New year, new kitchen: Shades of grey

We are exposed to a lot of design trends here at Design Kula. Some of them are bad and we delete them, some of them are interesting so we keep them in our inspiration folders, and some of them are really amazing. The largest trend that we see this year, and probably for the next couple of years to come, is a kitchen with a grey hue. Charcoals, ashen grey, grey-green, grey-blue, and stone are all quite on the cuff right now because they are not the traditional black and white kitchen - they are both. Flexible, relaxing, cool, vibrant, and even cheery, grey kitchens are chic.

Important variations of grey

There are a couple of things you should know about grey before you start injecting it everywhere. There is "warm-grey" on the red-ish side of the colour wheel, "cool-grey" on the blue-ish side, and "neutral grey" that is neither warm nor cool. Many people see grey as a silver-like colour, and the colour blind can only see the intensity, or value, of the grey itself. Remember that grey is conservative, but it can also be powerful.

A light grey would be similar to the mist on the mountains, it is really far away. Light grey would be a good choice for a backsplash, countertop or a floor colour depending on the main colour selections you have chosen. Light grey would be more feminine.

A dark grey would be like a large stone in your hand, or the darkness of water, and therefore is quite close to you. Dark grey can be a good choice for cabinetry, flooring, and accessories because is has a darker value and is in contrast with the lighter colours in the room. Dark grey is masculine.

How to work with grey

When selecting multiple grey hues, it is absolutely imperative to select all warm, cool, or neutral grey singly and work from it. Mixing warm and cool grey can be visually disturbing to the eye. A good trick for me is to squint my eyes so that the grey becomes blurry and the predominate colour will pop out - mind you, I am quite astute with colour so this is relatively easy for me and some may find this tricky.

Mixing grey with other elements

The most successful way to use grey is to mix it with other elements and textures. Grey is such a Gemini, it doesn't know what it wants to be, so you have to tell it what it is. Mixing grey with woods can be striking, as with bold colours.

Do not be afraid of working with grey. It is a tricky colour, but will be what you want it to be. For more grey kitchens, see my Pintrest board.