OF THE EVOLUTION GREY
Colour has potential to be one of the most stylish colours
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GREY. TOO OFTEN IT’S consigned to the exteriors where it’s traditionally done an outstanding job on roofs, window frames, and weatherboards of bungalows and villas. Its use has tended toward the functional rather than the design-focused. It’s time to change that. Used with some creative flair, grey has the potential to be one of the most stylish, versatile and hardest working colours out there. Which grey is okay? Grey works extremely well as a neutral, and there are many versatile shades included in the Resene White and Neutrals collection from cool pale shades like Resene Half Concrete to bold blue-grey Resene Grey Friars. What becomes quickly apparent is that while white and black neutrals have a range of subtly different options based on their base tones, but generally they can still be easily recognisable as “white” or “black”. Grey, on the other hand, runs the full spectrum from icy pale Resene Half Black white, to the deep charcoal of Resene Double Cod Grey, with elegant dove tones like Resene Grey Chateau and steely shades such as Resene Silver Chalice along the way. There are blue-greys, brown-greys, green-greys . . . So just as you might ask which white is right for your interior space, you should also ask, which grey is okay? To narrow it down, think about what kind of effect you want in your space. Are you after a warm and cosy retreat in a bedroom or sitting area or are you after a cooler, airy finish? Next, think about the room itself. How much natural light does it get? Is your artificial lighting warm or cool toned? Is the room on the south (cooler) or north (warmer) side of the house? To warm a room up try smoky, or charcoal greys such as Resene Eighth Masala or Resene Half Nocturnal. If your room is filled with warm natural light, experiment with cooler tones such as Resene Surrender or Resene Seashell. Top layering tip: The other way to warm up grey rooms is with plenty of textures. Thick dove grey or cream wools, wicker, charcoal velvets, and rough timber or brick finishes all add depth and softness to the room. Flooring finished in natural wood tones work particularly well with warm greys. For a cooler effect finish floorboards in Resene Colorwood Greywash. Grey is also a colour that can completely change in different lights, so Resene testpots will be your best friend. Try different shades in different parts of the room, and under natural and artificial lighting to see how the colour changes. Top lighting tip: As a general rule when it comes to grey rooms, the cooler the grey you choose, the warmer (more yellow) the lighting should be. Check that it still feels cosy and welcoming at night, rather than dark and cold. What the heck is greige? You don’t have to spend too much time researching grey shades before you come across greige, which describes shades that are a blend of grey and beige. It’s a word that’s been around for a long time but has been having a modern resurgence. The warmth of these brown or beigetoned Other grey moods While the versatile grey/beige combination of greige gets a lot of attention, there are plenty of other fun parts of the grey spectrum to play in. Stormy greys with blue/green or even slight lavender tones look sleek and urban. Some can run towards cool, so test different shades on your room. Some examples are Resene Emerge, Resene Clouded Blue or Resene Duck Egg Blue. Charcoal is the drama queen of the grey family, particularly when used on walls with lighter tonal layers and a contrasting accent. Try Resene Bokara Grey with a fresh touch of Resene Tusk and Resene Truffle. For a softer, calm grey mood try true or mid-grey shades like Resene Grey Nurse, Resene Concrete or Resene Half Stack. Add warm tonal layers in shades like Resene Freestyling and a dark contrast such as Resene Indian Ink. In its natural habitat Grey has long been used as a staple colour of our exterior decorating, particularly for weatherboard houses and corrugated iron roofs. It’s ability to blend with its surroundings makes it a perfect shade to use in other areas like walls and fences or make outdoor living areas feel cosy. How about a bold charcoal or deep greige front door, in Resene Ironsand or Resene Baltic Sea. Darker grey shades also work well on outdoor furniture, to give it a concrete-like, sturdy feel. Then surround them in lush greenery and add brightly coloured cushions for a sophisticated tropical vibe.