The Allure of Colour
Consciously or not, we’re affected by the colours around us. Our surroundings ‘colour our view’ – influencing our perceptions and mood. With her interior designer’s eye, BRIDGET LUCID, from our Drogheda branch, looks at the latest colour trends and explains the appeal of contemporary greys and natural shades.
Not so long ago, to describe something as grey was to dismiss it as dull, drab and ... well, old. But in the world of interior design at least that’s changed completely.
Grey is hot! This is definitely one of the hottest interiors colours of the recent past and its popularity is, if anything, increasing. Available in a multitude of hues and shades, grey has become the ‘go to’ colour for both designers and homeowners.
From grey to great!
So why is grey so popular? The contemporary trend for stylish and sleek interiors with clean, well-defined lines is part of the reason. Grey’s subtle shades suit the semi-minimalism and neutral settings that are gaining in popularity.
As a standalone colour, grey is both rich and refined. But grey is also versatile. From its cooler hues to warmer tones, different grey shades create contrasts and a flowing background colour scheme for your entire home with lots of variations. So grey can work in every area of the house.
That is why we chose several greys for our exclusive Tiffany Allure collection. The sumptuous Allure Velvet range features three shades – Vanity, True Grey and Deep Charcoal. Meanwhile, the hard-wearing Allure Twist line-up also has Charcoal and Taupe.
Both carpet ranges are made with a luxury two-ply yarn, which is stain-protected and moth-proof.
Choosing colour combinations
Customers can choose these grey shades with confidence, because most greys can be paired with just about any colour. A grey carpet provides the perfect backdrop for accent colours, and the combination tends to reinforce our perception that grey is elegant, sophisticated and understated.
Bring in one bright accent colour like rose or yellow, and you have a versatile colour palette that can be casual or elegant depending on the accessories you choose. Fabrics and textiles such as rugs, pillows, throws, and window treatments are a great way of introducing colour and they can add pattern and texture as well.
Artworks too inject colour and personality into a room, as do accessories and personal collections. And don't forget the lively hues of flowers and fruit. Grouped in vases or bowls, they create a colourful mass in any space, warming up the atmosphere just a bit.
Accent colours you can team with greys include: yellows, limes, reds, lavender and lots of white. Grey will also complement shades of pink, aqua, peach, lavender and navy.
Warm or cool?
There are warm greys (that are yellow-based) and cool greys (blue-based) and they create different effects.
Cooler palettes using grey tones will have a sophisticated, modern feel. Lighter greys are similar to white and can create spaces that are fresh and reﬁned. Darker greys have some of the grounding qualities of black, though with less weight and not such a dominant presence.
Greys with a pearly cast matched with pewter, silver or mirrored accessories look refined and understated. You can even use grey effectively with gold tones, browns or lots of polished wood.
Grey is also a great spatial neutraliser. Used on a far wall, grey can make a long room look more in proportion. It can minimise the impact of a high ceiling and provide a very effective backdrop for wall art.
The enduring appeal of neutrals
Like greys, neutral colours work well together to create a comfortable, elegant, and understated appearance in your home.
But their appeal is independent of style and trend. Neutral colours are not prey to fashion, making them great if you want a look that is safe and will out-last any design fads. Yet they’re ﬂexible – a small dash of vivid colour can have a big impact in a room with neutral base colours.
Because of their versatility and universal appeal, neutrals can support all décor styles from contemporary to traditional. Your furnishings and accessories will ﬁt perfectly with a neutral scheme. Neutral colour schemes also work in any type of room.
Given that broad appeal, we wanted the other signature colours in our exclusive Tiffany Allure selection to be neutrals. The Allure Twist range features four: Maize, Taupe, Dove, and Café. Our Allure Velvet neutrals are Soft Cream, Barley Taupe, and Glamour.
De-stress with this colour
Taupe is a colour that deserves special mention. It is such a beautiful colour, neither too warm, nor too cool. Taupe is calm, quiet, and very easy to live with. It is not overbearing and it does not shout out and demand attention. For this reason Taupe is an ideal choice if you want to instill a sense of calm in a room. It’s the perfect colour to provide respite from the frenetic pace of our stressful modern life.
Being so versatile, Taupe also lends itself brilliantly to creating layers of contrast. Layering textures of Taupe instantly adds depth and warmth – think linen on velvet, Taupe cushions on Taupe bedspreads. Wherever a lot of Taupe is used, you can bring the style to life by making use of textural contrast instead of contrasting colours.
But other colours do work well with Taupe. I’d recommend pure white, matt black and just about every single shade of grey. Not only does Taupe pair well with these colours, it’s also the perfect companion for silvers, metallics, and clear glassware.
You can accessorise your Taupe palette too with subtle combinations of textures and colours, such as olive and chocolate.
Or lighten up with Soft Cream
At the lighter end of the neutrals spectrum, we have Soft Cream in the Allure Velvet range and Maise – an Allure Twist.
Generally, off-whites, or “dirtied” whites, work well with other light neutrals and brighter whites. These colours are often preferred in smaller rooms because they give a greater sense of space than a darker colour on floors or walls. Carpets in these colours are also suited to rooms with softer lighting so the effect is not over-powering.
Your colour choice
To sum up, whether you go for shades of grey or stick with the neutrals, you still have plenty of scope to create your own particular style and mood in any room.
The main choice is between monochromatic or accents of colour. Both strategies are based on colour theory and the famous ‘colour wheel’.
Monochromatic simply means you take one basic colour and create a whole palette of options by playing with the various tones, shades, and tints that can be created from the original. Then you layer the room with the different shades on walls, woodwork and furnishings. The effect tends to be relaxing, so it’s ideal for bedrooms, or maybe a home office?
With accent colours you go the other way: by choosing complementary colours in small quantities to create a ‘wow’ factor. Complementary colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel. Think of blue with orange, green with red, yellow with purple, etc. But remember these are small splashes of colour used to set off the main, base colour.
So that could be pairing pink drapes with the Soft Cream of an Allure Velvet carpet. Or contrasting the Taupe of Allure Twist with purple sofa cusions. Or lavender walls with Allure Velvet’s Deep Charcoal or True Grey.
Colour combinations are crucial when styling your home and a fascinating topic – to which we’ll return in a future article. Watch this space and thanks for reading!