Decorating with Grey - How To Successfully Use Grey In Your Home

I have a current passion with the colour grey, the correct spelling of which provokes a little controversy. Some people view it spelled, "gray", others as,"grey". Therefore, with little bit of research, I have determined that both are equally correct and I've therefore decided to continue using "grey" as the spelling common to the Southern hemisphere... Have I nothing better to think about, I hear you say.

I always thought of grey as a moody, dull colour just like "grey skies", but in actual fact it is far from it. Last week I caught up with some friends from my pre-expat days, who have just moved into their newly renovated house. They chose a neutral grey palette throughout their 2 storey home and it is just fabulous. No way is it dull or drab, instead, light, bright and welcoming and instantly I was wishing I had used this colour on my own walls. Two different tones of grey were used, one on the downstairs walls and a slightly deeper tone upstairs in the master bedroom.  At this point in time you will have to forgive me that I cannot remember the shades but I will find out and update this post later. 

When thinking about introducing grey into your home, you can either use it on your walls, or alternatively introduce it by way of furniture or accessories. If you decide on a whole palette of greys you can easily introduce an accent colour to change the mood One such colour that works wonderfully with grey is yellow. The opposite to "grey skies" is "sunny skies" and we all know the sun is associated with the colour yellow. 

I think a lot of us may shy away from grey, as I have already said, associating it with being dull, however, it is a colour that is far from dull if the correct tones and accents are chosen correctly as can be seen in the collages I have put together below. What is important is the "tone" of grey we choose for our interiors. The lightest tone of grey on walls still allows a feeling of spaciousness and can brighten a dark room, dark grey on a wall, however, may become oppressive. If dark grey is used on one wall alone, for example behind a bed, it can evoke a wonderful feeling of drama and romance. Remember when using a dark grey next to a light background, it will make that area appear much nearer and a small room even smaller.

Today I want to show you some perfect accent colours that work with grey and also share two very different grey interiors. The first interior is an apartment in Sweden, behind this dark exterior lies a light, airy apartment with a touch of masculinity. The second interior has definite country feel, both of these interiors are "tone on tone" meaning they are a neutral palette of grey tones with no accent colours, although the apartment does have an accent colour of green in the living area by way of a few accessories. I want to illustrate how grey can be used in both a contemporary or traditional interior and look far from drab.

This second home is located in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, again tone on tone, however a completely different style of home.

More images and information about this lovely home can be found at Atlanta Homes Mag

Grey can be used to create many atmospheres, from feminine to masculine, traditional to contemporary and this can be clearly seen by the introduction of accent colours below. See how it works beautifully with pink for a child's nursery, creating a light, bright but ultimately feminine and cosy nursery. Cleverly added textures such as the rug and velour chair bring extra touches of interest to this palette.

Accent colours that work wonderfully with grey are...

Grey &Yellow

Grey &Green

Grey &Pink

Grey &Blue

Grey &Red

Tone on Tone - Grey on Grey

I think its clear now, when using grey, it's not the colour itself but how we choose to use the colour. Its tone/shade, how much grey we introduce,  the accent colours we combine it with, all must be thought about collectively and creatively. If you were to choose grey what accent colour would you choose or would you stick to a pale tone on tone palette, what would work for you? Resene alone have 50 shades of grey.  If you have grey in your home, I would love to hear how you have used it and if you've never liked grey, have I converted you?

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