Grey. It’s been popular for a while now and there are two things I’ve noticed about it. The thought of using it strikes fear into the heart of many, yet there’s a fail-safe way to make it work for most modern homes. Rather than discuss all the different types of grey that you could use, let’s explore three easy tips to make grey work without you having to think about it too much:
On the Wall:
Grey really is the new white for walls. It’s an easier neutral to use because it can look softer and warmer than white, which often looks harsh depending on the lighting. The thing that scares most people about using grey is that it might look too cold or too harsh, but it’s easy to avoid this by selecting a soft, warm grey that has green undertones (creating a grey/brown) – think putty and cashmere colours rather than slate or pebble greys, which will have blue or purple undertones.
Tip: Whatever undertone you decide to go with, make sure that you stick to the same with any furniture or accessories you add. If you’ve ever bought an accessory in the same colour as your walls and couldn’t work out why it looked ‘wrong’ it will probably be because you mixed undertones (warm with cool shades).
If you’ve used a beautiful warm, soft grey on your walls, the perfect finishing touch would be a darker, putty coloured unit to complement it. If you’re not feeling adventurous enough to go grey on your walls, however, it’s possible to keep them white and add paler grey units – a bleached wood would look particularly great.
Tip: Add really dark greys in limited amounts to avoid making your room appear smaller. A slim anthracite radiator would become a bold statement piece on a soft grey or white wall, whereas a full bathroom suite of dark grey furniture may look too oppressive in a small room.
We’ve mentioned that any accessories you add should have the same undertones as the grey on your walls or units, but what if you want to add a contrasting colour? Key on-trend colours to pair with warm grey are chartreuse (yellow-green) or mustard, but there are many other colours you can use such as burnt-orange, coral and camel. If you’re feeling particularly bold you could try tomato red or teal.
Tip: Taking a swatch or colour sample of the grey in your room may not be enough to match furniture or accessories to as the light could be very different in store to the light in your room. It’s always better to view the items in situ alongside your grey and it’s easy to do this, even with furniture pieces, if you choose a supplier that offers free no-quibble returns.
View more articles by Vicky Zaremba.