Floor in Down Pipe, walls in lighter Dimpse

How to Use Grey: Part 1 – Cool Blue-Greys

Grey Room Inspiration

Grey, the colour of clouds, concrete, rain and melancholy, yet if it’s so drab and boring how has this colour come to dominate contemporary design?  Interior designers, fashion icons and technology developers the world-over continue to choose grey as the colour of sleek sophistication in the post-recession world.  It’s hard to deny it’s the colour of the moment, but it does still seem to carry these negative associations.

My husband recently rebuked my hallway choice – Pavilion Gray – saying, “it’s just a bit… well…  grey”.  But now we’ve painted the hall (yes I did win that argument!), it’s just because it is a bit grey that it works so perfectly.  Pavilion Gray has bluer undertones and a beautiful pearlescent quality.  It’s just dark enough that it makes all the rooms coming off it feel full of light, but not so dark as to be oppressive.

Yet I’ve seen rich greys like Down Pipe used to absolute perfection in small WCs making the room feel intimate and cocooning, especially when used in an otherwise white house.  And that’s just why grey works, there are so many shades, with varying undertones that you can create exactly the look you want.

In celebration of grey, over the next week I will be posting about different grey colour families; where to use them, how to accent them, and the type of look they will create.  From architectural, cool blue greys to earthy blue-green greys with warm and Scandinavian greys in between, I hope these posts will be a useful starting point for your next grey decorating scheme, here’s the first of four…

COOL, BLUE GREYS

For the first of my posts exploring grey, I’m looking at cool, blue greys with a more architectural feel. These greys are perhaps what you would call true greys.  They have a cooler feel and are best suited to minimal decorating styles and more graphic looks.  Combine with concrete, simple lines and monochrome art and accessories to really embrace this look.

Silvery white Wevet on the walls with Purbeck Stone on the panelling.

Silvery white Wevet on the walls with Purbeck Stone on the panelling.

These blue based greys can feel a little harsh in a family home, but if you are drawn to these shades you can soften them with accents of strong reds like Rectory Red, or muted neons like St Giles Blue, Yellowcake and Nancy’s Blushes.

Cools greys paired with bright furnishings

Cools greys paired with bright furnishings

As always when you’re using neutrals, layering tone-on-tone shades allows you to create an interesting scheme with a decorated feel.  Blackened, Dimpse, Pavilion Gray and Manor House Gray Blue tinged grey colours can be used in this way, along with the stronger accents of Down Pipe and Railings.

Left to right: Dimpse, Pavilion Gray, Blackened and Plummett

Left to right: Dimpse, Pavilion Gray, Blackened and Plummett

 

Floor in Down Pipe, walls in lighter  Dimpse

Floor in Down Pipe, walls in lighter Dimpse, left hand wall in Stiffkey Blue

To create light and space use Manor House Gray on the floor with woodwork in Pavilion Gray and walls in Dimpse or Blackened.  By using richer colours lower down, you will make everything above it feel lighter and more spacious (see above).

Pavilion Gray walls make for smart guest bedrooms

Pavilion Gray walls make for smart guest bedrooms

Cool greys are even more contemporary when contrasted with clean white tones on the woodwork as above.

 



Rebecca Maclean

About

Rebecca’s interest in interior design began as a teenager when she had the ‘bright’ idea of painting her bedroom a striking tangerine shade. Today that passion for colour permeates her working life, and at home she enjoys trying new ideas while decorating her first home. Rebecca loves to travel, seeing the world and discovering new landscapes, sights and flavours.


The Chromologist 2017 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist