Interiors: Bring 50 Shades of Grey into your home

PUBLISHED: 10:03 14 February 2015

Classic Poplar Wood Shutters in Little Greene Dark Led Custom Colour Paint, Californiashutters.co.uk. PA Photo/Handout

Classic Poplar Wood Shutters in Little Greene Dark Led Custom Colour Paint, Californiashutters.co.uk. PA Photo/Handout


First came the book, and now cinemas across the land are bracing themselves for Mr Grey’s big entrance. But, I bet you any money, the appeal of the colour grey can go on for much, much longer than the man himself...

Georgia Glass Mosaic 15 x 98, Tilemountain.co.uk. PA Photo/HandoutGeorgia Glass Mosaic 15 x 98, Tilemountain.co.uk. PA Photo/Handout

Indeed, this is a shade that can be dressed up or pared down, and a moody grey palette can reinvent your favourite room and cast simple, contemporary pieces in a different light, or showcase more traditional furnishings to dramatic effect, with flourishes of velvet or a decorative piece that’s wildly beautiful.

Sophisticated and timeless, this versatile shade can veer from feminine and delicate to dark and handsome.

Easy on the eye, grey sits beautifully against other accent colours and can speak the language of love when it’s dressed in silk and satin; or be a tough talker when positioned against steel accessories and industrial living schemes.

“There are indeed 50 shades of grey, ranging from those with a warm undertone of pink, to the pure cold greys that look so wonderful with silver,” says Alison Cork, founder of Alison at Home.

“Understand the undertone and you can pick exactly the right colour to accompany your grey base, and bring the room to life.”

From taffeta grey to platinum, and slate to battleship, the spectrum is an open invitation to enjoy a dalliance with some colour charts and accessorize those grey areas.

Alderney Archair in Ash; Club Footstool in Granite, Sofa.com. PA Photo/HandoutAlderney Archair in Ash; Club Footstool in Granite, Sofa.com. PA Photo/Handout

But if you usually shy from smoky hues, try using grey as the base for your chosen colour scheme.

“Far from being bland, grey is stylish, versatile and appeals to lots of different tastes, depending on how you style it,” says Kate Hassard, marketing manager at Sofa.com. “ Use bright accessories in bold colours for a playful, contemporary look; layer textured neutrals and other shades of grey for Scandinavian-inspired sophistication; or give it a masculine edge with dark accents and monochrome.”

Set the stage

For the ulitmate backdrop, a textured wallpaper can add real drama and set the scene for your furniture and accessories to really shine. A trompe-l’oeil effect, such as Marcel Wanders’ in Heart and Tulip, has been used on furniture in some of the world’s top hotels and is available for the first time as a wallpaper. Although flat, it looks tactile and makes you want to reach out and touch it.


Meanwhile, if you’re passionate about paint, edgy dark walls can be seriously seductive and create the perfect ambience for a romantic corner. Furnished with a vintage black leather chaise longue for instance, retro accessories will imbibe a masculine vibe, or to soften the look, a plush velvet cushion, sensual swathe of fabric and an exotic orchid will add some feminine detail.

Night Fever, Cor Matt Emulsion; Citybreak Matt, Core Matt Emulsion, both from Crown Paint. PA Photo/HandoutNight Fever, Cor Matt Emulsion; Citybreak Matt, Core Matt Emulsion, both from Crown Paint. PA Photo/Handout

As Judy Smith, Crown colour consultant points out: “Darker tones of charcoal can be used to add drama anywhere in the home, from a living room to a bedroom, or even a small hallway - with clever lighting and mirrors, you can create a look that is both strong and atmospheric.

These dark greys are also a perfect strong background for small amounts of brighter colour, like chartreuse or mint.”

Whether you’re painting walls, wood or metal, lashings of grey can be edgy and seductive.

A comfy chair and footstool that doubles up as a coffee table can be accessorized with something sumptuous in red, for a subtle, sexy note.

Light show

If you’ve tired of curtain calls, shutters can make a bedroom feel warm and inviting and offer the best of both worlds. Unlike curtains, which are an open or closed book, cafe-style shutters cover just the lower half of your windows, for light and privacy, while tier on tier (double hung) shutters can be opened independently and adjusted to let light filter in, for a flattering effect that’s perfect if you’re in the mood for some pillow talk.

Heart and Tulip Mahogany by Marcel Wanders wallpaper, Grahambrown.com. PA Photo/HandoutHeart and Tulip Mahogany by Marcel Wanders wallpaper, Grahambrown.com. PA Photo/Handout

“Subtle grey has become a very popular shade for shutters,” says Chrissie Harper, operations manager at California Shutters. “Not only do they add interest, but they increase the curb appeal of your home too.”

Using shutters to trickle light in the bedroom sets the tone for an atmospheric scheme, especially when pared with an antique French bed, to achieve a boudoir feel.

Bare essentials

A brilliant way to update the bathroom, glass mosaic tiles add glamour, and if you love to indulge yourself with bath oils and scented candles, they can be used to great effect to show off your best beauty bits.

“When choosing wall and floor tiles, grey is an obvious enduring colour choice that will continue to work well no matter how often you wish to change your interior style,” advises Jeremy Harris, managing director at Tile Mountain. “ While lighter shades offer a more feminine delicate feel, the darker tones are perfect for creating a more masculine, dramatic look.”

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

“Christmas wouldn’t be the same without him, so he comes out every year” Five creatives share their festive habits

We chat to five local designers and artists who tell us about the one thing they must have or do at home that puts them in the Christmas mood

‘Everything we stock is designed to be used and treasured’

Maud & Mabel is a gallery and shop in Hampstead featuring understated yet striking art, ceramics jewellery and clothing. Here, owner Karen Whiteley reveals the new makers she is working with and talks Christmas trends.

‘I work with emotions’ - Belsize Park architect John Allsopp on setting up his own practice

Former Kelly Hoppen project director John Allsopp has recently returned to his architectural roots, opening an independent studio in Belsize Park. He talks about his youth in Barbados, marrying interior styling with structural design and reveals the artistic visionaries he most admires.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

2018 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant