A decade or so ago, a grey bedroom would have been considered slightly crazy. Beige and brown, sure, but grey? After all, it’s considered a grim and cave-like tone that’s meant to be used in conjunction with other more striking hues, right?
Not anymore! Lately, grey has been seen popping up in more and more trends, thanks to the fact that its personality has changed from sombre to sophisticated. It slowly creeped into popular colour palettes reserved for the public spaces of the house (like living rooms and dining rooms), and now it has reached the ultimate private room: your bedroom. And it works!
But don’t think that you can just splash a dove grey hue onto a wall and add a stone-grey duvet to your bed and call it a successful grey and white bedroom design. Like all colours, grey needs to be approached from a certain angle to make sure it works.
And that’s what we’re going to attempt today with our grey bedroom ideas.
Grey is most often seen in industrial environments, as the industrial style usually shies away from loud colours. And as grey is neither black nor white, it doesn’t draw attention to itself.
In terms of colour psychology, it’s interesting to note that grey is the only colour with no positive traits. It’s the colour we wear when we want to hide or convey seriousness. The fact that it reminds us of cloudy and rainy weather doesn’t help, either.
But don’t let this put you off, for it’s been proven over and over again that grey does, indeed, belong in the bedroom – when used correctly. It’s all just a matter of finding the shade that resonates with you, as there are warm greys (yellow-based) and cool ones (blue-based).
We all want our bedrooms to feel welcoming, to us if not for anybody else. Thus, start your search for the right grey the right way.
So, while imagining different ideas for a grey bedroom, consider the amount of natural lighting in your sleeping space. Strong, warm greys (that show off a tint of yellow) will be ideal in an east- or north-facing room that requires a bit of warming up to feel friendly.
Likewise, bedrooms that get lots of sun (like south- and west-facing ones) can be cooled down with subtle cooler greys sporting a touch of blue.
Pick up some samples at a paint store and paint a few blotches onto your bedroom wall. Leave it for a few days to see how the colours change during the day. Then decide which one is best to use for your grey bedroom.
The easiest way to introduce this no-nonsense tone into your room is through the walls. Just remember: the larger your room, the darker the grey needs to be. Splashing a soft cloud grey onto the walls of humongous room will just result in a space that seems clinical.
Of course painting is not your only option, thanks to the wonder that is wallpaper. Wallpaper is actually recommended for anyone who requires a bit of pattern with their colours. But if you plan on adding patterns and character through your bedroom’s décor and furnishings, a simple painted grey on the walls might be best.
Want to flaunt your love for lavishness? Layer the same shade of grey in various fabrics throughout your room, but search for ones that have striking patterns and motifs. Commit to putting these in places that can draw attention when entering your room, such as the bedspread, scatter cushions, the wingback chair in the corner, your headboard, the floor rug, etc. Just don’t go overboard – the bedroom is the last place in the house that should look busy and visually chaotic.
Fortunately there exists and entire world of patterns (some playful, some chic, others serious, others funky) that can help bring your personal style to life, including chevron, damask, scales, polka dots, moroccan, lattice…
For an exquisite result, combine a few different greys of different hues (i.e. lights and darks). How about using cool greys for your walls (like cloud- and pearl grey) and darker ones for accessories (such as lead and steel)?
Balance this mixing and matching of greys with a handful of patterns splashed on select surfaces, like your bedroom curtains and cushions.
Speaking of curtains and cushions, your bedroom’s furniture can also help “grey up” your bedroom if you don’t want to commit to grey walls. Look to your textiles (rug, linen, blinds, pillows, etc.) and decide which elements need to become grey (of course this will depend on how much grey you want to bring in).
Start small, like a scatter cushion and lampshade, then move on from there if you feel that your bedroom could use some more greys.
For a classic look, we recommend adding white to your grey bedroom. The result (a monochromatic palette) will have the same class and elegance as a black-and-white colour scheme, albeit with a softer look.
And again, here is where patterns can save the day and steer your room away from a monotonous look!
Speaking of adding colours, how about contrasting that grey with some bold and bright shades? As grey is somewhere in-between white and black (which both go very well with any other colour under the sun), grey can also be used to complement any other tone – and vice versa.
However, grey works especially well with raspberry pinks, heather, teal, cerulean and mint green. To introduce some more cheeriness (and visual warmth) into your grey colour scheme, we recommend yellow. Consider a yellow focal wall, or daffodil yellow bindings for your grey drapes. The result will be welcoming and sunny, yet also elegant and modern.
• Do consider charcoal instead of black or dark blue, as it can be the ideal dark accent in a room without being too dark or drab.
• Don’t forget that grey is still a neutral colour, just like beige. So, although some colour palettes like to include both grey and beige, it’s recommended for us ordinary folk (who are NOT professional Interior Designers/Decorators) to base our palettes on one or the other.
• Do keep an eye on those grey undertones if you want to match colours like the experts. While some greys are perfectly colour-neutral with no noticeable undertones, others can have a faint blue, brown, or even green vibe.
• Don’t forget the greys already present in the room, especially a bedroom with a grey and white palette. Whether it’s in the carpet or in a white wall that seems grey due to grey skies, be sure to consider the amount of grey before you start thinking about adding more.
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