Home · LIFE May 3rd, 2016

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The new black is …black (sort of)

Shades of change becoming many designers' base colours

Cozy living room interior with fireplace and radiators below tall windows overlooking the garden and a comfortable grey upholstered lounge suite with blank picture frame on the wall. 3d Rendering.

Bedroom in Art Deco style in white and gray colors. Modern carefully the laid bed with bedside tables and night lamps. Mockup poster on the wall. 3D render.

If you’ve owned a home long enough and been through enough re-decorating binges, you may recall the days when pale colours ruled. Every room was a different pastel  — on the walls and ceilings at least.

Well, those days may be back — though with a difference. The days of rich, dark reds, burgundies, forest greens,  and navy blues on all room surfaces appear to be over. The new colour of the day seems to be … grey.

Yes, grey. Otherwise known as very light black.

You probably thought grey was not even a colour really. But now it’s the base colour with a growing number of designers — literally the base, that is, starting with grey hardwood floors in some cases.

Walls may follow with very light grey or even white, which is also being heralded as the colour of 2016. But the trick then is to decorate the rest of the room with colours that prevent the room from being too cold but don’t contrast too radically. You know what that means: pastels.

We’re talking pastels like coral, pale fuchsia, mint green, beige and soft yellows. Pastels for couches, coffee tables, cushions….. Not too many or too much. Just enough to provide some accents.

living room with big watch on concrete wall 3d rendering
If this is all too wan for you (and I admit it does pall on me), you can pick one or two items for contrast, possibly in black. An armoire, a scatter rug, or a counter top perhaps.

In case that still doesn’t do it for you — in case you refuse to buy into grey as the omnipresent colour (or lack of colour, as you might call it if you really hate it) — an acceptable substitute is a powder blue.

Start with it on your walls and almost everything we’ve said about dressing up grey also applies to this slightly bolder hue.

Match it with other pastels and find one or two other items featuring richer shades of blue to anchor it.