The colour that is so hot right now is Grey believe it or not! A colour that is more associated with dull, rainy English weather, rather than sophistication! However this beautiful colour is everywhere at the moment and has hit the high street in variant shades. Over the years grey has succumbed to a bad reputation of being gloomy and dull, but this lovely shade is a clever alternative to a neutral palette. Grey sits between black and white on the colour spectrum, so exploit its neutral qualities by using it as a backdrop. Grey is the new white, its gives a depth to subtle colours, and in my eyes is classed as a more elegant neutral. It can look beautiful in a tonal decor, but can easily blend elegantly with neutrals. It can be used as a subtle compliment or to create a statement, and the variety of tones this colour brings makes it easy to achieve your perfect look.
The most popular shade currently is dove grey, both in fashion and interiors, a shade that Kate Middleton, shown below, has even recently been spotted wearing! This hue is perfect for a relaxed style, the mid-tone grey is great used as a neutral base to a room, with darker and paler tones used to create a subtle contrast. Grey is a versatile colour, it sits well with white and cream furniture and can be glammed up using metallics too!The moody qualities can give personality to a room, use varying shades of grey on walls to create layers and to give depth to the scheme and a contrast of colour, then add a defining accent with splashes of white and green. In tone-on-tone rooms, keep furniture streamlined and simple, perhaps using metallic finishes to give the scheme a lift.
With both warm and cool tones, getting the temperature correct of a certain shade can be difficult. Different shades evoke a different feeling and can have a huge impact on the mood of a room. It can range from darker greys representing strength, to softer greys which convey innocence. Starting with cool greys, these breezy hues have an undertone of blues – “Think of the darkening sky before a storm,” describes New York City interior designer Jennifer Moore. These cooler tones are perfect for a clean, fresh feeling. If you are a fan of this seasons pastel palette, then pastel greys mixed with soft colours and muted whites will be a look you love. The sheerest of the blue/grey colour palette brings eau de nil and silver – these neutral tones are elegant and never date, they can be used within both contemporary and classic interiors and are a surprisingly lively base colour. Find colour inspiration in shells and pebbles, or 1940s and 1950s prints which often feature these shades. From cool to warm, dark greys offer excitement and modern glamour. The general rule when using these shades is the larger the room, the darker the grey should be. Comfort and coziness, which you get with these shades come from the hints of yellow. Its always a good idea to use warm tones in rooms which are restricted of natural light as its slightly golden hue can make a dark space less dreary. Unlike pastel greys, dark shades offer a deep, gloomy atmosphere and these intense shades are enjoying a revival right now. This palette can span from bold, inky blue-based tones to dusky, charcoal. Many of these shades are derived from Prussian blues – the first synthetic pigment ever produced!
How to use pastel greys:
1. Pastel greys are best mixed with soothing off-white and warm neutrals, with pale finished wood such as ash and maple to create an overall calm, yet soft look.
2. Glamour can be brought into an all grey scheme by teaming then with striking black and white. Add drama by using gloss surfaces with soft fabrics and shimmering mirrors.
3. These shades can really bring out fine detailing, such as hand drawn illustrations and patterns embossed on wallpaper, or intricate weaves, embroidery, appliqué or a velvet damask design on fabric.
How to use moody greys:
1. Despite being so dark, these colours can work brilliantly in smaller rooms as they make the space feel intimate and dynamic. If used in larger rooms, it is important to break up the colour using white. Try using a mixture of blue and white patterned fabrics for curtains and sofas to add drama.
2. Accent colours, such as bright reds and oranges will add a punch to rich greys. Vibrant greens are also effective, just remember to use plenty of white to keep the scheme looking fresh and restful.
3. Avoid a busy pattern for a scheme with a contemporary look. Use cream and golds to give deep shades an opulent twist.
How to get the look:
A great way to create a pale scheme oozing with personality is to use two patterned wallpapers which have designs of a similar feel but with contrasting base colours. This pretty watercolour effect shaded stripe, which can be hung both ways, has various sophisticated shades of grey.
Inspired by traditional English design, this sophisticated grey armchair has an understated look. It features turned front legs to bring a smart vibe. Comfortable and classic!
This Isadore cushion has a distressed damask print, team with variant shades of grey cushions to make your sofa look elegant and stylish.
Enjoy the luxury and comfort of this throw. Featuring a dotty design with fringed edges, this pure lambswool throw adds comfort to your interior.
Great for a tone-on-tone room, the striking silver and grey background gives depth to this classic oval shape. Statement lighting at its best.