Fifty shades of grey paint

Grey bedroom wall

Grey bedroom wall

The Fifty Shades of Grey pun must have been used a million times before in posts about interiors, but it really does describe my hunt for the perfect shade for my living room wall. And my stair wall.. oh and my bedroom… because walls painted pale grey really are the thing of the moment but for very good reason.

My last few houses have been painted nearly 100% pure, brilliant white. I love white, it’s so fresh and clean – and easy to paint over when you get finger marks on the wall. I think I caved in a little bit in my Wirral kitchen and had Almond White, just to soften it up a bit, but I wanted a slight change this time and grey is just so calming, soft and light-reflecting that it really is a great choice.

Our new house is only a few years old so the paintwork was generally pretty good, with no nasty wall coverings to deal with like the anaglypta that covered the walls of the our old one. That stuff is a killer to get off, isn’t it? Plus once you’ve got it off, you’re usually left with a re-plastering job to cover the cracks hidden by years of papering over paper. Well that’s what happened in our old house anyway.

Here, we have nice new, straight walls which are easy to decorate and low-maintenance, which is what I’m all about at the moment.

Living room wall in Little Greene Inox

The new lounge was painted all white with one sand-coloured accent wall, a shade which wasn’t totally offensive but just not my cup of tea. Once I decided I wanted to paint it grey the next step was finding which one, and as there are so many to choose from it was no quick decision.

Luckily, many homes magazines give you the shade of the walls featured so that was a starting point. Also, a post on my Facebook page came up with lots of suggestions from friends who had had a similar search. Popular ones to try out were Dulux Chic Shadow, Fallow and Ball Blackened, and Little Greene Inox and Urbane Grey. There are, of course, a million shades in between as you can have your own colour mixed by Dulux, for example, so you could really spend an age deciding how light or dark you want to go.

I took a slightly rash approach and went out for some sample pots and sloshed them straight onto the wall above the fireplace, so I could see how they looked in different lights throughout the day. This was met with a bit of shock by my mum, who advised the more sensible option of painting onto paper and sticking that to the wall, but you know, by then it was too late and so I lived with my patchwork wall for a few weeks.

Living room wide shot

The kids loved it, and it took some persuading them that we weren’t all going to paint the walls and no, they weren’t going to pink or bright blue.

In the end I went for a shade by Litte Greene called Inox for the lounge and the same for the stairs.

In my bedroom I was going to go for a blush pink – after falling in love with the bedroom makeover done by Lori at Wild and Grizzly. I absolutely love her room and what she did with it, but I think seeing as Flo is adamant her room will be pink, one pink room may be enough for me!

It’s really difficult to show the exact shade in a photograph but the grey I went for in my bedroom is very pale, it’s called Blackened from Farrow and Ball. It sounds strange to say but it really warms up the room a bit and softens it from pure white.

I just need to decide on the curtains for my room now, as the pale grey doesn’t really go with the dark brown ones I inherited with the house. Now choosing curtains is a whole new ball game, I could write a post on just that but it wouldn’t be very long, as I am just so indecisive! I love print in other people’s homes but have the fear when I look at it for my own.

I’ll keep you updated on the curtains then.

Have you used grey in your home? I’d be interested to know which shades you went for.

x Julia

Grey paint testing cards

Grey sample tester cards

Lounge in progress

Lounge pictures close-up

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  • Reply
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely
    October 28, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Both rooms look lovely, Julia! I’ve just painted over the grey in our house. I’ve always liked grey but found I couldn’t live with it on the walls. I’ll stick to wearing it!!

  • Reply
    Carie @ Space for the Butterflies
    October 29, 2016 at 8:58 am

    They both look lovely, and very calming! John made a serious bid for grey when we repainted our downstairs loo (from harvest red, it’s where we make all the experiments!) and we ended up with a Farrow and Ball purplish grey called Calluna that we love
    Carie @ Space for the Butterflies recently posted…Nautical and Navy {handmade for Pip}My Profile

  • Reply
    October 31, 2016 at 12:37 am

    I have a real thing about grey at the moment, our new bathroom is about to go grey!
    RachelSwirl recently posted…#MySundayPhoto – ChangesMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 2, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Oh I love the grey in both your rooms! It is really stunning with your photos too. The perfect backdrop for them. #HomeEtc
    Emma recently posted…10 tips for perfect painting for DIY in the homeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Katy (What Katy Said)
    November 2, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    There is something strangely warming about grey isn’t there? You’d think it would be a cold colour, you know? I would be like you and slosh them on the wall too haha! x #HomeEtc

  • Reply
    Karen Clough
    November 3, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Your pictures are beautiful!
    I’m the same. Grey is definitely my favourite neutral. We’ve used Dulux before for Polished Pebble which is lovely and in more recent years Valspar’s Butterfly Wings. Both beautiful and calming!

    Karen Clough recently posted…Wallpaper Wonderlust with Graham & BrownMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mum in Brum
    November 5, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    I love the shade in your living room – it’s so calming! In our previous house we went for a very dark shade of grey as a feature wall in the living room and I loved it. I really don’t think you can go wrong with grey, and I love how it can work in all rooms. Love the retro style furniture in the loving room too x #HomeEtc

  • Reply
    Tracey Williams
    November 6, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    I know exactly what you mean about having shades of grey trauma. We painted our playroom in a dulux grey (can’t for the life of me remember what it was called), and it is very similar to the grey in your living room. Which looks fantastic by the way. I opted for grey vertical blinds in the playroom rather than curtains, but that was another trauma picking out the colour that complimented the walls. Good luck x
    Tracey Williams recently posted…Sunday Photo – Harley Quinn at HalloweenMy Profile

  • Reply
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries
    November 8, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    I LOVE grey walls!! I’ve just painted over the Manor House Grey (F&B) walls in our snug with Welcome by Little Greene β€” love the finish of it too β€” have been a massive F&B fan for so long, it was a lovely surprise to find I *might* have a new favourite!! πŸ˜‰ Cx #HomeEtc
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries recently posted…191 weeks and 5 days | Laura Ashley Press Show SS17My Profile

  • Reply
    JESS | mummyofboygirltwins
    November 8, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Looks stunning and SO stylish. It is such an elegant colour. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ Jess xx


  • Reply
    Californian Mum in London
    December 4, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    I love it Julia!! I love the idea of an accent wall (though many seem to jarring), and I love grey. Hmmm. Now to find a wall to paint! x

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