Monday, September 27, 2010

Grey, the new beige in home decor

Ten years ago, if someone had said grey would soon be the new beige in home decor, one  might would have scoffed. However, in recent years consumers have softened towards this not-so-new color and it is turning up everywhere in homes.

Grey is no longer the dull and drab institutional color it once was. Today, the average homeowner is more skilled in design than ever before. Most consumers are quite design savvy and have access to information and know that  in the right settings,  and paired well with supporting colors, grey is the new hot neutral.

Consumers have migrated away from the somewhat traditional and expected neutral of beige, and in their migration,they have found themselves drawn to the alternative color of grey for an option. As furniture went from large, comfy and tan, to sleek,dramatic and contempory, color choices began to shift. Still desiring a neutral background pallet, many designs went with an ideal neutral for the new shifts in darker wood tones, and cool to dark metal finishes that are popular.

When Brass went out, beiges lost some appeal as well, since it tends to be a warm color neutral. Pairing up finishes like brushed Nickel, Pewter, and dark oil rubbed Bronzes seemed ideal next to soft grey pallets in a room. As consumers left their traditional oak furniture behind and migrated to Cherry, Mahogany and the intermediate Maple options, no longer was grey an undesirable counterpart in decor.

Grey done right. In order to play up the grey walls in a room it is important to follow suit with furnishings, finishes and trim in the right balance. Grey can come off as drab and boring if this is not achieved, and that is where you don't want to be with decor. Try pairing this "new" neutral trend with bright white trim accents, bold darks in accessories and add pops of color, for ultra modern, pops of red balance well with greys, whites and blacks.

For a soothing grey retreat, such as you would find in a bedroom or bath, less colors are more. Two to three colors at best if you are trying to achieve calming effects. Grey with white trim, and Silver, brushed Nickel and Stainless Steel will finish the rooms off nicely. Keeping the color pallet simple in these rooms keeps things simple, clean and elegant. Remember even in neutrals there are cools and warms, metal finishes that pair with cools are chrome, stainless steel,and nickel. Metal finishes that pair well with warm greys are oil rubbed bronzes, pewter and iron.

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