Outside it’s grey skies, but inside it’s . . . . . . more grey?

Grey-bathroom-antique-styleFashions and trends, and, what’s in and what’s not, isn’t just for clothing, but also interiors. Now I suppose I am a little old fashioned as I have never invested either time or money in the idea that your home needs refreshing every five years or so. That’s my excuse for not noticing that along with the recent weather, it’s all gone grey inside too.

A contemporary bathroom white with grey.

Curiously, the marketing algorithms have gleaned that I am in the process of moving and I have received a slew of emails showing the latest paint colours, wallpapers and soft furnishing fabrics available. Does anybody actually take notice of this type of approach? Personally, I think there’s a whole lot more to rooms than mere products.

A grey reception room with a raspberry sofa as the accent colour.

Designing and decorating any room, for me, isn’t simply carried out over a weekend on a whim following a perusal of the homes column in the Sunday newspaper and a quick flick through a couple of interior design magazines. It takes time. I don’t know what type of rooms my next home will have, but I know I will be months living in them before I figure out how to use the space efficiently.

Painted grey kitchen units in a country style kitchen.

During this time the gradual process of generating solutions of how to incorporate most of my old furniture into some kind of coherent whole will proceed one room at a time.

Grey inspiration.

I like most of my old stuff and have no intention of buying anything new unless replacing items that no longer work (sometimes washing machines seize when in storage for too long).

A contemporary bedroom white with grey.

From a bedsit, whilst at university, through to my last home invariably there have been space and light issues. But colour has always been important for me and I use it to set the general tone of any room. However, at the moment I appear to be very out of step as the most fashionable look is all about grey.

My old bedroom with a very, very blue wall and my old furniture.

Yes, I know grey is a colour, but it doesn’t spring to mind when somebody says colourful, does it? Looking at the above ‘grey’ adverts I can’t image I will be decorating using contemporary greys with my old furniture and handmade rag rugs.

My old kitchen with green walls, old china and a rag rug.



Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

15 thoughts on “Outside it’s grey skies, but inside it’s . . . . . . more grey?”

  1. My mother lived in dozens of flats, houses and bedsits through a long life, and could take any shape room and random set of furniture and arrange it so it looked ‘meant’ and was functional – brilliant life skill. As you say, the rest of us have to work at it! Your ‘look’ is lovely, hope you enjoy creating a new one you are happy with.

    1. Thank you for your positive comments. My mother used to say I am like my great-grandmother who was often found painting some piece of furniture or other! She was an amazing woman, a gifted home cook that in her sixties took her first paid job to contribute to the war effort (WW2) by standing hours cooking in a tiny cafe kitchen in St Albans.

  2. In this context grey isn’t a colour, any more than magnolia is – not for me, anyway. I’ve always relished strong colours. Before we last moved, the agent more or less made us repaint our bedroom, which was a sort of Moroccan red, because it would frighten the natives. Or something. But I agree, it all takes time. Moving in with a fully fledged plan doesn’t seem a sensible option. And it doesn’t look as if you’re anywhere near to moving in. I hope for your sanity it doesn’t take too long.

    1. Yes, grey is the new magnolia I agree. I appreciate that we are all different, but why is strong colour seen as offensive and wishy-washy interiors are acceptable. From the estate agents point of view I suppose they can sell a place that is so bland it is crying out for ‘you can make it your own very easily’ sales pitch. The funny thing was when I was showing my home people commented on my furniture, nothing special just a couple of Victorian bits, and I thought, you’re not buying my furniture you’re supposed to be looking at the property! Yes, no new place on the horizon at mo, but I’ve put on some Bach and am tuning out whilst hooking a new textile piece.

  3. I have just redecorated in the living room as the space is small and I wanted to lighten up. But I still cling to my red accents! And the entrance rug and feature wall are still red. Grey monotone I would never go with. Grey undertones with red accents might work for me 🙂 But it would have to be the kind of grey that is leaning towards white. Battleship grey only belongs on a ship 🙂 My friend, who is an interior designer, so it is her “job” to talk in themes, has just converted her house from French Provincial to Hampton by re-painting all her existing furniture using Porters chalk paint. I am intending to repaint a few of my pieces using the same product . . . I am just deciding which shade of red 🙂

    1. Ah I love chalky paint, very, very flat and no sheen. I think interiors are like other aspects of life, it’s all about contrasts and not too much of any one particular thing. I admire that Japanese aesthetic of flat non-reflective surfaces paper, wood, bamboo with accent objects of high lacquer. Red pieces work well as accent objects don’t you think. AND, I am so with you, battleship grey is one for navy camouflage only.

      1. My new red armchair should arrive this month, then I will finalise the shade for re-painting the other timber pieces. I’m looking forward to the project, at the same though, I begrudge the time it will take away from the manuscript – so I have to get more organised.

      2. Ah the time issue. I have attempted to divide up tasks so that ‘a change is as good as rest’! Mostly I switch between brain/eye work (computer) to hand/eye (painting or hooking fabric) work. There’s something almost therapeutic about repetitive handwork tasks as long as you’re not on a tight deadline. Red, so many tones to choose from and the type of interior light makes such a difference so useful to be able to get hold of sample pots.
        Hope the writing is going well.

      3. I went to an author’s talk recently where she explained her writing style is thirty minute bursts, several times a day. It reminded me of that exercise I was doing with the Liz Thurlow short story. Of course, that was pure romantic tosh, with no end game in sight. All the same . . . something to aspire to. I think I have almost finished this first draft, but there are big holes I have to go back and plug before I start editing. I had one character who demanded attention, so I gave up and wrote her story first. Now I have to return to the earlier character, cap in hand and suitably apologetic for temporarily abandoning her. Is it just me, or do you also have the sense that I am identifying too closely with my characters? 🙂

      4. Identifying with characters 😊, I think that’s normal for authors isn’t it? And I have often heard authors speak of how they have characters who take on a life of their own. Sounds like the manuscript has progressed well. Good luck with the editing.

      5. Thanks Agnes. I managed to get to the end point of that first draft. But I left a character (Louisa – my great-grandmother) in mid-story, so will get back to her. I need info on women going bankrupt in Bradford in the 1870s. And I need to chase up the diary of an historian from Bradford who visited Australia in 1880-ish. Throwing that out there in case any of your friends relish a research challenge 🙂

      6. Women going bankrupt in 1870s is very interesting. Years ago I attended a lecture at Exeter University about the history of law during the 19th century and the introduction of the idea of a ‘limited company’. I think this was more about saving the ‘great and the good’ from debtors prison than making a fairer environment for bankrupted small business folk who were still sent to languish for years in debtors jails. I’m sure you know of how Dickens partly used his father’s story of incarceration in the Marshalsea for Little Dorrit.

      7. Yes, Dickens – I know him well. Have the entire collection in my garage. Debtor’s prisons – ugh! I am intrigued with my ancestor’s bankruptcy story, but am on shaky ground with the facts. Her husband was a cordwainer-bootmaker who died in 1872 leaving two businesses, one in Bradford and one in Shipley. Limited or not?? Four years later she is advertising pending liquidation. So she must have tried to run the businesses. BUT Could a woman legally own a business in her own right in that time? What was society’s attitude? She was Methodist or Baptist – I think that may have had an influence. It seems the Methodists were more advanced in these matters, based on the whole self-sufficiency and industry ethos. But I’m guessing – clutching at straws really. No research to back up these theories.

      8. Yes I guessed you would of course have Dickens. You know whilst I was sorting stuff for moving I did come across some of my Exeter notebooks (I am a dreadful hoarder, especially of course work etc) but it’s all in storage at the mo. I do remember being struck by the introduction of the idea of limited liability. Anyways I know that the big deal for women was the ‘Married Women’s Property Act 1870’. The Wiki page is a good point to start. Hopefully that will point you into a good direction for more research.

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