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Gorgeous in grey

From the Resene decorating blog

Greys have long been the darling of home colours. But while we’ve said goodbye to the flat, sterile versions of the past, we still love greys – it’s just that we’re fonder of the creamy tones with plenty of depth and character to them.

A reading corner with curved shapes and creamy and earthy tones

Curved shapes of colour and earthy, creamy tones create a soothing, uplifting reading corner. The back wall is in Resene Half Athens Grey with shape in Resene Quarter Perfect Taupe, the left wall is in Resene Oilskin, the floor is in Resene Quarter Delta with shape in Resene Atomic, the curvy timber headboard is stained in Resene Colorwood Riverstone, the shelf is in Resene Quarter Perfect Taupe, the stool is in Resene Quarter Perfect Taupe, the tray is in Resene Oilskin, the artwork is in Resene Quarter Perfect Taupe, Resene Atomic, Resene Oilskin and Resene Quarter Delta and the bud vase is in Resene Atomic. Chaise/sofa bed from Nood, stool from Urban Sales, lamps from Urban Sales. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

Just as warming neutrals are being embraced with open arms to help evoke welcoming, thoughtful interiors, so are we bringing in warm greys with a nurturing soul to their tones.

Different shades of grey can impact your home in quite opposing ways. Take the lighter tones – apply these calming colours to your walls and watch your interior resonate in the perfect balance of brightness and softness. Try the light Resene Mercury, the pale pewter of Resene Half Gull Grey or the misty Resene Greywacke.

Darker slates and stones will engage with a touch of moodiness and drama. For added intimacy, paint your trims in the same tone, or even a darker one.

Gone are the days of cold greys depicting what is fresh and modern. Now, the hues that are taking the limelight are warmer with a hint of warm beige. These are the perfect blend of grey and beige – often referred to as greige. Because of this, they hold a touch more intimacy in their tone. Try Resene Quarter Taupe Grey, Resene Cloud, Resene Triple White Pointer or Resene Half Truffle; all of these are greiges that will uplift your interior with their rich neutrals.

If you have architectural details, such as panelling or rails, in your home, play around with grey and another colour on the varying surfaces. Coat your lower panels in a green, such as Resene Undercover, and the upper panels in the green-grey of Resene Half Innocence. Tie them together harmoniously with the green-white of Half Thorndon Cream on the trims and ceiling.

Get creative in your bathroom with two solid horizontal blocks of colour that extend right around your room. Try the blue-lilac grey of Resene Ghost on the top half of the room and the soft pearl lilac-grey of Resene Santas Grey on the bottom half.

This is where your accent colours come in, playing a key role in steering your interior in more dramatic directions. One on-trend contrasting hue is yellow. This colour lifts grey in a way that it can’t do on its own. It provides cheerfulness that doesn’t overwhelm but brings pockets of sunny cheer. Try the stone of Resene Dusted Grey with bright Resene Energy Yellow for a coherent, engaging scheme.

Or let gentle turquoise, blues or greens add a layer of brightness to your grey scheme, such as the water-inspired Resene Aquarius, clear blue of Resene Endeavour and the lively Resene Green House. Brass details in your fittings will elevate your setting, enhancing it with glamour and shine. Or for a calmer more low-key grey aesthetic, tie in pale wooden furniture and sheepskin rugs for a truly Scandinavian look.

A gorgeous grey moodboard

A soft grey and blue lounge

Moodboard: Add depth and serenity to a space by varying creamy grey tones from soft to moody. Background in Resene Silver Chalice, A4 drawdown paint swatches in (left to right) Resene Sea Fog, Resene Surrender, Resene Silver Chalice, Resene Half Stack, Resene Double Stack, Resene Grey Friars, small ball in Resene Blackjack, vase (small) in Resene Surrender, vase (medium) in Resene Half Stack. Linen from Adairs. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.  Lounge: Flooring in the soft grey of Resene Mountain Mist complements the grey undertones of Resene Ziggurat on the panelled walls in this living area. The tall plant pot is in Resene Alabaster, the oval tray is in Resene Half Duck Egg Blue, the DIY abstract artwork is in Resene Celeste, Resene Nocturnal, Resene Rolling Stone, Resene Blue Bayoux and Resene Alabaster with a frame in Resene Half Duck Egg Blue. The bowl (on table) is in Resene Nebula and the ball ornament is in Resene Half Duck Egg Blue. Armchair in Contempa, tables from Nood, rug and cactus from Freedom Furniture, smoked vase and cushion from H&M Home, loafers from Zara, pinecone ornament from Bed Bath & Table. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Soft, chalky mushroom grey will enhance your walls with visual warmth, such as Resene Midwinter Mist or Resene Silver Sand. Layer onto this setting with elegant décor items and cushions in soft chalky shades that will elevate the room with a calm sophistication. Bring in subtle touches of blush and terracotta through linen curtains, rugs and cushions. Curved furniture will add to this element of comfort, a little soul and a flowing space.

For a bedroom oozing in comfort and cosiness, paint your walls in pale warm grey on the trims too. Let your bedding vary in different tones of grey and your curtains hang in a slightly deeper grey than your walls, but paint the ceiling in a soft, warm shade. Try pale pink, with a glitzy brass and glass chandelier to add some glamour to the whole scheme.

Dare to get creative and achieve an ombre effect with grey and purple in one room. This is an eye-catching feature that will work beautifully in a living room or bedroom, so go for smoky tones of each colour to avoid it being too jarring.

Colour-blocking a study in grey greens

This study area achieves an engaging, eye-catching look by colour-blocking with varying tones of green-greys. The wall and floor are in Resene Ravine with a square in Resene Pumice, the plant pot is in Resene Yucca, the jug is in Resene Armadillo and the frame is in Resene Duck Egg Blue. Pot from Allium, ceramic vessel from Citta, artwork from Etsy. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Resene colour consultant Jackie Nicholls says although grey shades have been popular for a while now, people are becoming more aware of the complex undertones hidden within them. “These can add interest in different lights and helps them to link with other surfaces and furnishings,” she says. “The best examples are colour combinations found in nature. Be inspired by what’s around you like the subtle silvery tones of olive tree or the many shades found in eucalyptus leaves as they fall. There are places in France where the whole colour palette for a village comes from the colours found in the bark of a plane tree, usually found in the market square, so inspiring.”

Such muddy stone greys like Resene Nomad and smoky grey-greens like Resene Lemon Grass are popular woodland tones. These create a home that is nurturing and inspiring, focused on wellbeing and clarity. This is even more pronounced when paired with accents in olive and silvery greens.

If you’re looking to create a dark, moody grey interior try the grey-blue of Resene Big Stone, the stormy Resene Jimmy Dean or the charcoal of Resene Gunmetal.

“Have a look at the surprisingly warm tones in Resene Karen Walker Half Foggy Grey, which is very relaxing for a bedroom or bathroom, teamed with Resene Sea Fog trims. For a moody slate blue-grey, try Resene Half Mako, perfect for a teenager’s bedroom on two walls perhaps with Resene Half Barely There on the other walls. For a sophisticated masculine lounge or media room, consider Resene Gravel. Full of moody green undertones, its perfect with rustic wooden shelving and leather furniture. Layer with mustard and olive green throws and cushions to bring it to life.”

Finally, bring a sense of movement and shadow into your grey interior by way of a plaster look. This broken surface effect will add another dimension of interest on top of your chosen grey.

Resene Colorwood Riverstone

January 29, 2021

For more ideas and inspiration for decorating your home, visit your Resene ColorShop or check out more grey decorating project ideas from other home decorators.

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