Expert Tips on Styling Living Areas with Grey Walls
It might surprise you to know that the human eye can differentiate over 500 shades of grey (not just 50 as the film suggested), with colour temperatures ranging from neutral to both warm and cool. And while this might seem superfluous to the average joe, in the world of interior design it definitely makes a difference to how you might style a living area that has grey walls.
Top FCI London consultant, Benjamin Ibanez, takes a moment to share his top tips and explain why this particular colour palette has so much potential.
How to determine whether the grey on your walls is cool or warm
“I really love working with this hue because it goes with absolutely everything and gives stylists free rein to explore their options and think out of the box”, he explains. “But first you have to understand what type of grey walls you’re dealing with”.
In order to do this, study the paint closely and try to determine what undertone it contains. A browner tinge will suggest a warm shade of grey, while a hint of blue means that it’s on the cooler side of the spectrum.
By rule of thumb, warm grey walls should be paired with furniture that is cool in colour and vice versa. This will create a sense of balance and refinement. However, to ensure visual interest and a well-considered aesthetic, accents of both tones can be used throughout. Remember, also, that lighter greys will look fresh and relaxed, while darker tones are more formal and sophisticated.
For a harmonious outcome, aim for a room that comprises 60% of your key colour with two accent shades that take up 30% and 10% of your space respectively. One of those can be warm and the other cool, so Ben recommends you consult with your designer and decide which combination you like the most.
What colours go best with grey walls?
“Using colour is one of the most powerful ways to set the mood in a room and has an impact on how you experience and interact with that space. So, while it ultimately boils down to personal choice and what takes your fancy, give some consideration to the vibe you’re trying to create”, advises Ben.
Grey walls form an extremely versatile foundation for any home décor project, so whether you pair them with pops of cheery yellow, playful pinks, calming blues, refined green, opulent gold, healing purple or crisp, bright white, you’re sure to make every room a roaring success.
Our article on the colour predictions for 2023 will help you choose interesting combinations that are currently on trend.
5 grey wall design projects we love
For inspiration, here are 5 award-winning design projects that the FCI London team have crafted using grey walls as a colour foundation.
In any dining space with grey walls, natural wood reigns supreme. Pair it with ergonomic chairs in a lighter shade and bring in accents of both colours in the form of some bespoke artwork to unify the ensemble. Lighter flooring creates both visual interest and a welcome contrast. We added plants for freshness and charm and an industrial-style chandelier with gold accents to give the room some pizzazz, creating a refined space that oozes personality and style.
If you’re working with grey on grey, play with different shades to prevent it from looking dull and monochromatic. In this room we used a shag area rug in a warmer tone to add texture and then built extra layers with cushions and throws. Bright artwork in red and orange will bring a sense of fun to your aesthetics and wooden accents give it a more organic feel. Don’t forget to take full advantage of any natural lighting to highlight your focal point.
Grey walls in a bedroom area are both elegant and soothing, promoting feelings of relaxation that enhance a good night’s sleep. Using reflective surfaces like the opaque desk and glossy eiderdown help to reflect the natural outdoor light, giving the room additional nuances of luminance and depth. The warmer wall and headboard tones balance beautifully with the coolness of the floor and bedding, creating a sense of harmony and ease. Complementary colours in the form of crisp white bedding and blue bedside lamps add brightness and eye-catching appeal.
Grey walls give you all the scope you need to create spaces that exude character, grace and style, so why not take the plunge and create the space of your dreams.
If you need advice, would like a floor plan drawn up or are looking for bespoke furnishings to complement your taste, call our FCI London design team today – we’re here to help seven days a week.
You can also pop into our stunning NW10 showroom for a chat and a glass of bubbly. We can’t wait to make your refurbishment dreams come true!