Grey is a truly neutral colour. The Sky Tower Retail Store was fitted out by Spaceworks in a palette inspired by New Zealand’s natural scenery, and the Sky Tower itself. Two blue-greys, Resene Sorrento and Resene Undercover, dominated the interior, accompanied by warm beiges meant to recall New Zealand’s golden sand beaches; sea blues; forest greens; and a pohutakawa red.
All greys have subtle undertones which often aren’t appreciated until a whole wall is painted, says Resene’s Karen Warman. The right grey will depend on what you’re selling and who your desired customers are – for a cosy feel, chose a grey with a red undertone, or for something more sombre, pick one with a blue undertone.
Warman answered some more specific questions about using grey in retail interiors.
What kinds of colours should grey be paired with? Does it really go with everything?
Grey really does go with most colours, but it’s important to make sure that the undertone of the grey matches the other colours you are pairing it with. E.g. A grey with a red undertone will suit other warm colours. A grey with a blue undertone will usually suit other cooler colours. If you pair a cooler colour with a red based grey, this will make the red based grey look even redder.
Is grey “classic” in the same sense as white or is it to be considered another trend-driven colour?
All colours are trend driven. Even though white or off white may seem to be the default option for many, the type of white still changes. We have seen creams, beiges and now we are onto blackened whites and greiges (grey beige).
Greys are currently very on trend and have taken over from the browner palette that was previously more popular. Deep grey is also a popular alternative to black.
When choosing for most retail stores, choose a colour scheme that suits the image you want to portray, your merchandise and your customers (both current and potential). In most cases this won’t necessarily be the most trendy colours.
Choose a timeless colour palette that can be easily dressed up for the season and the current trend colours. You can dress it up with a painted feature wall or walls that change regularly, like Freedom Furniture does, add accessories, and paint feature furniture and fittings.
When incorporating new colour trends we always say to think of your wardrobe. When the seasons and trends change you don’t throw out everything and start again. Instead you bring in new elements, a new coat to dress up the enduring classics you already have.