Jan 31, 2019

With the announcement of Ravine (62) as Plascon’s Neutral of the Year 2019, it seems that after more than ten years as the go-to neutral, grey is here to stay. Colour Expert, Claire Bond, unpacks the nature of grey and why it continues to be so popular in the built environment.

Lacking the energy of red, yellow, blue and other brights in the colour wheel - grey is strictly: emotionless. On its own it could be considered dull but according to Claire it’s grey’s very nature that makes it such a popular neutral for interiors and exteriors.

“Colourless, leaden grey is a stable hue that creates a blank canvas. It’s the complete neutral that pairs perfectly with just about any colour whether indoors or outdoors,” she says. 

In the early noughties, the grey neutral movement featured around 2007 and, like trends do, is continually evolving. Then, architects and interior décor professionals were requesting earthy greys with warm brown or pink undertones which work well with classical styles. According to Claire these days people are also inspired by the time-worn beauty of raw concrete used in the 50s. “Cooler greys are best suited to edited spaces with clean lines and no clutter. This mid-century modern trend is coming back to make its debut in spaces with the clear message that people are choosing a ‘less is more’ type of lifestyle,” she confirms.

Pairing up grey with other colours is easy. Claire suggests millennial pinks and pastels such as Apricot Whip as a contrast to the warmer greys. Cooler greys can be partnered with bright whites or bold reds to get that clean-cut, urban aesthetic. An artful blend of grey and beige, versatile Ravine (62) can be used in any space depending on the mood you want to create. To get a minimalistic look, Claire suggests using Ravine (62) as the core colour and teaming it up with accent colours such as dramatic Dark Antelope (P7-E1-1) or Bovine (47) for a monochromatic look. Similarly, the Scandi-look is easily obtainable by combining this grey with blond wood tones and bright whites.

Claire concludes, “Whether you like the cooler or warmer tones to decorate a contemporary or classic space, grey is a safe yet adaptable colour and is going nowhere in a hurry.”


Plascon Neutral of the Year 2019, Ravine (62) pairs with just about any colour and adds warmth to a space, making it feel more cosy, contemporary and welcoming.