– SMOKE TO CHARCOAL
Perfectly still, grey-toned skies can seem an infinite expanse, an absence of colour. Misty, pale smoke greys create a blank canvas upon which other colours can play. Mid-tone greys of pebble, concrete, steel or pewter – solid and dense – respond strongly to sumptuous surfaces that encourage and enhance their depths. As dusk settles, the dark of night brings deepening greys layering gradually with black, shadow, ash and charcoal sinking into midnight, ebony and raven’s wing.
HOW TO USE GREY
Grey occupies all the unsung spaces between black and white. Adaptable as they are, greys need careful attention when selecting shades for the home. A tint or tone in the wrong direction can mean a slip between feeling too warm or too cool. Greys that contain too much lilac or icy blue can make a room feel rather unwelcoming – painting all four walls the same grey makes this worse.
Use pale greys as your background, then apply linear accents of colour in small-scale, considered placements. Restrained greys blended and contrasted on walls, ceilings and woodwork result in a thoughtful pattern that feels both bold and restful simultaneously. Employ darker colours on radiators, skirting boards, doors and door frames, and a paler shade on the ceiling. Avoiding whites for this sort of palette means each colour is a tonal variation.
Greenish tints of pale grey span thistle to sage, celadon to lichen. Darker shades include olive, khaki and slate. These softly tinged green-greys provide wonderful backdrops in the home, offering a natural warmth while at the same time feeling peaceful and neutral. These are laid-back, placid shades, effortlessly surrounding us with a casual sense of quiet style.
Deep shades of darkest greys and blacks work well for display areas featuring treasured items, curios and other collections of objects. A dark backdrop has a dramatic effect on the bright coloured objects in the foreground. This ‘cabinet of curiosities’ effect is timeless and creates a staged ‘theatre’ for your carefully curated personal belongings.
Adapted from Love Colour: Choosing Colours to Live With by Anna Starmer (Ivy Press)