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From Nimbus Cloud to Stormy Weather, (Pantone), Dawn Grey to Evening Skyline, (Fleetwood), Silverwood to Grey Steel, (Dulux) or Place of Dust to Snowglory, (Colourtrend) – every paint manufacturer has a comprehensive palette of greys.
Grey, Silver, Pearl, Dove, Slate, Titanium… it’s a Misty, Dusty, Ashen confusing world out there! A question we are often asked at the paint counter is: “Is grey still in fashion?” Grey has always been around, and always will be. It is such a versatile colour – and, to answer another question, yes, it is most definitely a colour, and a very nuanced one at that. There is a neutral grey, such as the subtle, mid and pure shadow from the Dulux signature collection. Depending on light, accessories and accent colours used, it can look very different.
Light has a huge impact on any paint, light coming in through a northern window has a cold, dark quality, southern light is the brightest and will reflect back strongly. Eastern light is usually pale but bright, as opposed to light from the West, which, as the sun sets will often have a warm glow. Rooms facing in each direction will be impacted by the sun, while an East facing room will have bright light in the morning, it may be quite dark in the evening. So it is important to take all these factors into account when choosing your colours, even when it is a seemingly simple colour like grey!
Most greys are not simply white with a bit of black mixed in. Up to five different colours may be used to create a grey, such as ochre, blue, red and brown. Many customers will ask whether the grey they choose is a warm or cold one. A good rule of thumb is: if there is blue in it, it will be cool, if there is a red or an ochre in it, it is likely to be warm. Our staff at the paint counter will be able to tell you the component colours by looking at the tints on our tinting machines.
Warm greys are lovely when teamed with burgundy, dark green and browns. Used in these combinations you will create a cosy den- like feel to a room. Cool greys are usually paired with pale blue or yellow, giving a spacious contemporary look. Pale greys are great fun to work with when bright colours such as orange or turquoise are used as accents. This makes grey one of the most versatile colours to paint a room – it is timeless, ageless and genderless- and as a base colour it is an extremely cost effective colour to use. The same room can be reinvented over and over.
So, is it all positive when it comes to this neutral colour? Well, psychologically speaking, grey is not likely to lift your spirits. It can be sombre, drab or ashen. It can be mousey, leaden or smokey. It can also be peaceful and calming, however. Greys are not recommended for children’s rooms, nor is it recommended for areas of creativity. Your home is a reflection of YOU, your personality will, whether intentionally or not, shine through the colours you choose. This is maybe something to bear in mind when choosing your colours!