24 Oct 2017Last updated

Design Insights

Going for grey

Versatile, classy and modern, grey has more than shaken off its conservative reputation in recent times

By Mary Keenan
Added 11:55 | November 6, 2015
  • Source:Supplied Image 1 of 7
  • Source:Supplied Image 2 of 7
  • Swedish Tree wallpaper in charcoal Colefax and Fowler at Lelievre, Dh279 per metre; Belvedere wallpaper in almond Harlequin, Dh288 per roll.

    Source:Supplied Image 3 of 7
  • Source:Supplied Image 4 of 7
  • Nuvolette wallpaper in 97/2007 Cole & Son (Nobilis), Dh1,500 for 2 rolls; Pamir fabric Nina Campbell for Osborne & Little (Casana), Dh370 per metre.

    Source:Supplied Image 5 of 7
  • Source:Supplied Image 6 of 7
  • Nymphes wallpaper in VP670 10 Elitis at Rubelli Sahco, from Dh414 per roll; Gator fabric Osborne & Little at Casana, Dh311 per metre.

    Source:Supplied Image 7 of 7

Clockwise from above Dawn Chorus wallpaper in Linden/Slate Dh240 per roll Fretwork fabric in Silver/Linden Dh192 per metre Wisteria Blossom wallpaper in Linden/Charcoal Dh240 per roll Tatami Stripe wallpaper in Silver/Linen Dh240 per roll Tatami Stripe fabric in Charcoal/Linen Dh192 per metre Willow Tree fabric in Charcoal/Ivory Dh204 per metre Willow Tree wallpaper in Charcoal/Ivory Dh204 per roll, all Sanderson.


Poppy Damask sofa fabric in Linden/Ivory Dh288 per metre. Cushion fabrics from left Starla in Pewter/Gold Dh468 per metre. Poppy Damask in Silver/Ivory Dh288 per metre Lilium in Silver/Linden Dh324 per metre Poppy Damask wallpaper in Linden/Chalk Dh348 per roll, all Sanderson. Grey Squirrel emulsion paint Sanderson Paints, from Dh305 per 2.5 litres.


Fabrics from left Audley Dove Grey Dh468 per metre Kashi Platinum Leaf Dh696 per metre Lustre Platinum Dh336 per metre; Pietra Damask Platinum Dh468 per metre; Platinum Grey and Elephant Grey emulsion paints from Dh300 per 2.5 litres; Silver rope Dh72 per metre, all Zoffany.


Cushion fabrics left to right Olson in alabaster Dh429.50 per metre Morris in Celadon Dh482 per metre Lawton in Beige Dh418 per metre Lawton in Taupe Dh418 per metre; Carnegie headboard fabric in Icy Blue Dh482 per metre; Wright headboard edging in Pearl Dh226 per metre; Hansen bottom bedcovers in Celadon Dh482 per metre Morris top bedcovers in Celadon Dh482 per metre, all Larsen for Colefax and Fowler at Lelievre.

Grey matters

Here are key tips for incorporating this versatile colour into your home

Select your shade Cool greys have blue undertones, hold their colour and are calm and soothing – perfect for bedrooms. Warm greys carry hints of yellow and green and are earthy and cosy – ideal for rooms lacking light.

Mix it up Layer and contrast light and dark tones to create depth, and add different textures. Don’t overlook metallic fabrics and wallcoverings, either: they reflect the light and add an unexpected note in a simple scheme.

Plan ahead Greys change colour throughout the day, so be sure to test and observe sample paint hues as the natural light fades before deciding on a shade.

Perfect pairings Grey plays well with many shades: grey and raspberry is chic and feminine, dark greys and vibrant oranges create a dramatic effect, yellow and grey packs a cheerful punch, while teal or duck-egg blue combined with grey is always elegant.


Crystalline paint Benjamin Moore, from Dh129 per gallon.


Amborella wallpaper in Seaglass and Ivory Dh348 per roll Amborella Silk curtain fabric in Seaglass Dh528 per metre Boheme Linen blind fabric in Slate Dh234 per metre Lois throw fabric in Graphite/Shell Dh252 per metre. Cushion fabrics from Palmetto and Belvedere Velvets collection from Dh252 per metre, all Harlequin.


Zelda curtain fabric in Blue from Dh1,726 per metre Linear sheer curtain fabric in White Dh180 per metre Monty sofa fabric in Steel Dh279 per metre. Cushion fabrics, left, from back Fresno in Grey/Blue Dh383 per metre Crocodillas in Steel Dh331 per metre. Cushion fabrics,
 right, from top Ezra in Grey and Midnight both Dh331 per metre Aero chair fabric in Charcoal Dh267, all Jane Churchill for Colefax and Fowler at Lelievre.

By Mary Keenan

By Mary Keenan

Research by Rebekah Heaney