybe, I just got old? Obviously it can’t be the latter, so I’m going with grey has become super sophisticated and interesting!
Karen Haller, a colour-branding expert, thinks that grey keeps growing in popularity due to psychological reasons. She says, “when there is a level of uncertainty – as we have seen following the U.S. elections and Brexit, we tend to gravitate towards things that make us feel safe, which grey does.”
It’s Not Easy To Be The Master
Be warned, if you’re thinking of heading down to the hardware shop, to buy a few gallons of grey paint, stop and take a breath.
Get this wrong and you could turn your home into a cold, energy sapping prison like place. And we don’t want that.
So, some research is needed and here’s a quick overview:
Dark or Light
Your colour choice will, of course, come down to your personal preference but you should also know how grey affects a space. If you have a small room or one that doesn’t get much natural light be careful with dark hues or it could end up feeling smaller and darker than it already is. There are warm shades of dark grey but as a rule, the darker and more saturated any colour is, the more light it will suck out of you and its surrounds. On the other hand, shades of silver and light grey will reflect light back into your room creating brightness and sense of space.
Dark grey and moody
Home offices are often painted in this so-called neutral colour, however, the first one feels like the old school corridor grey of my childhood. Instead of conjuring up creativity and motivation, it leaves me cold and would probably put me in a melodramatic heap!
Cool or Warm
It gets more complicated! Grey may appear to be a straightforward choice, but it has many different facets that make up one beautiful thing.
Forget your old art classes where mixing white and black equaled grey. No, this complicated colour is deeply influenced by blues, greens, reds and yellows. Hardly surprisingly, red and yellow undertones create warm putty greys and blue and green greys can be steely cold.
To make sure you’ve chosen the right grey for your space, tape paint swatches to your wall and compare how the light affects them throughout the day. Move the same swatch to a different wall and stare in awe as it changes colour with the arc of the sun. When you’re getting close to choosing your special grey, head back to the hardware shop, this time to invest in a few sample pots to paint a larger sections of your walls and go through the same process again.
Finally, you’ll be ready to get the rollers out or call the decorators in!
South facing rooms
A south facing, sun deprived room is always a challenge to decorate but most properties have one. Grey isn’t a “no”, but tread carefully as some will look disappointingly icy and flat – again, get your swatches and paint samples. Also, think about splashes, features and highlights instead of block colours. Enter the magical world of grey interior design and you’ll soon come across a term called greige which is a yellow or beige based grey that reflects light and warmth. Even strong and dark shades of greige or warm brown and red undertones can create a snug and elegant space. Whatever you do, work with your room and not against it.
At the same time, stay away from blues or green greys which will make your room look and feel even colder.
Design yourself a grey kitchen and you’ll be living and cooking in one of the hottest trends of 2017.
Another popular kitchen trend is to focus on two main colours and this works well when one of the colours is grey. You could try the same intensity of dove grey and mint green for a very fresh and cohesive look.
Grey and white will also create a fresh and contemporary kitchen design. Stainless-steel appliances will add cohesion and a soft white will help your new grey kitchen cabinets stand out as well as bring a subtle warmth.
I’m not the only one who has fallen in love with this colour. My street alone is 50 Shades Of Grey but oh, if only it were that intriguing and exotic!
When you decorate the exterior of your house, you are putting your home’s “face” on. This is what the world will see and it will be the first thing you see when you come home every day. There’s no hiding it behind throws, rugs and good lighting so you have to get the exterior right.
Just like choosing your interior greys, you can make your exterior look cool and quaint, modern and sleek or downright depressing and drab like this one!
Grey can look amazing with pastels, brights and whites so be brave enough to create your dream façade. While bright green and slate grey might not initially jump to mind, mix in a lot of white and you’ll see below that it works beautifully.
Or you can’t go past classic grey and white.
With the recent literary genius and box office cinematic masterpieces of “50 Shades of Grey” you have to mention the boudoir when writing on 50 shades of grey!
There’s no doubt that this colour can be hot and sexy or feminine and romantic. Either way, a good grey bedroom will have you relaxed and happy.
The usual rules apply – if your bedroom lacks light you can still vamp it up with dark greys but choose ones with red or yellow undertones that will bring warmth. Just be sure to have lovely bedside lights, lush throws and a cleverly placed mirror or two.
Though you can just as easily have a flirty and feminine bedroom full of silvers and dove greys. Mix lots of textures to create an inviting and modern atmosphere.
As you can see, this colour needs a lot of research to get it right and get it right you must. So, don’t depend on, what is, merely my opinion but invest in Kate Watson-Smyth’s book, Shades Of Grey.
Whether you see it as a traditional or fashion colour, Watson-Smyth’s book will open your mind, help you understand the complexities of grey and give you a better chance of getting it right. Her book is full of expert advice and essential information that will guide you through the minefield that is choosing the perfect shade of grey as well as give you a giggle along the way!