- October 17, 2012
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Decorating Your Home in Grey
As the weather turns wintry and cold, our thoughts turn towards warmth, both in temperature and texture. There’s nothing more comforting on a crisp, blustery autumn morning than a large mug of hot chocolate, or getting wrapped up in your favourite chunky knit sweater. On those wet and windy, more depressing days, a roaring log fire, candlelight, cashmere and slippers are things I know I naturally yearn for.
It might seem odd then that the colour grey – when it is so drearily the colour of the sky at this time of year – could be a good choice for decorating your home. Many people associate grey with being dark, dull, dreary and despondent and yes, it can be all those things. However, there are many different shades of grey, plenty of which can be warming, welcoming and comforting.
The classic colour combination of black and white will never cease to be timeless and elegant. However, the stark contrasts of this scheme can be, well, harsh, not homely. Teaming white, or even cream with a mid-grey or charcoal tone, is a modern update on the black-white classic, whilst also being softer and much easier to live with.
Grey also works well with an accent colour, much like black does. I personally love a rich raspberry paired with grey, or the palest baby pink with a silver tone. This season, everywhere from the catwalk to home decor shops are teeming with colour combinations including deep greys with a dark mustard yellow, or deep teal (dark blue-green colour). These are very season-appropriate, and are both warm and welcoming whilst being on-trend.
Turquoise, lime, bright yellow and purple all make wonderful partners for a grey colour scheme.
Surprisingly, grey on its own can be great as a colour scheme. Layered in different shades and textures the possibilities are endless and the results can be far from boring or dull or cold. The fascinating thing about grey is that it can have many different undertones. For example a grey can have very pink or red undertones, which will make it warm and inviting, or brown undertones which makes it soft and natural looking. It can have yellow undertones, which make it look “brighter” in a way, maybe a bit harsher or jarring. Blue or green undertones give a cooler grey. A truly neutral grey is a toned down black, with no coloured undertones at all. Personally I feel these are the greys, especially the darker shades, which can look boring or dull. Choose your shade of grey carefully and the results can be stunning.
For a monochrome grey scheme, pair cool greys of different depths with white and silver touches and dark wood or black lacquer furniture. This will result in a modern, sophisticated room.
For a warm, welcoming softer look, choose greys with a mushroom undertone, and pair with dark or medium woods, gold or silver and an accent colour such as mustard yellow and cream, not white.
Soften up a creamy all-white scheme with touches of pale silver grey, mirror finished furniture, silvery faux fur throws, chalky pale grey paint.
Grey is the ultimate neutral, go-with-everything colour. Get to grips with it and your whole house could be brought bang up to date, made timeless and elegant by mastering the (more than!) 50 shades of grey.
P.S. If you need more convincing, I’m painting the whole of my stairway and hallway in shades of grey. Try Welcome by Little Greene for a pale wall colour.