Grey colour schemes

Grey is the most popular choice for interiors at the moment, taking over the bland beiges and creams. There’s so much you can do with them, but the difficulty for me has definitely been finding the right grey that’s not too cold or too dark. I’ve done our bedrooms in grey – in Farrow and Ball’s Cornforth White (it is definitely grey) and am really happy with it.

I’ve found that far too many greys look either lilac or with a blue tint and I really wanted a true grey which is exactly what I got. Saying that, I bought the Farrow & Ball tester and took it to a local decorators’ merchants to be mixed up for probably less than half the price.

I’m not quite done with grey yet. It looks so different when put with different colours that I’m still thinking about it for other areas of the house. At the moment, our house has only got the bedrooms done so there’s plenty of scope for more colour. I’ve been using Pinterest for a while to keep a track of my home inspiration so have put together a couple of examples that I’m taking ideas from for the rest of the house.

Grey colour schemes

Top left: I really wanted to do grey woodwork in our bedrooms but ended up going for white to be safe. I’m hoping that I can use a similar colour to this maybe in the bathroom or kitchen for a bit of a change.

Top right: This room reminds me of a beachhouse or something like that. I probably wouldn’t have my house like this in England because I don’t think it’s warm-looking enough – I still really like how it looks cosy but modern though.

Bottom left: I’m  going to be more likely to do our living room something like this. It’s got the dark grey fireplace and accents with the rug and cushions, but the taupe chimney breast is a lot warmer. I also really want a nice armchair but maybe in a bright colour/pattern to lift the room.

Bottom right: This is the ‘grey’ I decided not to go for by Farrow and Ball called Elephant’s Grey. It definitely has a beige tint to it and it was darker than it looked in the photos when I used a tester on the wall. Still, this example looks good with the black floor and black & white pictures. Something to think about for the hall!

Have you had difficulties when you have a particular colour in mind? Please share your advice as comments if so.

First time buyers

If you’re looking in to mortgages for the first time, I hope these tips are useful for you – please comment if you have any questions!

Mortgages (this is NOT financial advice, just my limited experience)

  • I’d go for a fixed interest rate if you can, it’s safer and you’re playing with a lot of money
  • There are now 5% deposit offers but consider all your options before you just go for this – can you afford 10% and if so can you get a lower interest rate?
  • Work out the TOTAL you will pay over the fixed term period including any fees and then go for the cheapest you can (be a spreadsheet geek!)
  • Will the mortgage provider do your valuation for free or is this an extra cost? Factor it in on the spreadsheet! (someone will literally drive past the house and say what they think the house is worth – could be a problem if they value it at less than you were planning to pay)
  • If you’re planning to do work on your house, it might be an idea to get a fixed rate for just two years, so that when you remortgage you should have added value to your home and may be able to then get a better loan to value rate (no guarantee though obvs)
  • I found MoneySuperMarket and Money.co.uk invaluable for finding the best mortgage – I found mine through MSM and the independent financial advisor we spoke to couldn’t beat it.
  • On that note, independent advisors are never ‘whole of market’ like they say. Some providers don’t give their offers to third parties so you could be missing out – worth doing your own research too.
  • Use a mortgage calculator to work out what your monthly repayments will be. I used: http://www.bbc.co.uk/homes/property/mortgagecalculator.shtml to understand how much we’d be forking out per month, which then gives you an idea of if you’ll actually be able to afford to live once you have your house!
  • 25 years to pay back your mortgage is fairly standard – if you can avoid going higher than this then do because you’re only taking longer to pay the interest back 

Let’s face it, mortgages are the boring bit before you can start looking at colour schemes but the amount you pay is going to affect how much you have to spend on colour schemes so make sure you get it right!