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How to pull off grey in your home


Grey interior design might feel counter-intuitive.  Will it be dull? Will it make your world feel depressing? Adding feature pieces such as a grey tartan fabric wingback chair could bring some sophistication and class to your home.

Why are we choosing grey?

Grey is often the colour of the industrial context because they do not need to be seen.  The whole point of using the colour grey is to allow these buildings to blend in.  However, in a room, the grey home does not need to be as stark as a black or white home, and the mooted tone gives an aspirational feel to a home.

Grey interior design gives a sense of belonging, inclusion and acceptance.  A grey home has connotations of the cave and psychologists claim that in uncertain times, we seek this colour to feel secure; safe from difficult times.  We wear grey clothes when we do not wish to be seen or as a means of declaring business.

The popularity of a grey interior design pallet may be a result of a common worry about the state of the world.  The colour can take our collective anxiety and nervousness and calm this instantly.  If you do choose grey for all aspects of your interior design, there are connotations of hiding and cloaking yourself. Although this might make you feel safe, it can also drain you.  Therefore, psychologically you should accent grey with other colours.

What shades should I choose?

There are warmer shades of grey that are yellow-based and those that are cooler, with a blue base.  Choosing the right shade of grey often means selecting a colour that resonates best with you.

The good news is that greys do not have a personality as such.  Therefore, whenever you introduce another colour to the room, the grey will take a back seat and allow the other colour to dominate. Consequently, you can choose any colour, and it will work harmoniously with your grey pieces.  If you want to keep the grey in charge, then you are going to have to use lots of shades of grey – though this can be quite emotionally draining.  It is probably something you would want to avoid in a nursery or anywhere where there are children.

How to create the best grey interior design

To create the best grey interior design, you need to layer up different grey tones.  If you choose one shade of grey, the room will feel flat.  Therefore, you want a base layer of grey that inspires you and then use the furniture, soft furnishing and other accessories to add depth and interest.  If you start with dark charcoal sofas, then you could use light grey cushions and close to white throws to add these layers.

If you want to add grey to your design without going the whole way, then choosing more substantial pieces of grey furniture such as storage units can be a strong starting point.  Another way to begin is with grey walls that can be the perfect backdrop to the most amazing colours in your furniture. Alternatively, if you are going for a monochrome black and white design, then you could use grey to add some depth to your room. A smart starting point is to choose a simple grey sofa or chair to add some cottage comfort to the stark black and white choices.

Remember, if you choose a colourful accent, then the grey will disappear into the background.  However, an excellent way to bring in other colours is to use metallic accessories.  These accessories will add some sparkle and will merge with the palette you are creating.  Alternatively, you could go in the other direction and embrace dark grey for drama.  You can paint the ceilings and the walls a dark grey and use the living room lighting to add some moody drama to the room.

What are some of your favourite looks?

Imagine your grey walls, grey sofa and throws, all layered with different shades.  Then, add in some stark mustard feature pieces.  You will be surprised how warm the room will look thanks to the yellow of a mirror or some artwork. If you love sweet and sugary pastel colours, but you need something moodier to offset all that goo, then grey could be perfect for you.  You can have some hints of joy but calmed with some grey feature pieces to offer that contrast.

Edward Sloane

Edward is the managing director of Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs. He is an expert in quality, comfortable upholstered chairs.


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