Colour Masterclass: Bluey Grey

Greys have found a place in our homes as go-to neutrals. Bolder, stronger hues incorporating blue into grey can make a sophisticated design statement, especially when paired with warm wood or glowing amber lighting. We asked nine colour experts for their secrets on decorating with this versatile shade…

Pure Shores Matt Emulsion, £39.00 for 2.5l

Phil Robinson, Founder of Paint the Town Green

“Pure Shores is a lovely grey-infused blue, with depth and subtlety. Due to its light-reflecting versatility, it can be used in any room in the home, although it seems to be popular in boot rooms and bedrooms. With its soothing tones, it brings calm and tranquility. It pairs well with our best-selling neutral Dream On for a more traditional style; or cool and contemporary Private Universe for a more trendy vibe. For a classic yet modern look, there is our warm grey, Moonlight Shadow.”

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De Nimes, £46.50 for 2.5l

Joa Studholme, Colour Curator at Farrow & Ball

“De Nimes has a restrained elegance and refined sophistication when used on walls and would feel totally at home in a living room, particularly when combined with School House White on woodwork and ceilings for a crisper feel. However, it is also a great anchor to a space, so is perfect for use on kitchen units, especially when teamed with the slightly darker Railings on a central island. In well-lit areas, De Nimes appears much bluer and is beautiful for a front door and other exterior surfaces.”

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Valspar Premium Blend v700, £28 for 2.5l

Sue Kim, Senior Colour Designer at Valspar


“Deep blues with undertones of grey, such as Mythical Nights, is a great way to add depth to spaces. It creates a contemporary look, which works perfectly as a backdrop for on-trend silver accents and cream or white accessories. To achieve that cosy feeling without making it too ‘claustrophobic’, treat the ceiling as a separate entity. Paint the two smallest walls in a lighter tone of your dominant colour, such as Caprisian Mist, to extend the room; or choose a tinted white for the ceiling to soften the look. This works perfectly for both living-room spaces and bedrooms.”

Available instore B&Q

Greek Blue Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan, £19.95 for 1l

Annie Sloan, Inventor of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

“Throughout the Mediterranean, Greek Blue can be found on rustic doors, shutters and furniture, often faded and distressed. It’s also a colour that works well in a neoclassical interior, deepened a little with dark wax. Cool-toned blues can be pale and fresh or dark and tranquil. In a room which sees a lot of warm light, you might be happier with deeper grey-toned blues. In a north-facing room, if you wanted to counteract the coldness of the light, opt for red accessories and undertones to create cosiness.”

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Crown Period Collection Dance Hall Flat Matt, £23 for 2.5l

Judy Smith, Colour Consultant at Crown

“This colour really comes to life with plenty of natural light, so it’s perfect for south-facing rooms. The weaker light in north-facing rooms can make it look a little too dark and gloomy. Blue-toned greys, such as Dance Hall, work well when combined with soft creams and beiges. As it’s a colour inspired by a heritage palette, bluey grey looks really elegant and sophisticated paired with wooden furniture. Mid-tone wood would be preferable, but dark shades can also enhance its moody look.”

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Mysterious Teal Flat Matt, £39.16 for 2.5l

Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux

“Blue can be used very successfully as a wraparound colour, but if you want the calming essence of the colour in a room without a full-immersion baptism, try teaming this shade with warm stone neutrals. Blue can look cold in dark, north-facing rooms, but if you use these rooms predominantly in the evening and add layered lighting in table and floor lamps, the effect is utterly gorgeous. Choose rich, velvety blues such as Mysterious Steel. It loves to be seen in a warm candle-glow, so consider vintage style bulbs and add orange ember and golden shades to the accessories.”

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Livid Intelligent Matt Emulsion, £50 for 2.5l

Ruth Mottershead, Marketing Director at Little Greene


“Livid is a deep, moody shade that provides a restful setting, perfect for a relaxing living space. This blue-green is tempered with black. Juxtapose with sweet, delicate pinks, such as Confetti, or for something a little more subtle, Gauze – Dark.”

Available at

Benjamin Blue Matt Emulsion, £30.40 for 2.5l

Paula Taylor, Colour & Trends Specialist at Graham & Brown


“Benjamin Blue is a subtle blend of blue and grey. It presents as a smoky grey tone when used in a large space; when placed alongside crisp whites, it appears as an elegant blue. To open up the room, add metallic elements: whether it is a shimmer effect in a co-ordinating wallpaper, or silver home accessories. This will add depth and movement to what would otherwise be a solid block of colour and will make the space seem much larger. Gloss paint is another, more subtle way to create this effect.”

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Pure Flat Emulsion, £49.50 for 2.5l

Andy Greenall, Head of Design at Paint & Paper Library


“Beautifully soothing when used in an all-over bedroom scheme, this heritage blue exudes warmth and combines well with complementary neutrals. Combine with our Steel Architectural Colours for a scheme of tonal similarity. These tones work well in a south-facing room as an alternative to greys for a neutral scheme with more depth.”

Available at

Polka Dot Clay Paint, £18.86 for 750ml

Cathryn Helsby, Marketing Manager at Earthborn Paints

“Polka Dot is a sophisticated yet versatile shade that creates a comfortable, easy-going feeling in any room. Pairing with a neutral tone in a north-facing room allows your space to feel bright and airy while complementing Polka Dot’s warm undertone. In an east-facing room, where light will be at its brightest in the morning, Polka Dot is the perfect colour to wake up to in your bedroom.”

Available at

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