Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Too Many Shades of Grey

Now before you all get too excited I am NOT going to be discussing a certain genre of 'naughty' fiction for women. Oh no - my Shades of Grey come from the new TV programme on BBC 2 - The Great Design Challenge. 

I have been watching, all agog, because 1) I like seeing how colours and fabrics and wallpapers and stuff go together (or not, as the case might be) and 2) I like seeing the crazy ideas that people come up with and 3) I think making a house a home is a top life priority and one can't have too many cushions, rugs or big floral wallpaper. 

And generally speaking I have found the 8 episodes so far to be most inspiring, so much so that I am pretty much certain that within the next 6 months Andy's and my bedroom will be on the receiving end of a design makeover only don't tell Andy because me and decorating fill him with a certain amount of fear and trepidation if only because I have to move furniture around and generally I end up trapped behind or beneath aforesaid furniture and a certain amount of cursing ensues. 

Now, what I want to know, vis a vis the Great Design Challenge, is WHY oh WHY are all the amateur designers, without exception, hell-bent on having grey as their main paint colour. Grey??? I mean, GREY????? (Although one woman this evening is giving it some with the beige and she has just mentioned the 'D' word which I shall come to later.) 

I'll say it again - grey????????

I am not wholly averse to grey. Grey donkeys are cute. As are grey squirrels. And I am, of course, a great fan of the Little Grey Rabbit stories. But grey...on walls? Great expanse of walls??? Grey suits concrete - cold, flat, dull and boring. And war time aircraft. And corrugated iron sheds. But in a house? On a wall???? That you are going to look at and live with? Day after day, after grey dull day? 

I can only assume that grey paint is de rigeur in the world of interior design en ce moment. But what I want to know is, what is wrong with a bit of colour, or vibrancy, or cheerfulness? I mean, I do like a bit of subtle as well -  and some of the designers have mentioned the word 'subtle' alongside the word 'grey' but I want to shout - 'NO! No grey!' There is no grey at MMM, and nor is there ever likely to be.

Now - the 'D' word. 

'Ooooh!' says Daisy. 'Can we guess?'
'If you like,' says I.
'Daisy!' says Daisy.
'No,' says I.
'Doughnuts?' says Primrose.
'Nope,' says I. 'Unless you are offering, of course.'
'Dribble?' says Daisy.
'Dollop?' says Primrose.
'Die Fleidermaus?' says Daisy.
'No, no and no,' says I. 'And as I am becoming bored with this game, I shall tell you. The 'D' word of which  I speak is...distressing!' 

Distressing, in case you don't know, is designer-speak for taking a perfectly good piece of furniture and roughing it up so it looks like it has been left out in the rain for three months then brought inside and scratched to death before being dipped in a vat of lumpy whitewash then given a half-hearted rinse and then dried off whilst still a bit dribbly. And then sandpapered. Very roughly.

No! If you are going to paint something, paint it properly. Proper even brush strokes using proper strength paint. No arty streaky bits, no bits hacked from the main body of your item to make it look like it was once dropped down a staircase by Jane Austen.  No pretend acid rainfall weathering and no faux woodworm/ dry rot/ rust patches. If I want a piece of 200 year old rustic homeware, that is what I shall buy. There is only one thing worse that could happen to a piece of 'distressed' furniture and that is to paint it grey. 

Grey??? Why????????


rusty duck said...

Grey is indeed de rigeur in the design world today. Farrow and Ball brought out 9 new colours last year and six of them were grey. There will soon be as many shades of grey on their colour card as there are white.

Vera said...

Grey is not good, especially in the UK where the winters are long. I think that walls should look quietly discrete, and act as a background to the rest of the room, so I have always chosen off white as the paint colour, and then have bright splashes of colour in the furnishings. So I would agree with you, grey is not a happy colour. Will see if someone has uploaded those programmes on YouTube yet......

Countryside Tales said...

Now then Mrs, is that grey as in dull lifeless and uninspiring? Or is it grey as in the soft down of pigeons or as in a passionate sky before rain falls? I am not averse to grey myself, providing it suits the space and is broken up with browns or creams. I think it can look quite fetching. If it just looks like concrete slapped on any old how then no, I agree, all wrong and quite frankly depressing.

Denise said...

Two thirds of F & B new colours are GREY, Jess??? Well, that is just crazy on a paint stick. X

The programmes have been very interesting, Vera, full of 'Gosh, I never would have thought of doing THAT!' moments. And what I especially like is that a lot of the amateur designers are ladies of a certain age who aren't trained in design but are just passionate about their home spaces. X

I KNEW you'd mention grey in terms of birds, CT, although I thought you might go for soft dove rather than pigeon, but then I suppose you have been inspired by your Mr and Mrs Pidge so I forgive you that! And nope, I still can't be doing with grey! Xx

doodles n daydreams said...

I'm with you Denise. Grey is not my colour of choice either. And as for distressed furniture, well I would be very distressed if my furniture ended up that way, not a nice look to my mind.


Denise said...

I am very glad, Diana, that we share such impeccable furniture taste! And how right your are about distressed furniture causing distress to look at! X