The shades between black and white are, at least in literature, associated with dismal days, bad weather, and a sad disposition. In the world of decorating, grey is anything but. ‘Grey is a phenomenal base colour,’ said interior expert Juliane Röthig of Indecorate. She, and her partner in design Kathy Kunz are Berlin-based interior designers, working with private clients and companies in developing their furnishing concepts. They visited the URBANARA show room to talk about 2015's top design trend, and how to use it in the home.
‘With a grey base, a couple of coloured cushions work brilliantly as accents and are easily exchanged throughout the year. So you’ve always got something fresh and lively.’
We invited the sassy design duo into our Berlin pop-up shop to share all their wisdom about decorating with soft furnishings – and grey was a big feature. Here are some of their words of wisdom for using grey in your home.
Grey LIVING ROOM IDEAS
Forget the bad weather symbolism: grey in the home is exceedingly elegant and suave. Because grey is technically a neutral, it’s totally timeless and versatile, working in décor styles from country house to contemporary chic.
When styling grey with grey, though, we enter more modern territory: a grey sofa with a grey blanket and grey cushions is the height of modern style. For a bigger impact still, pair with a grey rug and curtains. Remember to keep it interesting by using different shades of grey that use the same base tones (some greys have pink undertones, others blue or yellow – try to stick to one hue). Becasue it sits on the same colour scale, grey combines magically with black and white, and a grey look can be achieved with a fine black and white pinstripe.
The elements to focus on when creating a grey living room are the sofa, the rug, the lighting fixtures or lamps, and the curtains. Even if you don't want to paint the walls grey (though this can have a big impact) you can still achieve a grey decor with soft furnishings.
KOGE BALL PENDANT LAMP
Grey bedroom ideas
When decorating with grey, it’s important to combine different textures and fabrics, as well as a range of hues. ‘Different texture of the same colour, but in similar shades, is a good way to add depth to a room,’ Kathy said. A rugged woollen blanket thrown over smooth cotton bed linen, or a chunky knit cushion next to a fine weave or waffle design piled up on the bed creates a material contrast and lends visual vitality to a room.
When using a grey colour scheme in the bedroom, the most important feature is the bed, because it's the focal point of the room. Use grey bed linen, grey cushions and a grey throw or bedspread. Carry the hue out into the room with a grey rug, and use grey fixtures like lamps or pendants for an extra touch. For the full effect, paint your walls in a light shade of grey, or one feature wall in dark grey or charcoal.
LANTON BED LINEN
Break up grey on grey with contrasting highlights
It’s important that your overall look isn’t too muted or clean. Break through your grey palette with bold and contrasting colour accents in the form of a sofa throw or cushions. And remember: you don’t live in a showroom. Your space should have some personality.
‘Fold a throw lengthways and drape it over the arm of a sofa or the back of an armchair to create a ‘lived in’ feeling,’ suggests Juliane. ‘Symmetry is a good foundation for interior design; for example, using a throw at each end of the sofa to create a balanced look.
The trick is to make sure it’s not too symmetrical. Break it up a bit with an odd number of cushions in each corner.’ You can change all these accents and contrasts as the seasons change too. Or your tastes, of course,’ adds Kathy. ‘If, for example, you like stripes in the summer time and bright red in winter, it’s easy to have both with a foundation of grey. The key is texture and breaking the symmetry... try using Pinterest for inspiration.’
SALLA WOOL BLANKET
GREY BATHROOMS AND KITCHENS
Grey works just as well in the living and bedroom as it does in the kitchen and bathroom, and its elegant appearance applies for these spaces too. Accessorise with towels, a bathmat or accessories (like a soap dispenser or cotton wool box) in the bathroom.
In the kitchen, grey table linens straddle the wonderful line between elegant and casual, while natural grey tableware made of slate or marble are beautiful for serving canapés and cheeses… and work beautifully in the grey on grey theme. For inspiration and love-forever accessories decorating with grey in every room, browse all of URBANARA’s collections.