Shades of Grey in Interior Design

How to use a GREY colour palette to give your Home Renovation the WOW factor

Shades of GREY are super popular in interior design nowadays. And no, we are not going to make a Fifty Shades of Grey joke haha. We are seeing the rise and rise of the grey colour palette – spanning the full range from lighter shades to the deep and dramatic tones – in aussie home renovations and interior design.

Typically grey is being used as a paint colour for the walls and is teamed up with crisp white trim on windows, skirting and the like. In fact, it is not confined to interior design, it is also hugely popular in exteriors too.

But for many, grey is a difficult colour to coordinate within the home so that it looks fresh and even harder to make the colour palette naturally flow from one room to the next. The key is very much found in using shades of grey but according to the natural light and then the shadows within each room and space.

Choosing the Right Grey for your Interior Design can be confusing

When it comes to choosing the RIGHT grey and mix of grey tones, we have found most homeowners get confused.

Often they know they want to use grey and are even keen to make a bold choice by throwing in a dark, deep-toned grey to create drama, but are afraid of making a mistake.

Ultimately they struggle with indecision and making a final choice becomes so difficult that it stops them doing anything.

We decided to find out more about why grey is so popular, and to finds some easy to use guidelines to using grey in your home in your interior design.

How to Use Grey – Expert tips with Interior Designer, Doffie

We sat down and chatted with Doffie, a Perth legend in interior design and homewares. Some of you may remember the cottage craft shop that Doffie owned in Subiaco back in the 1980’s?

Nowadays, Doffie has a popup shop in Mosman Park selling bespoke homewares, children’s keepsakes and offering interior design and home styling services. Shortly she will be opening an exciting Retail Collective in Subiaco – follow Doffie on Facebook for the opening announcement!

Suzanne Burke, the General Manager at Amerex Renovations, asked Doffie, Why do you think grey has emerged as a go-to colour in interior design and exteriors nowadays?

Doffie explained Grey in its many tones sit well with white and give it gives a more modern feel even if the home is an older home. There is a naturalness to grey. She goes on to explain that some may feel the colour could be gloomy but in Australia with our abundance of sunshine, it works beautifully with plenty of light to bounce off grey walls.

Many homeowners stick with the grey and white combo and this works really well in interiors by using soft furnishings such as cushions and throw rugs to throw in pops of colour. Select quality fabrics such as heavy linens, cottons and silks in consistency to create a stylish classic and quality look.

When it comes to complementary colours for pops of colour, Doffie assures us that the number of colours and tones that can be paired with grey are plentiful. This is another reason it is currently popular.

To help those that are uncertain of what goes with what, here are some great tips.

Grey and White – the classic crisp colour combination

Crisp white – we have already mentioned white, but the clean look of a classic white against grey provides a great polished look that is a winner every time. This is also very popular in exteriors of homes.

Dulux’s most popular whites include Natural White, Vivid White, White on White, Lexicon and Lexicon Quarter.

Pops of Aqua with Grey

Tones of aqua – or blues that are clean and crisp like the ocean on a sunny day. Pops of colour using artwork, a cushion, vase or throw rug are a few ways to introduce this colour.

Navy Blue as a deeper blue, charcoal and black work well. Choose a deep blue with charcoal/grey undertones – these work well with the Hamptons style. The home shown below does this perfectly by using a sofa in navy and breakfast bar stools in black with black pendant lights.

Dashes of pink with grey

Champagne Pink or Shell pink – great for the Scandi décor look or make it lush by choosing a velvet fabric. Again, throw rugs and cushions and other accessories are an easy way to bring this colour into the mix. You do not need a lot to have impact.

Grey and Red together to be used with caution!

Red – though Doffie cautions “I am very wary of a lot of red being used and in particular with men and their homes or office. Men often think that black/dark grey and red and white are it!! …Not!” That said, there are some great tones of red and orange and yellows that are amazing with grey’.

Get Sample Pots and Try before you Buy

If you are renovating and just looking to re-paint your home, get some sample paint pots from Bunnings and try out your chosen colours in different areas of your home.

See how the colours look in dark corners and light-filled areas too. What works and what doesn’t?

However, for many homeowners, this merely adds to the confusion and the difficulty in selecting the right colours. So where to when this happens?

Get a Dulux Colour Consultant or an Interior Designer to help choose the right Greys

Engaging the services of a colour consultant (Dulux provides this service for a reasonable fee – they will of course only recommend Dulux paint colours!) or an interior designer – such as Doffie – for a couple of hours at the start of your project is a great idea.

Even if you have a rough idea of what you want, they can help nail the colours down and give you confidence in your final selections.

They will be able to advise on what undertones are important too, this is subtle but can make all the difference.

Beyond colour choices, there are so many other elements to decorating your home as part of a home renovation project to create a timeless classic look. Many think that sticking with the classics is the way to go, but sometimes playing too safe can be boring.

How to give your home renovation the WOW factor

Suzanne asked Doffie – What tips can you give to homeowners that want a classic and timeless look that will stand the test of time, but without playing too safe and being boring?

Doffie explained that by selecting either mid-modern furniture or antiques in their natural woods you can create a classic framework and then build from there. You can start to inject personality and interest with a great piece of artwork.

Artwork provides a great opportunity to come forward with a strong sense of colour and an element of surprise the on the walls. Forget about boring landscapes that  ‘sit back’. Use the artwork to create a point of difference in your home.

Create a winning overall look by teaming up some lovely classic pieces of furniture with quality lighting choices such as great lamps, and use soft furnishings with texture and colour, add in the artwork that pops, you have the opportunity to create a home that is a joy to live in while also being timeless yet stylish at the same time.

Interior Designers can help pull your GREY look together

If you are not sure how to pull your interior design all together yourself, then find someone who can help. A great Interior Designer will factor in the unique interests and personality of you and your family, and recommend furniture and accessories that will work for you.

Suzanne recommends Engaging the services of an Interior Designer is a worthwhile investment in my opinion. If you want your home to have the WOW factor without the stress and pressure of figuring out the colours and selections yourself, it can be a small investment in making sure that you get a great outcome. Our home is our castle, and being able to come home to an environment that is a joy to live in is priceless.’

In the home renovation projects completed by Amerex, we often provide the services of an Interior Designer to assist clients. Some clients engage an Interior Designer directly if they already know someone they want to use.

Either way, we love working with Interior Designers, as we know that our clients always end up loving the end product, a beautifully renovated and stylish home that they are proud of.