Why Grey Is THE Interior Decorating Colour Of The Moment
For a long while grey has had almost wholly negative associations. But something interesting and liberating is happening. A colour once written off as drab and austere is suddenly becoming all the rage. Where many saw grey as evoking concrete or industrial settings, some see in this polarising colour the subtle organic quality of natural stone.
In fashion, grey and silver hair has turned from something to be hidden to something to be celebrated. And 2016 has witnessed a seasonal trend for grey attire as a sophisticated and versatile look.
A grey revolution has also taken place in architecture which celebrated architect David Adjaye had a hand in kick-starting with his striking ‘Dirty House’ in East London. That trend affects the insides of buildings as well as just the outsides.
Pip McCormac over at Red Magazine waxes lyrical about the reasons for the current grey trend in home décor, saying this muted colour, “makes living rooms look sophisticated, it makes bedrooms feel grown up and sumptuous. Bright colours pop out from the backdrop of a grey sofa, pale colours shine when mixed into a grey scheme.”
Anita Joyce at Cedar Farmhouse thinks that grey’s role as a neutral ‘anchor’ for colour schemes means that it is ‘the new standard.’
Social media site Pinterest has become a go-to platform for discovering fashion and home décor trends straight from the horses’ mouth; the customers themselves. In April, Gabrielle Savoie at My Domaine noted that the social media giant had seen a 20% increase in interior pins featuring grey over the proceeding year; making it the most popular interior decorating colour of all, with mauve following hot on its heels in second place.
For final proof that the grey wave shows no sign of breaking, as a general journalistic rule of thumb, a colour is not the latest trend unless someone has described it as the new black. Lo, Elle Décor have thrown down the gauntlet with that very claim.
Grey: the worst kept design secret?
So what is the secret to grey’s style ascendancy? For a long time grey was thought of as a dreary, austere colour and associated with melancholy moods, over-seriousness or, especially in Britain, bad weather.
But not any more. Grey’s secret weapon is that it functions as a quiet, neutral colour that creates a sophisticated-looking canvas on which to paint your home décor vision. Beige used to be the go-to neutral colour but things have changed.
Unlike its off-cream cousin, grey is actually an incredibly versatile colour. Depending on the colours you match it with, grey can be either cool and chic or warm and cosy.
Grey’s darker tones also make it a more aesthetically interesting colour than beige. There’s something slightly edgy about using grey as a neutral because it bucks the beige trend. And that’s exciting.
Another factor in the grey renaissance (should that be ‘re-grey-ssance’?) is the returning popularity of Scandinavian interior design, with its understated utilisation of pale tones and textures and its clever use of space and natural light.
How to go grey with style
In the living room
In the living room, faux fur throws provide a solid way to augment your grey-based colour scheme. Always be conscious of how the colour of your fur throw resonates with the other elements of your colour scheme. As always, keep things minimal and consistent and you can’t go far wrong.
A grey sofa throw, such as our Badger faux fur throw, would create a sophisticated layered effect if draped over a light grey sofa. Or an alternative to a grey faux fur throw would be to select a Baby Blue throw that would complement grey tones. This would help create a calming, ‘Scandi-style’ feel.
Grey certainly has a rustic, rural feel to it. You can run with this look by opting for a sheepskin rug to evoke a feeling of the fields and sheer cliff edges of a rugged British landscape. And the addition of a sheepskin helps to add a warm, cosy dimension to grey’s more wintry aesthetic.
For a more rugged feel (pardon the pun), you could go for an Icelandic sheepskin rug which has a wilder, shaggier look. And don’t be afraid to use a grey sheepskin rug against a grey background. This would create an opportunity to create a layered grey-scale vibe if you vary the colour hue slightly. Bear in mind that different types of grey have different feels. Warm greys are yellow based and cold greys are blue based.
Alternatively, a grey sheepskin rug could be used against a white or light-coloured backdrop.
This use of sheepskin would create a subtle interplay of warm and cold references in your décor scheme. You can see how, by these simple touches, a very consistent and interesting story is being told by your design choices.
Grey in the bedroom
In the bedroom department you can use bed throws to splendid effect. A light blue bed throw will stand out nicely against light-to-medium-grey painted walls. Or use a grey bed throw against white walls for a striking monochrome effect.
Faux fur cushions provide you an opportunity to bring in splashes of colour to your interiors.
The great thing about grey is that because it’s a neutral colour it appears to hide away in the background and lets brighter colours stand out more. You could go fairly wild with your faux fur cushion colour choice and the grey would help reign in the look. Alternatively, you could go for either white, black or brown fur cushions for a more homogeneous feel.
And don’t forget, these are all ideas to guide your décor decisions: allow your own sense of creativity to express itself in the way that you feel works for you.
We’d love to know your thoughts on the trend for grey in interior decorating. Let us know your own tips for using the colour in your decorating. Alternatively, if you want more advice on how to use any of our products within your own colour scheme, please leave us a comment below.