The design world seems to have been in love with grey over the last few years. We spoke with Coco Republic Interior Designer Georgina Holmes on the appeal of this versatile shade.
What makes makes grey so popular in interiors?
There has definitely been a design shift in the last few years with regards to adding grey into the colour palette. Once seen as cold and drab, it has taken on a new meaning of calmness and with global designers adding this usable and elegant colour in award winning projects. Grey is back for the foreseeable future.
Its versatility is what is making it a staple colour.
What sort of look and feel does grey add to your home?
The colour works well in both a traditional design scheme adding an elegant backdrop, mixed with the use of stark White cornicing and ceiling detailing. It can also serve just as well in an ultra-contemporary interior, think exposed concrete walls or polished concrete floors with charcoal grey leather furnishings and a suspended fireplace. Simply stunning.
Many people worry that grey is a cold, dead colour – is that true? And if you want a warmer grey, what undertones should you look for?
It is true – historically grey indicates an industrial and potentially utilitarian aesthetic. However, there is cooler greys and warm greys – to achieve a warmer grey look for taupe and beige undertones.
Which shades of grey that are trending right now?
Cool Grey – allowing for the incorporation of Brass –a big hit in the design sphere currently.
Pebble Grey – sitting straight down the centre of the hues – this colour can work in a warmer and cooler interiors.
Monument Grey or Charcoal Grey – used best on a façade and in a matt finish is certainly on-trend.
In fashion – Marble Grey has replaced black as the go to for understated elegance, if it’s good enough for Louis Vuitton and Alexander Wang – it is a staple for us designers.
Is grey a neutral? Can you use it like a neutral in the home?
Grey can absolutely be considered and used as a neutral. The best advice is to consider the light and aspect of the room and the way the natural light interacts with the space.
What are 3-4 colours that look great alongside the grey shades you mentioned above?
Blush Pink with any shade of grey, anywhere
Ochre for bold prints and a wow factor against a grey linen base such as a sofa
Emerald and Sapphire especially when used in materials such as velvet against a grey wall or rug.
Which metallics, fabrics and textures look great with grey?
Don’t be afraid to mix metallics with grey – such a usable colour can allow for some playfulness with metallics.
Mixing bold colours and materials such as jewel tones and leathers can serve this colour well.
What are 3-5 great spots in the home to use grey?
A staircase and lounge wall pair perfectly with a stark white trim in a traditional home.
Picture grey in dining room with dark hardwood floors for elegance or with light hardwood for a more contemporary approach.
Grey blends well in a powder room and for an on trend look, opt for a concrete vanity unit
Grey is traditionally not used in creative spaces however subtle hint of grey or a textured grey wall treatment used in an unlikely area such as a study nook would look chic – add greenery as a finishing touch.
What are your top tricks of the trade for making grey work inside the home?
If using grey on the walls, sample, sample, sample – ensure to buy sample pots of different hues – add the sample paint to the wall or hang brush outs and watch the light change in the space. You will find a very different colour appears as natural light and shadows are cast across a grey wall. Dress it up with a bold colour palette or keep it classic with clean white and antiqued metals.