Amelia Thorpe goes in search of new hues.

Pick out a feature as a subtle accent: cupboards painted in Teresa’s Green Estate eggshell, £43.50 for 2.5 litres, Farrow & Ball (01202 876141;

We’ve had Fifty Shades of Grey and even Fifty Shades Darker, so is it time for something new?

Of course, grey will always have its place as a timeless neutral that works beautifully as an elegant and tranquil backdrop to many a room, but if you’re itching to try something different, you may be glad to know that the paint companies are busy developing tempting new and equally subtle hues.

‘We’re seeing increasing interest in versatile and calming colours that work as the “new greys”, either together in a tonal palette or as individual hues that are a foil for colour-pop shades,’ says Ruth Mottershead, marketing director of Paint & Paper Library. Think gentle greens, soft sea blues, soothing aquas and the palest powder pinks, designed to complement any style of furnishings and to work well, like grey, with a wide range of other shades and tones.

There are deeper variations, too, which work just like iron grey and anthracite as darker neutrals, from deep blues, which contrast well with crisp white, or dark greens that serve as the perfect backdrop for the latest botanical fabrics and wallpapers.

So what are you waiting for? There are, of course, no rules for getting it right (far too many shades of grey for that), but plenty of enjoyment to be had in experimenting.

Paint experts suggest interesting greys, as well as some alternatives:

Edward Bulmer, interior designer and founder, Edward Bulmer Natural Paint


Vert de Mer


Eau de Nile


Cuisse de Nymphe Emue

Natural paint emulsion, £41.50 for 2.5 litres (; 01544 388535)

Andy Greenall, head of creative, Little Greene

Arquerite 250

Dorchester Pink 213


Pearl Colour Dark 169

Absolute matte emulsion, £42 for 2.5 litres (0845 880 5855;

Sarah Foster, category manager paint and wallpaper, Fired Earth







Matte emulsion, £39.50 for 2.5 litres (0845 366 0400;

Chris Gulson-Brooke, director, Maitland & Poate


Antique Bleu


Antique Rose



Lime paint, £50 for 2 litres (07801 055 330;

Dominic Myland, managing director, Mylands Film, Television and Theatre Archive


Collection FTT-013


Collection FTT-016


Maritime No. 236

Marble matte emulsion, £42 for 2.5 litres (020–8670 9161;

Sim Barker, creative director, V&A Classic Paint Collection


Percival Pink





Matte emulsion, £36 for 2.5 litres (020–3507 1852;

Charlotte Cosby, head of creative, Farrow & Ball




Light Blue



Estate emulsion, £43.50 for 2.5 litres (01202 876141;

Ruth Mottershead, marketing director, Paint & Paper Library


Hunter Dunn 523


Kigali 678


Plaster V 405

Pure Flat emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5 litres (0845 880 5844;

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