Colour Me Grey

Tuesday Apr 26th, 2016


Choosing paint colours for the rooms of our home, our entryway, the exterior of a house, a baby’s room, or our kitchens, are all big decisions. While painting is one of the most reasonable home renovation projects we can undertake, it’s still time-consuming and something we want to spend time considering. Living with the right colour adds to our lives and moods while the wrong colour can just throw the balance off in your home. Colour psychology is a “real thing” because colour really does influence mood and perception. There’s a reason that marketers spend so much time deliberating colours for brand logos- colour sends a message, it conveys an attitude. So a little forethought and extra time spent looking at those paint chips in different lights and buying sample tins of a shortlist of colours to try on your wall at home will help ensure that you make an informed decision that you’ll enjoy living with.

Most paint stores have an interior designer or colour consultant associated with them that can come to your home and help you choose colours that work with the existing elements that you’re not changing, such as counter tops, furniture and carpet- while still refreshing and updating your home.

Grey is without a doubt the dominant shade of the day- it’s today’s neutral. Grey, like white, can be a fabulous backdrop to make colour pop. Greys come in a variety of shades and hues. Greys can be very cool and look more grey blue or silvery. Those tones can be peaceful and calm. Grey can also have somewhat green undertones which can work very well with woods and natural materials. Grey/beige shades or “greige” as it’s fondly referred to, is a great transitional colour and tends to be stable in various lighting.  “Greige” is subtle and nuanced and can aid a fluid flow through the home from room to room if used as an anchor colour in a hallway or foyer. Grey is a sophisticated classic neutral colour that can help make your home more current looking.

Every year brings hype over a new colour. Are jewel tones returning? Are shades of cappuccino passé? Think of it as the Oscars of the paint industry without all the bad speeches. This year Benjamin Moore chose Simply White-OC-117 for its Colour of the Year! Years ago white used to be considered the absence of colour, a room where painting had been overlooked. However, with over 250 shades of white, paint manufacturers like Benjamin Moore have made white a deliberate, elegant, sophisticated choice. Layered with other whites, white becomes a textured choice that conveys the rustic simplicity of a room or a modern urban chic vibe equally. Ellen O’Neill, the Creative Director at Benjamin Moore says this of the 2016 choice of Simply White as their Colour of the Year:

“White is transcendent, timeless, its versatility unrivalled. From weathered wainscoting to crisp canvas shades, porcelain tile to picket fences, white is everywhere in every form- that’s why we chose it as our Colour of the Year. Turn down the noise and celebrate the simplicity of white. Simply said…Simply white.” High praise for the versatility of white indeed.

Choosing paint colours is a fun job, but it does require thought and looking at your space as a whole. When choosing a colour, consider the mood you want to achieve in that space. Are you looking to create a peaceful, intimate, dramatic or formal mood? Are you considering selling your home in the near future? Perhaps save that eggplant shade or that indigo blue for a smaller stand-alone space like a powder room. Remember, if you’re planning on selling, your goal is to help potential buyers feel like they could live in your home. The best way to not distract a buyer is to help them see a clean decluttered space with a fresh coat of paint in a current neutral palette. However, boring beige can make a house appear plain, tired or out-dated.  Rather, choose neutral colours that have some character to help show off architectural details and hide any imperfections on the wall. These tips can work both for resale and for very livable interiors in general.

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