Is grey the new go-to kitchen colour, or has it just never gone away?

KitchensFeatures Thu 7th Apr 2022 by Nicola Hanley

Is grey the new go-to kitchen colour, or has it just never gone away?

Is grey the new go-to kitchen colour, or has it just never gone away?

Feature by Nicola Hanley | Thu 7th Apr 2022

Nicola is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about interiors for 15 years. A former editor of Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business magazine, she has also worked in PR and is now a freelance writer specialising in kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. More

When it comes to kitchen cabinetry it seems that grey is having a moment, with some homeowners attracted to its soothing, neutral qualities and others just keen to play it safe. Nicola Hanley finds out more from the experts, and checks out some beautiful grey kitchen designs.

Trends may come and go but there are some colours and styles that really stand the test of time, and grey, it seems, is one colour that remains a firm favourite with kitchen designers and consumers alike, year after year. “Grey has held an enduring appeal for consumers in kitchen design and home decor over the last decade,” says Crown Imperial’s commercial director Tony McCarthy. “It’s a timeless neutral tone that’s perfect to create both contemporary and classic design schemes.”

Ideal for consumers keen to create the look of natural stone without the price tag, Crown Imperial’s stone-effect Zeluso Rock grey makes a statement on the dual islands in this handleless design. Blending beautifully, the wall and base units are in Grey Silk, enhancing the natural light within the space

Darren Taylor, managing director of Searle & Taylor, agrees. “The beauty of grey is that it is the perfect neutral colour. It looks very stylish and unlike brighter shades, which may not be to all tastes, grey is a safe option and one that can be dressed up or down.”

Hand-painted in Farrow & Ball Manor House Grey, the cabinetry in this Signature Bespoke kitchen by Searle & Taylor provides the perfect neutral backdrop to the rich Hague Blue island, which adds a pop of colour

Its universal appeal makes a grey kitchen a wise investment for homeowners, particularly in these uncertain times. “A timeless colour like grey is unlikely to put off potential buyers,” says Brani Hadzhi, showroom manager, Multiliving Scavolini Store, West Hampstead. 

This kitchen featuring Scavolini’s bestselling LiberaMente range contrasts base and larder units in Pure White with wall cabinets, shelves and island unit in Earth Grey. Bridging the gap between the white and dark grey shades, the raised wooden breakfast bar has a walnut finish to bring a warm, natural look and feel to the space

“Grey is calming and softens a room. In psychology it represents peace and balance which is so important within a home. It’s practical, simple and reliable,” adds Suzanne Francis, kitchen designer at Tom Howley.

The deep tones of the sophisticated dark grey Dewberry paint enhance the timeless look and feel of Tom Howley’s handmade Devine kitchen. It is teamed here with Wolf appliances and Lyra Silestone Quartz worktops

Searle & Taylor MD Darren Taylor notes how the current popularity of marble-style quartz worktops taps into the trend for grey cabinetry. “There are many variations of the white top with grey veins, or grey with white veins running through them,” he says.

TKC says that anthracite, which adds a dark and dramatic touch to any kitchen, is increasing in popularity. It is seen here on the contemporary, handleless Lucente Matt kitchen, which features solid 22mm MDF doors with a factory-applied paint and lacquer finish

While Richard Turner, Pronorm’s national sales manager for the UK and Ireland, is quick to point out that white is the big seller when it comes to kitchens, accounting for the largest volume of sales, he agrees that grey ticks all the right boxes. “Grey is more universally liked than many other shades due to its unrivalled range and depth and ability to pair well with a variety of other colours. Lighter shades are ideal for creating chic and fresh interiors, while darker charcoals and graphites create warmer, more atmospheric kitchens. We’re seeing stronger demand for organic soft grey-brown tones as consumers look for ways to connect with nature and bring a feeling of comfort and homeliness into their kitchen design.”

Inspired by natural materials and organic colours, Pronorm’s grey Marble Terramo laminate is teamed with Agate Grey ultra matt doors in this design featuring furniture from the Proline 128 and X-Line ranges

To really make the most of grey cabinetry, manufacturers agree that contrast is key. “If used in isolation without a contrasting colour or shade, grey can sometimes look drab so a colourful balance is always required,” warns Searle & Taylor MD Darren Taylor.

Perfect for clients with young families, Daval’s 5-piece Shaker-style Falmouth Dust Grey door has an anti-scratch foil finish. Other colour options include Dove Grey, Charcoal, Cashmere, Talpa and Portobello

“Creating a stand-out kitchen with grey cabinetry is all about contrast and layering in warmer materials so that the space doesn’t feel cold and unwelcoming,” says Scavolini’s Brani Hadzhi. 

Wooden accents inject warmth to this cool and contemporary open-plan, handleless design from Masterclass Kitchens, which combines H Line Sutton units in Scots Grey with Madoc Portland Oak

Matt Phillips, head of UK operations at Rotpunkt, also believes in the importance of mixing materials. “The benefit of choosing a paler grey is that it can make for a softer contrast with blonder woods, while a deeper shade can have more of an affinity with both light and dark wood effects. Faux marble finishes and tactile timber effects are a great choice to complement the simplicity of grey,” he says.

Rotpunkt has given the classic Shaker-style kitchen a modern makeover with its solid oak, handleless Comfort door, pictured in Lava, an on-trend grey finish. The architectural ceiling frames and modular wall-panel storage system provide designers with more opportunities to enhance the contemporary aesthetic

How else can designers create an eye-catching kitchen with grey cabinetry? “Mixing dark and light greys together is a clever look,” says Emma Stuart Stephens, head of marketing at Mereway Kitchens. “Glazed units will help make grey cabinetry stand out. Pair with open wall units that really showcase the cabinetry at its best and a contrasting colour such as blue or navy for a very on-trend look.”

Mereway Kitchens has teamed Light Grey with Tyrolean Blue, two on-trend shades, on its English Revival Signature range. The pale grey cabinetry along the walls allows the dark blue island to take centre stage in this classic two-tone design

Tags: kitchens, features, pronorm, crown imperial, tkc

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