HOME + BEAUTY
Shades of grey; Touch up
Ilove grey but I’m afraid to use it in case my home looks drab. For a time now, grey has been the new white. Elegant, sophisticated and upscale, it’s rarely dull. But the secret often lies in choosing warm greys, particularly those with just a hint of pink, which are soft and chalky and work perfectly with the ongoing trend for muted pinks, blues and mauves. Warm greys, and that also includes “greige” (a mix of grey and yellow) and subtle green-greys, make a room feel welcoming and are the perfect neutral for bolder accent colours. Cool greys, while they have a place, can make a room feel cold.
First, consider your room. Size, function and light will all affect shade choice. If the room is small or lacking in natural light, a pale silvery shade is best; pretty and clean-looking, summer-cloud greys not only add interest but also brighten small spaces. And here’s a tip. When picking your colour, test it first in the corners of the room that get the least light. As the light falls, the pigment in the paint will get murkier. If looking into the corner of the room at dusk makes you feel gloomy, you know you’ve picked a grey a shade too dark. Grey, after all, is the colour of shadows.
How you use the room also has an effect. For example, bedrooms, used mainly at night, are particularly suited to soothing, rather than stormy, greys. Dove grey is a good option. Moody tones, on the other hand, are great at adding character to larger living areas, especially when teamed with white. Think charcoal walls, creamy white trims and accents of indigo, lavender and mustard. Cool greys, those with undertones of blue, are often good in bathrooms, where their crispness introduces a clean, fresh feel.
Another consideration when picking a grey is contrast. The greater the contrast the more important it is to get the shade correct. There are exceptions, but a dark grey carpet teamed with stark black/ white walls, for instance, will make a home feel like an office. A warmer wall shade (greige, for example) will be more cocooning. Just don’t forget to add brighter accessories to stop it from looking too monochromatic.
And then there’s lighting. If you’re the type of person who flicks on the overheads if the sun goes behind a cloud, grey might not be the colour for you. Overhead fixtures, in particular, cast shadows, which will exacerbate the black pigment in grey paint. Avoid, if you like bright. Alternatively, ditch the overheads and “layer” your lighting by using sconces, pendants, table and floor lamps. Tracey Strange
Copper and forest green are perfect shades to pair with grey. Artwork by Arti Shah at Artistudio, artistudio.com.au