Many of us rebelled against grey for a time. It was the colour of scratchy school uniforms and concrete office blocks. But grey deserves to be reclaimed. In a world of visual overload, it soothes our senses. What brings more serenity than a pebble beach on a crisp winter’s morning?
Grey evokes a sense of balance, solidity and safety. As colour psychologist Karen Haller says, “In periods of uncertainty, people want to retreat from the world. We need to feel protected – and that’s what grey gives us. It reduces emotional overwhelm and noise.”Some see it as a cold colour. We disagree. Grey brings a calm warmth and sense of comfort that few other colours can lay claim to.
It’s also the perfect neutral – bringing balance to brighter shades and a touch of softness to unforgiving black or white. We have yet to find a colour that doesn’t work with grey. Even orange – one of the most difficult colours to wear – is shown in a whole new light when you team it with slate grey.
Blush pink and light grey is a classic pairing that will never go out of fashion. Another favourite combination is The WEEKEND in Sea Grey with faded blue denim jeans – a Sunday morning staple that works as well for lunch with friends as it does for a walk on the beach.This year’s Pantone Colour of the Year is actually a colour combination – ‘Ultimate Grey’ and ‘Illuminating’ yellow – described as a “a message of happiness supported by fortitude”.
Pantone explains, “Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation … Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.”