An epidemic of grey interiors!

What is it about the colour grey and the current obsession with using it everywhere in the home (I admit that I've fallen foul of it myself!)?  I can accept that you might want to use it in one or two rooms but not a different shade of grey in every room, with little or no thought to  whether the room is sunny or dark and no pops of colour out of fear to introduce colour. Even the mirrors and light fittings are lacking in colour!

Don't get me wrong, I love the colour grey and a year ago I changed my sitting room walls from off-white to grey (Farrow & Ball's Cornforth White) and all the furniture, window dressing and accessories accordingly.   It's a very sunny room; with plenty of colour (purple and gold) in the furniture and accessories, the room does not feel clinical or cold.  Here are my sitting room before and after photos - transformation from beige to grey!

I manage a local interiors shop twice a week in which we sell up-cycled furniture.  It seems that most of our customers have some or all of their rooms painted in a shade(s) of grey (usually Farrow & Ball)! There is a definite "sheep" mentality going on where people are painting grey rooms because they've seen it in a friend's house and don't want to be left behind. They therefore want the furniture that they buy from us to also be painted in grey shades.  We therefore have moved away from painting furniture in the yellow or red based Farrow & Ball neutrals to the greys or colours with grey undertones.  These tend to be more contemporary than the traditional red and yellow based neutrals. There is a definite trend to transform homes into more contemporary spaces - open plan living, mid-century furniture, natural surfaces like concrete .....  However a lot of people are afraid to introduce colour and these grey interiors appear flat and dull.  What these interiors need are pops of yellow, orange, purple, turquoise, pink, red .... in fact any colour and what about a bit of that gilt to warm up the room in a mirror or chandelier?  

I always recommend to my clients when doing colour consultations that they start introducing colour with small items that can be removed/replaced easily such as cushions, flowers & plants, vases etc. There's nothing more beautiful than a bowl full of fresh lemons (and limes) to add a pop of colour to a grey interior.  I love colour and don't stick to rules, rather am guided by my gut instinct and my love of flowers (I find nature to be the best inspiration for how to use colour). It's very rewarding when I can convince a client to introduce some colour and to see their reaction to the way it has enhanced the room. Shock-horror followed swiftly by a broad smile. Warms the cockles of my heart to see these reactions!

If you are thinking of painting a room grey, think of what colour(s) you will use to complement the grey. For example, a grey with lilac undertones (Farrow & Ball 'Skimming Stone' or 'Elephant's Breath') looks superb with pops of purple, turquoise or pink. I recently painted my bathroom Elephant's Breath and have added pops of turquoise and purple in artwork, mirrors and towels.

Be a trail blazer, break the "sheep" mentality and be the first of your friends to introduce colour into your grey interior.  Trust me, you won't regret it. If you don't have the confidence to do it alone, I'm happy to help.  Give me a call or drop me a line.