Grey is the new neutral and there’s a shade to suit every style of bathroom, be it contemporary or classic. Breathe new life into your space by choosing a grey combination to suit your style. From moody dark grey to light pastel grey, here we show you how to choose and update your home with grey.
‘Everyone wants to paint their houses grey at the moment,’ says Karen Haller, a color expert who teaches industry professionals the science of applied color psychology, ‘but it’s one of the most difficult shades to get right because of the colors that lie beneath.’
'Working with a neutral palette can easily end up bland. By using symmetry and proportion, together with simple but clean-lined fittings, neutral materials will come to life. Any size bathroom that is beautifully proportioned and features neutral, nature-inspired materials will provide one of the most important things in today’s hectic lifestyles; calmness,' says Lisa Persse, Porter Bathroom.
- See more: Bathroom ideas – decor ideas for wet rooms, shower rooms and more
1. Use pale grey to create a country garden
'Grey works well in a country setting, and salvaged wood comes to life when set against it. Use pale greys on the walls when cupboards and storage cabinets are made from rustic materials, for a truly homely feel,' says Sarah Spiteri, Editorial Director.
However, you can also add grey detailing in accessories, such as blinds to create that welcoming finish.
2. Add grey to a bathroom with wallpaper
A patterned wallpaper, such as this Wilton wallpaper design by Little Greene will add character, depth and texture to what can sometimes be a boxy space free of personality. A large, bold repeat pattern like this can work in a smaller bathroom, but if you don't want the space to feel too busy, it is best limited to a single wall, perhaps framing a shapely, roll top bath.
2. Create a color clash for depth
Gentle grey is the most popular of modern neutrals, making it a chic choice for all kinds of interiors. From cool, light shades to warm, dark tones with depth and drama, grey is a versatile choice that is easy to work with, offering you the freedom to create rooms stamped with your own personality and style.
One of the best ways to add individuality is to layer in highlights and pretty accents that will lift the overall scheme and make the room your own. Here, grey is the perfect canvas for flashes of hot, fiery pink accessories.
See: Grey living room ideas – for gorgeous neutral schemes
4. Grand tour – with tones of grey
'Mixing different greys can be tricky if they don’t have the same base notes but it’s a look that’s easier to achieve if you mix up your materials: a wood paneled wall with marble effect paper and layers of textiles and textures,’ explains Kate Watson-Smyth, author of Shades of Grey.
Opting for a single muted color in an eggshell finish for walls, panelling and windows frames will create a blank canvas, allowing furniture and curios to stand out.
5. Enhance space with a visual trick
Covering a wall in 3D tiles or a mural creates an eye-catching feature. Textured tiles are often made of real stone so introduce a variety of color and interest in a way impossible to achieve with paint, and the natural beauty works in any style of home.
Pale grey or black looks great in a contemporary setting with warmer greys blending with stripped wood in a cottage. Grey slate sits well with any setting, but if you’re unsure, buy single tiles to see them in situ at home before you invest in a larger quantity.
6. Match grey bathroom schemes with warm wood
A match made in heaven, cool shades of grey bring out the warmth and beauty in natural wood. Modern neutrals are ideal for creating a timeless look. Shades of gentle grey, off white and natural earthy tones can be used to create a simple and classic backdrop that is calm and easy to live with.
Large format tiles in neutral shades mean fewer grout lines, so they can be a great way to boost the sense of space. Introduce layers of texture in tiles of similar tones for simple elegance, add depth and character with warm wood and natural stone finishes, or team neutrals with striking furniture and richly colored accessories to create a balanced and sophisticated scheme.
7. Pick a dark grey for a dramatic look
'If you're only going to paint one wall, it needs to be a grey from the darker end of the spectrum. It will bring a hint of drama to the space. Starting with one wall also gives you a chance to see how you really feel about a color,' says Kate Watson-Smyth.I’m a huge fan of dark grey walls because I think it’s the easiest of all the grey shades to live with. It works in both daylight and electric light, and most colors looks striking when set against a dark, charcoal grey.
8. Match grey marble with classic black
Marble is a stylish and luxurious way to introduce grey into a bathroom. The color grey is a short cut to sophistication, so ramp up the ethereal charm by teaming it with thinly-veined marble. A smart black bath with aged brass taps anchors the scheme, reinforcing the classic look.
9. Paint a roll top bath grey to match the bathroom walls
If you have chosen to make your bath center stage, ensuring its surround – or underside if it is a roll top or freestanding bath – the same color as the walls will create a sense of unity.
A word on using grey in a bathroom: it can feel cold, so adding plenty of woody tones to the space in flooring or even accessories will add warmth.
10. Paint contemporary panelling for a smart finish
The horizontal lines of this panelling and fuss-free detailing gives this grey bathroom a contemporary finish that is perfect for small bathrooms. What's more, the fine horizontal lines created by the panelling conjure up a neat visual trick – making the room feel wider and longer than it is.