In Interior design today grey is a classic neutral that lends a soothing presence to elegant interiors while adding a subtle energy which keeps the room design from being boring. Grey can range from cool to warm and its classic looks pair with a great many cool and warm colours. Even during the cold months of the Canadian winter, grey can be elegant as well as cozy in room designs. It tends to make us think along the lines of silver, rather than an idea more sombre. Room designs with colour palettes containing grey tend to be serene whether they are formal or tending more to the casual décor style.
Trim work can be white, cream or dark brown, even black, and it all looks good. Throw in some hot orange lamps or accessories and the room really pops. Glossy surfaces such as mirrored furniture or touches of bling add class and sophistication. It’s funny though. A surprising number of people resist using grey in their homes, thinking that it will be depressing. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, grey is the ultimate neutral. Certainly, when it is not sparked by accent colours such as the yellow seen below or a bit of gloss, it can be boring, as can any neutral. A room needs accessories and accents to sing, no matter what colour is used as the base.
Pattern is back in today’s interiors in a big way and wallpaper, fabrics and area carpets are ways that grey can be used to introduce it. For instance, a soft grey ground with white patterning would be restful and soothing and suitable for many rooms. For a more dramatic room design, black and white can be added to a grey palette as well as other accent colours, such as maybe soft lime. Grey loves many other colours and plays well with them.
Architectural detail is often finished in crisp white, as are ceilings. The bedroom below is serene as well as powerful by way of the use of luxurious fabrics in the custom draperies and bedding, as well as the rich finish on the furnishings. The deep grey lends a formality in the beautifully installed button tufted headboard and soft grey walls. The combination of texture on the headboard and the soft draping of the curtain fabric convey a sense of luxury and ease.
A much lighter shade of grey, tinged with palest blue, cream or a touch of charcoal could create a more airy ambiance, almost summery or seaside. White or white-washed mouldings continue the mood of calm. Dark wood furnishings in a room setting like this would ground the space and keep it from becoming too ethereal. Relaxed elegance is the aim, not fairyland.
Many interior design plans become far too balanced toward the feminine. Many men are not comfortable with an overly frou-frou look. Balance is essential. Pairing or blending blue, gold or cream with grey can often achieve this desired balance so that they exist happily together.
Whether the home décor is traditional or contemporary, this gold/grey mixture can be successful. It is elegant and relaxing, as well as fresh. In traditional décor style, design elements may be more opulent, plush and detailed; in contemporary style a more minimal, spare look is desired. In either case, pale blue/grey paired with crisp white moldings and dark brown or black wood furnishings could suit either room quite well. In either style, cool stone colours add calm elegance.
Accessories make a room’s décor sing. If grey wall colour seems like too much of a commitment or too large a statement, accent pieces such as tall vases, window valances, lamps or simply artwork can carry in the grey theme. These pieces can be moved seasonally throughout the home to update décor. Fabrics in black, white and grey can make a striking show when made into luxurious draperies. Rubbed paint finishes do this as well, and lend charm, interest, and serenity. Linen, silk, and velvet all add texture and sheen to a simple colour scheme.
Lately grey has been seen with pink, blush, canary yellow and burnt orange. This is certainly contemporary style with a fun aspect. That is not to say that it is not sophisticated. Abstract artwork carrying these shades could ground the space and keep it from being simply silly. Powerful and dramatically expanded scale in a wallpaper mural can create a magnificent overall effect, while not overpowering the room design with colour. Once again, dramatic lighting, accessories and well-constructed drapery treatments bring sense to these schemes.
In casual décor styles, cottagey accessories such as weathered shop signs and funky furniture look beautiful with grey shades. Casual decor is a lot of fun to do. Drama and elegance are retained but there is often a sense of whimsy in the room design.
Bamboo or reclaimed wood furnishings look nice with this rustic décor theme, as well as in a more contemporary room design. Bright or very textured cushions with a touch of grey enhance the idea and lend a relaxed and sometimes tropical feel. Hard wearing linen in a light shade often covers the furnishings.
We recently had a client in Burlington, Ont. that wanted to update their look but didn’t want strong colours. Their lifestyle was casual, but they wanted a more dramatic look to their decor. The interior design project involved sourcing an area carpet, custom draperies, some new furniture and artwork and accessories. The finished look was dramatically different from the staid decor that they had merely tolerated in the past. Colours were chosen from the area carpet to create flow through the home and a couple of walls were coloured as feature walls.
Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.
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