Over the past few years grey has been an enormously popular colour, used in interior design and decoration for both interiors and exteriors. When something is on trend and that trend has lasted quite a while we don’t often ask ourselves ‘why …..?’. We just enjoy it! But I love to get to the bottom of things, so here’s why (in my humble opinion).
Grey and the ‘Popular Kid’
Firstly grey goes extraordinarily well with white and as we all know, white is now the most popular colour for interior walls and woodwork. This has seen a proliferation of grey leather sofas and chairs, carpet in many different greys as well as fabrics and wallpapers in you guessed it, various greys.
From Light to Dark
As a neutral, grey comes in every depth from the very pale (white with just a drop of black in it) to the very dark (black with just a drop of white in it). So you can find a grey in a depth of colour that is a perfect contrast or anchor for any shade of another colour.
For example, if you want a contrast colour to anchor your white kitchen cabinets, a dark grey looks fabulous on the benchtops or splashback, or even on some of the cabinets themselves! Alternatively if you have dark tiles in the bathroom but don’t want a stark white vanity, a pale or mid grey could be the perfect contrast.
Colour? I thought Grey was a Neutral!
However its versatility comes not only from the huge variation in the depth of colour but also from the variation in the ‘colours’ of grey. If it’s not pure grey (only black and white mixed together), grey comes in a range of colour bases that can be described as warm or cool depending on the base. Green or blue greys are generally cool greys while brown greys are warm because of the red in brown.
Recent favourites have been dark blue greys like Colorbond Ironstone, brown greys in all depths (for example Dulux Grey Pebble and Raku) and concrete greys, such as Caesarstone’s Sleek Concrete and PGH’s Moon Dust bricks. There are green greys such as Colorbond Woodland Grey and purple greys such as Taubmans Ash Violet.
If you are decorating with grey it’s important to recognise these colour bases and their ‘temperature’, when creating your scheme. You may not like the look of a warm brown grey with a cool blue grey, for example. Remember to get samples of your greys and overlap them in the proportions that you will be using them. If they don’t work together as samples they will be even worse in your home!
All that Glitters is not Gold
Metallic greys such as chrome, brushed silver, nickel and pewter were everywhere. While having passed on some of their popularity to copper, gold and rose gold, grey metallics are definitely still in the design ballgame!
So will grey be the popular neutral for much longer? While the particular shade of grey may vary, I think it’s going to hang in there. It’s versatility and the huge range of greys will ensure that!