Finding the right neutral grey for your interior project can be as fraught as looking for the right white. Each paint company offers a wide range to choose from and as with whites, they all have a different underlying colour. You need to be careful with your selection so that you find the right grey to fit in with the rest of your decorating and at the moment, the grey that I am asked about most often is a neutral one.
In this post therefore, I am going to concentrate on how to find the right neutral grey. This means that it won’t have a very obvious underlying colour and in my experience as a colour consultant, this is the grey that everyone is trying to find.
A neutral grey mood board
I have put together this mood board to demonstrate what I mean. A neutral grey tends towards being silver but without any obvious blue. I find that these work really well with green and look stunning when partnered with white. But of course, being neutral, they will work with most colours and this is the beauty of them. City Stone from Haymes paints is a fantastic neutral grey – shown in the middle of the fan deck below and once darker, as Haymes’ Gunpowder Smoke, becomes a fabulous dark, almost off black but without the blue undertone of charcoal.
How to see the underlying colour
When looking at a chosen grey, the trick is to isolate the swatch of the colour with a piece of card – a professional fan deck will have an isolation window which makes it much easier to see the colour when it is by itself. Compare it to other greys and you will start to see the underlying colour in each one. Many do have a blue undertone, which can be great but it will limit your choices more. Often greys are warm, with even a touch of purple in the base and again, this is a fantastic look but it may not be the one you were hoping to achieve.
Be careful not to combine grey
I find that a neutral grey will sometimes read ever so slightly green or may have a slightly warmer brown base. There will always be something there but some are less obvious than others. Combining greys in a decorating scheme can also be an issue, so if you are in doubt it is wise to select one from a paint company that offers the same grey but in varying strengths, from a cool silvery off white through to a very dark sophisticated grey or even off black. This makes your job so much easier! Great paint companies that offer this are Haymes in their Natural series and Resene, amongst others.
The more you look at neutrals, the more you can understand them
There are so many fabulous paint colours to choose from and it can be a minefield finding the one that is just right. I really like putting mood boards together as it helps to keep you focussed and to only choose from colours and neutrals that are right for your project, rather than going off on a tangent when you see something else that you love! So browse Pinterest, take cuttings from magazines and pieces of fabric that you love and put them together with the things that you can’t change and this way you can start to find the right paint colour. The more that you look at neutrals, the more you will understand and begin to see the differences and the underlying colour. I hope this helps you to find your perfect grey for your interior decorating project and I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.
Do you want just a hint of grey in your decorating scheme? Or do you want the perfect white palette to act as a backdrop for a grey sofa? If so you might also find my post on the 5 mistakes to avoid when selecting white helpful.
Want to find the right grey for your exterior project?
This can be as tricky as finding the right white but in this post I cover all the different guises that this beautiful neutral comes in.
A pale neutral grey is often used in Scandi decorating schemes
When partnered with white, this is a classic combination for this look. I have written about my 5 key elements for Scandi style which includes the right colour palette – see more here: