My favourite shades of grey paint ...... and re-discovering the appeal of pure white paint ......

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Hello Folks

Looking back over our blogs, the most popular ones were undoubtedly :-

"A few of my favourite neutral paint colours" ...... and

"Our economical hand painted kitchen" .....

Added to that, the majority of style requests I receive are about neutral paint colours - so I thought I had better do another one !!!

Ok - we are all different ...... some folk love lots of colour ; some folk like a little colour - and some like the simplicity of greys, whites and neutrals .....

Me - when I come home after a busy day, I like our home to feel calm and relaxing - I guess I find that life in general is colourful enough at times :) So yes, if you look at the general style of Nat Cal, it's probably a no brainer that I love cool calm paint tones. I also like how a plain blank canvas sets off your favourite accessories.

I sometimes smile when I read critical comments about grey decor - "boring, uninspiring" etc ......  it truly is personal preference - but for what it's worth, I think it will be around for a loooong time !!!

These are images we took in Tuscany several years ago ..... 'timeless' is a word that comes to mind - and most definitely not boring in my humble opinion !! :)

What I have tried to do with this blog is to show the sheer versatility of grey and white schemes - sooooo strap yourselves in troops - there is a neutral smorgasbord coming up !! :)

But before we go much further, I genuinely think there are two key factors we all need to remember when choosing grey/neutral paint ....

Colour Re-Production of Images

I am so lucky to work with two top class photographers - Ashley and Stuart. Using a serious amount of camera gear,they both take huge care to ensure that colours are true and accurate. But after that, we have NO control over the reproduction of our images in magazines or wherever !!! If the printers of a magazine are having an off day, then we simply can't guarantee that the colours will be re-produced accurately !!

And also - and this is not a sponsored advert for Apple I promise - but the difference in screen quality between a typical Apple and any other laptop tends to be HUGE !!! I have seen our Nat Cal site on poorly callibrated screens and have actually been quite appalled:(

Incidently, I'm loving that the screen quality of tablets seems to be much more consistent - the fact that they are "back-lit" makes a massive difference !!

So I go back to my original advice - invest in test pots and see how they look in your own home at various times of the day - it will be worth every penny - trust me !! 

Understand the style of your own home

OK - now this isn't always the case I know - but my experience is that period homes with lots of features and characteristics can handle greys and whites to perfection  - almost regardless of the natural light quality !! High ceilings, period fireplaces, chandeliers etc are so right with greys and whites. This is a little room I worked on (using a modest budget) years ago and this image has been 'pinned' almost to "viral" level !!

Homes with fewer features might need a little bit more of a 'helping hand' to pull off a grey and white scheme - eg be it with soft furnishings, artwork, rugs, flowers etc  ...... this is main bedroom in our present home ..... very few features as you can see ..... but the simplicity of white decor and a grey headboard has helped create a calm pleasant room.

Right ....... with those caveats out of the way ...... here are just a few of my fave greys ....

Elephants Breath by Farrow and Ball

I wanted to show you this home as it is such a wonderful example of a stylish, individual and glamorous London town house .... the owner is a huge fan of Elephants Breath by F&B.

Unique, creative .....

I adore this bedroom ..... it is much more Urban than my own home ..... but soooo appealing .....

 

 

And this one too .....

We shot this home a few years back - which once again shows the timeless appeal of greys. The owner, Rebecca Perrin  is hugely talented with interiors !! Such a delight to work on such a stylish home !!

Cornforth White by Farrow and Ball 

Like so many Farrow and Ball paints, this one can really vary depending on the natural light. This is our own kitchen - the units are painted in Cornforth White; the walls and ceiling are pure white - F&B Downpipe is a good alternative for the larder and stools. 

 

Pidgeon by Farrow and Ball

This is a Belfast townhouse which we shot a while back - owned by a very talented Interior Designer - Andrew Brennan. Sophisticated, stylish, eclectic .......

There are MANY more shades of grey to choose from - my honest advice is to study magazines and blogs for inspiration and then get stuck in with those test pots :)

Now then ....... as the title of this blog suggests - lets now talk about "pure white" ....

When I became increasingly drawn to greys - I soon realised and re-discovered the impact of pure white woodwork ...... creamy whites can end up looking "dirty" against grey.

My next step was to paint the walls themselves white - and yip, I stood back and just loved the crisp simplicity !!! It must be twenty years since I painted a wall pure white !!!!!

"Is it not cold" I hear you say ???? 

Of course it can be, but it is very easy to warm up pure white with lovely accessories and pops of red ... like so :-

Or a soft duck egg like so .......

Both of these bedrooms were in a lovely holiday home we shot in West Wittering.

Pure white is perfect I think for a laundry room when you want everything to look pristine and fresh like so ...

We built this little laundry room at the back of our garage a few years ago .......

I am a big fan of horizontal planking and open shelves .....

When it came to decorating our ensuite .... once again I opted for pure white ....

I'ts all in the detail as they say ......

 Well folks - I hope I have shown that grey and white schemes translate to all style of homes and all styles of furnishings .......

Is it boring ??? Never - but then again, I'm possibly a bit biased :)

Go forth and create your very own "take" on this classic, timeless and tranquil colour scheme - and above else .... enjoy :)

Marie x