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Paint trends 2011: Why I love grey

When it comes to fashion, I feel like I'm always being told what the new black is. Have we come full circle this year? Is black the new black?!

Bouclair 2011

When it comes to fashion, I feel like I’m always being told what the new black is. Have we come full circle this year? Is black the new black?!

In the world of home decor, I think it’s safe to assume that for years and years, beige has been the go-to colour, acting as a favourite neutral in homes across the country. And while beige still has it’s place, it seems the warm tones of years past are slowly being replaced by fresher, cooler colours. And if there’s one that is dominating across the board, it’s grey. Everywhere I go, be it fall previews, Christmas decorating showcases or spring forecasts, I’m seeing grey.

I didn’t used to be a fan of grey. I always felt grey was like the absence of colour, and rather cool in a country where grey skies dominate much of the fall, winter and spring. But I have to admit I’ve completely changed my tune. And it’s all about choosing the right grey. If you’re going to do it, look for a grey that has a certain amount of brown in it- in other words, a grey that leans towards the warm end of the colour spectrum. It’s a beautiful combination with the season’s super hot plums and mauves, beautiful with fresher linen and cream colours, a new classic when paired with browns and tans, and sharp and modern  teamed up with reds and oranges.

Take a look at the beautiful image from Bouclair ‘s product preview (above). (By the way, love love love that capiz shell chandelier that is a knock off of the 1960s Verner Panton classic one. It’s at Bouclair’s for $100!)

Here is a softer version of a cool grey, in Benjamin Moore‘s 2122-40, Smoke. Notice the beautiful dark grey on the ceiling (don’t try this unless you have really high ceilings!)- 2124-10, Wrought Iron. (We used this colour for a Feb story, paired it with groovy 70s furnishings and ochre. Lovely. Painted the baseboards the same colour, but in a glossy version. Very cool for a dark on dark scheme.)


I also quite like Sarah Richardson‘s Tarnish, part of her beautiful paint collection with Para paints. It has just the right amount of brown. If you’re bold enough, try it in a bathroom or dining room.


OK, that’s it for grey right now. Wednesday, I’m back with some stunning beds and linens from Au Lit, here is Toronto. Even if you don’t live in TO, there’s lots of amazing inspiration in these upcoming photos on how to pair grey with the tans and taupes that are likely already in your house!

And remember, if you’re going to add a touch of grey, definitely consider adding a touch of black. Almost all rooms look great with a hit of the dark stuff!