The New Grey

Grey Blinds in Kitchen

Trends come and go but the classic hue of grey is a design staple. That’s not to say that grey doesn’t have its moods; this interior designer’s go-to has versatility and lends itself to Georgian classic stillness through to industrial chic rough plaster.  Grey room ideas often give kitchens, bedrooms and hallways an instant grown up elegance, with even grey accessories adding a touch of sophistication in an otherwise busy scheme (think blousy florals cooled with a plain grey linen cushion). And unlike white that shows every little handprint, you can decorate like an adult whilst still hiding life’s everyday rigour.

Try Texture 

Grey slate bathroom floor

When choosing paint, flat, matt finishes are better than semi gloss when it comes to grey paint as a way to ensure it doesn’t look too industrial.  Grey bedroom schemes are a great place to add texture with fabrics and layering.  Try grey linen sheet, a confident alternative to white, as they feel restful but also have a more masculine quality.  Wool blankets with a big open weave or natural sheepskins can add comfort and interest without having to resort to patterns that could detract from a minimal, sleek feel.  Other rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms are ideal for adding grey in natural materials such as slate flooring tiles or a subtle grey veined marble counter top.

Use with Contrasting Highlights… 

Colour combos such as grey and yellow or pops of red bring wit and a modernist edge to decorating with grey.  If you aren’t ready to commit to a large piece or expensive upholstery, try using blankets or throws, graphic prints on seat pad fabrics, handles on drawers or window coverings. Using a yellow blind such as a Silhouette® Shades will also make the daylight filtered through it seem like warm summer sunlight and warm up a rooms feel.  Grey living room ideas can borrow from French classicism with a hint of pale blue.  Although tonally similar, they play off each other in a surprisingly pretty and fresh way. (To really finish the look add in a gilt mirror.)

…Or Use with a Tight Palette 

Black and white are natural partners for grey.  In this case, Scandinavian pale woods can work as a neutral tone in floor boards or rattan.  If you want to keep it to grey exclusively, layering tones can add great richness: the breadth of hues is a revelation.  Try a soft grey against a harder graphite shade or for a very modern look try “Griege” the hottest new palette.  A much warmer version of the colour adorning the current designer’s notebook, Kim Kiner, Vice President, Textile & Material Design for Hunter Douglas has cited it as the big design influence for 2017.

Good Lighting

Good lightning is key to making a space seem welcoming when decorating with grey.  Overhead light can make this colour seem harsh so avoid spots and look for uplighters or lamps with a golden coating inside or creamy shades instead. This immediately throws some golden shimmer that transforms this colour instantly into a warm and inviting retreat.

Add Metallics Where You Can 

grey wool jumper on chair

Hit two trends in one by incorporating brass, copper and steel into grey furniture sets with pewter table tops or brass drawer pulls.  Metallics need to be used carefully when decorating with grey so that they don’t feel too industrial. Go for matt grey surfaces and some rich fabrics instead. Herringbone wool on sofas with copper buttons, a deep pile rug with grey and brown tones under a coffee table with a brass and glass or a silvered or smoked mirror surface will lend the slinky feel of one of the other big interiors trends, the 1970s nightclub.  Time to kick back with a martini and enjoy your decorating hard work.


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