Neither beige, nor grey — it’s ‘greige’. And you may have noticed the colour is gracing walls, floors and furnishings this year.
The combination of warmth and elegance offered by the tone can create a soothing yet dynamic space and is now a go-to neutral.
The key is to use it as an anchoring palette — a springboard for other, confident colours within your scheme.
Boldly neutral: A bathroom painted in greige tones from Little Greene. Greige can ground a space and counter potential garishness
‘Greige is often used as a safe colour, layered with other neutrals, but I like to use it to provide balance,’ says interior designer Rachel Niddrie.
‘Try it as a backdrop or woven into a scheme to showcase bold textures, pattern and colour — on vibrant rugs, artwork and accessories.’
Combined with contrasting materials, greige can ground a space and counter potential garishness.
‘It works beautifully with dusky pinks as well as royal blues, teals, lime green and navy,’ says Rachel.
‘One of my favourite fabrics is No. 9 Thompson’s Ninfea Mania in Blush or Royal. Featuring painterly lilies on a loose weave, it can be used for curtains, sofas and chairs. The Blush has a greenish-grey in the pattern and a pearl oyster background that perfectly tones with greige.’
The shade is versatile, too, offering several decorative directions. ‘Monochrome accents add eye-catching detail, while metallic accessories will introduce understated glamour and bring warmth to the overall look,’ says Amanda Huber, founder of The Dining Chair Co.
‘If you are more daring, why not complement a neutral backdrop with beautiful printed linen upholstery on sofas or dining chairs? You can pick accent colours from the print and introduce them elsewhere to add energy to the scheme.’
Getting just the right shade of greige requires a considered eye.
‘As with any neutral or white, whether it is warm or cool, depends on underlying hints of warm pink or cool blue,’ says Justyna Korczynska, senior designer at Crown. ‘Red tones elsewhere in your scheme can be complemented with a warm grey-beige, while cooler blues, deep greys and greens work with a cooler grey.’
Also, the light in the UK can seem flat, which affects our perception of colour.
‘Natural light can be limited in homes, making us crave something warmer than a straightforward grey,’ says Helen Shaw of Benjamin Moore. ‘Our Revere-Pewter (HC-172) is a classic warm grey that co-ordinates with more natural greys like steel, concrete, glass, pebbles, driftwood — even cloudy skies.’
There are many ways to make this classic tone contemporary. ‘One of my top tips is to pair greige with raw plastered walls,’ says Space Shack’s Omar Bhatti. ‘This produces a lovely combination of soft colour and contrasting texture, which adds character.’
Mix it up
‘Don’t be afraid to mix materials,’ says Collection Noir’s Samantha Wilson. ‘Timber looks beautiful when accompanied with limewashed walls, occasional metal details, soft linens and textured ceramics.’
All these elements are a softly modern way to work a classic greige. Bear in mind some of the most beautifully balanced and welcoming interiors are based on a subtle palette of beiges and greys.
Texture: Sofa.com’s Ginger armchairs in Champagne luxe boucle costs £1,045
‘The key is to layer and to remember that ‘neutral’ extends far beyond creams and sandy hues,’ advises King Living’s design studio. ‘It also incorporates olive, earth tones, red-based hues and deeper browns — all of which pair with a beige-grey base to create a timeless scheme.’
Avoid a flat finish, instead opt for unexpected texture. Try sofa.com’s Ginger armchairs in Champagne luxe boucle (pictured), £1,045.
Pooky’s Empire gathered lampshades in Flashman printed cotton, £56, add elegance.
Bring greige walls to life with Carpetright’s Mardi Gras 576 Estrella Vinyl. The encaustic tile-style flooring works beautifully in otherwise neutral utility rooms.
A graphic rug such as H&M Home’s Patterned Pile rug, £149.99 peps up a greige sitting room, too.
The desire for warm, zen-like spaces is growing, making greige both a lifestyle and design choice.
Omar Bhatti has painted his apartment in Little Greene’s Mushroom. ‘I used it on wall, doors, architraves and skirting and combined it with deep blue kitchen cabinetry,’ he says. ‘It is very calming.’
Combined with natural fibres, timbers and earthy colours, it creates a sense of balance and understated luxury.
‘The look is easily achieved,’ says Samantha Wilson. ‘Whether you accessorise with woven planters or linen cushions, throws, tablecloths, or jute and flatweave rugs.’
Versatility is key to this — it works just as well with earthy tones as jewel hues, but it always contributes to a timeless, cocooning interior. Just what many of us crave.
Savings of the week! Leaning mirror
Light on the wallet: Dunelm offers the Moroccan mirror for £105
A long, leaning mirror has several key benefits. It makes any room look larger, optimises the light and requires no DIY skills: you simply prop it against the wall. Do so carefully and you will look slimmer and more lissom.
Snapping up a bargain will enhance your feeling of wellbeing. At Dunelm, there are styles for every decor, reduced by 30 per cent, including the gilt-framed Midi (£42), the Moroccan (£105) and the Apartment (£91), which has a loft-living vibe.
The Range also has a wide selection, such as the Regency whose price has been cut by 20 per cent to £87.99; its ornate gilt frame is very Bridgerton.
Cotswold Company offers an arched mirror in a moody black frame, down from £179 to £149.
Rose & Grey has a large black Art Deco mirror, reduced from £595 to £505.75, which would look good in a 1930s house, and a black paned mirror that’s now £191.25, down from £225, which could be deployed in the garden.
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