Image credit: Just Decorate
I don’t know about you but I’m feeling a little dazzled and sun-blind after what’s been the brightest summer in years. As the calendar swings round again to back to school I’ve been seeing the beauties of cloudy skies as I shop for sixth form suits for my boys.
All of which has led me to contemplate the subtle beauties of grey.
Being half-way between black and white, grey is described a colour "without color.” Though of course anyone with an eye can see there are infinite different shades of grey, its relative neutrality makes it a perfect partner for so many other colours.
It can play a support role without pushiness.
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Anything from coral and hot pink to buttercup yellow to olive green can be shown off to great effect with the right grey at its back.
It can be soothing on nerves and the environment – just look at the names we use at the pale end: soft, dove, cloud, shadow, smoke, whisper...
In its darker manifestations it can be a firm foundation for an otherwise wistful or floaty scheme of paler colours, witness concrete names like Purbeck Stone, Ammonite, Downpipe or downright macho ones like Iron Mountain and Pewter.
Image credit: Sophie Robinson
Rich, warm greys can cosy up a small space or make a large one more inviting. Try Mole’s Breath or Charleston Grey by F&B or City Shadow by Benjamin Moore.
At the cool blue end of the spectrum something like Gray Cashmere by Benjamin Moore pairs well with bronze, green, periwinkle, even spice.
So grey is a great colour to use when you want to feel safe, cocooned and withdrawn from the busy world, or when you want to balance those bright and brilliant colours with a little calm grounding.
Image credit: Mad About The House
The key as in all schemes is balance. So use grey to help you unwind and feel calm and cocooned. But if the calm feeling tips over into feeling drained and tired you may have overdone it!