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Grey Areas – A Distinctive Feature Of Contemporary Interiors


Colours have a hard time cementing their presence in an industry that changes its definition of ‘trendy’ every season. Over the years, interior design trends have managed to popularize, reject, and resurrect almost every colour in the spectrum. Grey, however, has a different story to tell. Despite its psychological associations with dullness and disinterest, it has managed to take present-day interiors by storm. The past decade in particular carries ample proof that grey areas are the new staple in the contemporary colour palette.

Grey has never exactly missed the action when it comes to interior design. But its emergence as a mainstream colour choice may be accredited to modernist designers and the austere expanses that they crafted with concrete. They made grey synonymous with practical simplicity, a connotation that it carried into minimalist and industrial décor. What started out as the colour of raw stone and exposed metal, gradually gained a reputation for honest, unpretentious sophistication.

The most versatile of colours

From sombre to serene, grey is associated with a myriad of adjectives. On the surface, it can easily be written off as bland or indecisive. But in the realm of interior design, this ambiguity has emerged as its greatest strength. Every colour, texture and shape needs a backdrop to showcase or offset it. Grey serves as that backdrop. Weightier than white and gentler than black, it lends itself to any number of explorations and interpretations within a space.

Owing to its startling degree of adaptability, grey has been incorporated into practically every design style. Contemporary Scandinavian interiors, for instance, often showcase gorgeous ensembles of grey and white, freshened with greenery or warmed with wooden accents. On the other side of the style spectrum, even classically themed spaces are now seen adopting a grey palette, using it as stage for vintage woodwork and elegant upholstery.

Many shades, many interpretations

There is a grey for every application, ranging from subtle shadow-esque versions that create a crisp contemporary edge, to charismatic charcoals that draw attention to the walls, furniture or accessories they colour. There are warm greys that romance pinks, yellows and copper tints, just as their cool counterparts enhance blues and greens. In terms of its compatibility with textures, grey is one of those rare colours that can be woven into everything from soft knits to polished marble. It also complements wooden finishes exceptionally well, bringing to mind the delicious dichotomy of wood and concrete made famous by modernist designers.

Going by these capabilities, it is hardly surprising that grey has become a permanent fixture in millennial homes around the world. This new flag bearer of the neutral colour palette is inspiring in how it manages to impress without trying to impose, receding into the shadows as it brings personal styles and preferences to light.