Decorating & Design - Colour

How to: Decorate with grey

Decorate with grey using Celerie Kemble's design tips and create a home that's anything but neutral.

Think of a room in grey scale (meaning black, white, and everything in between) as you would think of a monochromatic outfit—say, a grey dress. With no further information, you might picture a corporate uniform: dull, austere, and gloomy. But pair that dress with a shimmery, sequined charcoal cardigan, a faded black leather jacket, and a handful of thick silver chains and you have something else entirely, something that takes minutes to decode, rather than seconds. The results can also be more tasteful and sophisticated than a similar outfit in louder colours. If you draw from too many hues in your wardrobe, you may attain Boho fabulousness—or you may find yourself costumed for the circus. The same truth applies to a room. Grey scale is markedly more flexible than colours: You can pile grey on or pare it back, and it will continue to meet the mood. The boundaries of black and white allow you to play with variety in a room, with less risk of making it look like a set from Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

From the chinoiserie fabric and silk lampshade to the sueded headboard, cotton bedskirt, and cashmere throw blanket, variations on a gray pepper this Leslie Cohen-designed bedroom. Photography courtesy of Fairfield County at Home, copyright by Amy Vischio.

Decorating with grey
There are a myriad of effective tools to create a nuanced room in grey scale.

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