Grey is the New Black

Over the last ten years, I have loved using earthy tones with splashes of bright colour in my interior spaces.  I’ve always loved the warmth they bring to a room.  My current living room is a dark chocolate brown with white couches, sprinkled with teal and bronze. The family room is currently being transformed into a room with light caramel walls, dark purple couches, wooden accents, and artwork that infuses purple, burgundy, and pale pink.  Lastly, the dining room is more traditional, with pale mustard walls, a red and blue old persian rug, teak furniture and custom paintings.  My parents love the ambiance all of these spaces provide, and to be honest, although they’re not what I would want for my home, it suits them perfectly.

My Living Room

My Living Room. Copyright Living Spaces by Vanita, 2014

My Dining Room

My Dining Room. Copyright Living Spaces by Vanita, 2014

So, it was quite a surprise to me when my husband (my boyfriend at the time) told me he doesn’t like earthy tones and feels I gravitate to them too much.  That’s the worst thing someone interested in interior design can hear.  Here I was, creating different spaces for my family, taking into account their tastes, the amount of money they wanted to spend, and he says my designs is too similar to one another in terms of colour???  I realized it was time to start taking someone else’s tastes into account when planning, and so here we both are, less than a year from moving into our own house, and me starting to make design choices that reflect both of our tastes.

This is when the brilliant, yes brilliant, grey comes in.  In trying to decide how to incorporate the warmth I want in our home, along with my somewhat eclectic taste, I realized grey was the colour I could use to make my new house into a home.  My current goal is to not depend on using earthy colours, but still create vibrant spaces that make people comfortable and happy to be in.

Grey is the one colour that can be both cool and warm depending on the shade, but without changing the colour.  Take the colour blue, for example.  By nature, it is a cool colour.  Regardless of how much white or black you add to it, it always stays cool.  You add another colour to warm it up, such as red, and it changes the colour completely to bluish-purple.  Grey doesn’t work like that.  Grey with a hint of brown makes it beautifully warm, whereas touches of blue make it cooler.  Below is a palette of shades of grey that illustrate my point.

Image

SOURCE: BEHR Paints

My current plan is to use combinations of warm and cool greys throughout the house to add cohesiveness to the open spaces.  I plan on using Behr paint, since their paints are reasonably priced, have a great selection of colours, and are long-lasting.  As this is still a work in progress, I don’t have all of my colours picked yet.  However, as of right now, I plan on using:

Main Floor

  1. Foyer & Hallway:  Twilight Gray (750E-2) in Satin by Behr Paints
  2. Living Room/Dining Room: Undecided.
  3. Washroom: Skyline Steel (750E-3) in Satin by Behr Paints
  4. Family Room: Gray Timber Wolf (760E-3) or Pewter Mug (770E-3) in Satin by Behr Paints
  5. Kitchen:  Gray Timber Wolf (760E-3) or Pewter Mug (770E-3) in Satin by Behr Paints

Upper Floor

  1. Hallway:  Twilight Gray (750E-2) in Satin by Behr Paints
  2. Laundry Room: Grant Gray (HDC-AC-19) in Satin by Behr Paints
  3. Master Bedroom: Gentle Rain (790E-2) in Satin by Behr Paints
  4. Ensuite Bathroom: Gentle Rain (790E-2) in Satin by Behr Paints
  5. Bedroom #1: Undecided
  6. Bedroom #2: Undecided
  7. Main Bathroom: Quietude (770E-3) in Satin by Behr Paints

Paint Swatches

Our Main Floor and Upper Floor

Our Main Floor and Upper Floor

Grey is the new black.  It’s a wonderfully diverse colour that still allows the designer to create different moods.  It may not be the Pantone Colour of the Year, but it’s a colour that has elegance, is clean, can be bold or muted, and is a great base for whimsical designs.  Grey is definitely here to stay.

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Since I was a kid, I used to stay up at night and quietly rearrange the furniture in my home. My parents would wake up and be stunned at the transformations that took place. "Why?" they'd ask. And all I could say was, "I was bored with the room". I became a school teacher but never lost my interest in design. I love how space, colour, and texture combine to show off someone's personality. I can't wait to share my ideas with you!

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Posted in Colour
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