Choosing And Styling Grey Furniture
In recent years, grey and its many different shades - from the palest dove grey to dark, almost black, slate shades - have become an increasingly popular choice with those people who are looking to update the interior of their home.
Once seen as a rather drab colour that would do little to enhance the inside of a home, and indeed more a shade better suited to an office space, it is now one of the must have trending colours. And, it is continuing to see an increase in popularity as people realise just how incredibly versatile it actually is. In its various guises it is almost certainly here to stay, so if you are looking to add grey to your home then here is our guide on how to select the best grey furniture and style it.
Consider the room
Some rooms in the home lend themselves better to grey furniture than others. Consider the room as a whole before you purchase anything. Do you already have a colour scheme in place or will the piece of furniture in question be a key element around which you plan to redesign the entire room? If it is the former then you will need to be careful to select furniture that will work with the colours you already have in place. If the room is paler shades of grey then you may opt for something darker. However, however if it is already quite dark you will be better with something lighter to offset the dark shades. With the latter you will have more leeway. There are a few practical things to consider. For units, darker shades of grey may quickly show fingerprints and dust so you may want to factor this into your decision. For softer items of furniture, the opposite is true – lighter sofas will show marks rather easily and are certainly not practical for everyone.
Explore the shades
The spectrum of grey shades that you can buy is vast and it goes without saying that some shades will obviously lend themselves better to fitting in with the interior of your home than others. So, with that in mind it is important to consider a few key interior design concepts before selecting your furniture. If the room you are considering grey furniture for is not particularly blessed in the natural light department then you really should be looking at those greys that are warmer in tone, with hints of yellow or pink. Anything with a bluer undertone will probably be too cold or dark and should be avoided unless you are planning to add a lot of softer textures to the room, soft throws, cushions, or even a woollen rug. As soon as you add these to a room with a dark slate grey item of furniture, everything changes, and the grey becomes cosier and calmer.
Because grey comes in so many different shades it can actually work really well if you select a main grey for the room and then layer up the look with a range of different shades, not forgetting of course to select different textures as well. Far from feeling like a cold, somewhat clinical room, what you will actually achieve is a very sophisticated, cosy look in your home.
This use of layers can also be used to great effect to create interest and depth so remember to put darker shades next to lighter ones – too much of a similar shade together and the room will look flat. Whilst this means that with soft pieces of furniture like a sofa you can accessorise with a different texture and shade of grey the same concept can be a little tricker with solid items of furniture.
The best way to use grey for a layering effect here is to opt for furniture featuring grey elements for example a unit with a grey top or wooden furniture with doors or drawer fronts that have been picked out in a shade of grey that contrasts and complements the natural wood.
Grey furniture can be complemented perfectly with a range of different bolder colours so it can be a good idea to think about this as it can be a great way of adding a statement piece of grey furniture to your room and then adding extra dimension. Whilst the obvious black, white or red accessories will undoubtedly work really well, now is a great time to think outside the box. With a softer grey, shades of rose pink can work really well and for darker grey mustard yellow adds a bold pop of colour that works perfectly.
Elements of a metallic hue can also add a real pop against a grey backdrop so consider grey cupboards or drawers with metallic detailing in the handles, or a grey sofa with metallic legs or modern feet. The key with grey in both these instances is to select something that isn’t completely grey but has elements of another colour to help contrast it.
It may come as a surprise that whilst grey is often considered to be a rather industrial shade its roots can actually be found in nature. This is why green, in its varying shades, and of course leafy plants work really well with grey. Furniture with a natural wood look works really well against a grey backdrop but can also work when combined with the grey; for example a grey upholstered chair with wooden detailing. In this instance the natural colour of the wood will help to lift the grey fabric, transforming it from a more utilitarian shade into something that is altogether brighter. Greenery will always look great in a room with grey, in any shade, and the soft delicate leaves of an indoor plant can really help to soften the harsher lines of any larger blocks of grey that you might add in the form of furniture.
For best effect, think trailing plants or those with feathery foliage. Whether these are placed on top of a grey storage unit or sit on a shelf above a grey sofa, this additional flourish can make your grey room magazine worthy.
Looking to the future
With so many people spending more time in their homes in the last 12 months there has been a significant amount of decorating going on, as well as decluttering and generally rearranging things. People are looking to make their homes a more relaxing and calmer environment and paler greys have almost certainly replaced the colder whites and rather blank magnolia shades that once offered a blank canvas in the home. Grey offers a fantastic contrast to a wider range of brighter shades, as well as blending perfectly with some of the more popular muted shades as well. The key is knowing how much of any shade from the grey palette is too much for a single room. Layering different shades of the same colour, offsetting it with a few key pieces of bolder accessories, or those with wood and metal, and of course mixing textures is the way forward.
The great thing about using grey as the base shade for a room, or the main colour for key pieces of furniture is that with a few small accessory changes you can completely update the look of the room.