20th February 2014

Those of you who know me through this blog will already be aware that I have a ‘thing’ about grey. This is a shade I never get tired of, from clothes to furnishings to paint colours. I’ve swooned over Farrow & Ball’s many subtle grey tones in various properties over the years – the beautifully chalky-pale Cornforth White is a current favourite, while I’m increasingly drawn to Down Pipe, which feels like the perfect dark grey.


A few weeks ago a new blog I’m following called Home Arty Home posted about Ecos Organic Paints and their new Artisan range that includes a warm mid-toned Dove Grey and a darker-toned Plumpfled (great name!).

And, I have to admit, the more I look at these dark grey hues, the more I want to ‘go to the dark side’ at home. Would dark grey simply be too gloomy in the Scottish light, particularly in our long winters?


The answer to this, I suspect, depends on the space. While I couldn’t work in a dark office, a bedroom or dining room can look fantastic in a dramatic darker tone. Ditto a bathroom or shower room – indeed, the smaller the space, the more a darker palette really comes into its own.


Which brings me to this stylish and compact apartment in Stockholm’s Vasastan area, which I spotted on Fantastic Frank. This estate agent is pretty much my ‘go to place’ for Scandinavian property inspiration these days – Fantastic Frank is renowned for its stylish home staging – and one of the things I admire most is the fact that smaller properties are devoted the same attention to detail as the larger – and therefore more expensive – homes.


And this apartment looks great. Decked out in shades of black and grey, there are lots of nice styling touches, from the white neon ‘hi’ light in the bedroom to that overscaled ’M’ in the living space. Hello gorgeous 265 Flos wall light (you can find this piece from Tangram) and hello also to GUBI’s circular Adnet mirror (available from Moleta Munro) that was designed in 1950 yet still looks as fresh and current today.


So, a question: would this apartment have felt as appealing with all-white walls? This might have been the more instinctive response when decorating a smaller space, after all. I’d suggest not: this grey palette gives these spaces warmth and makes the touches of colour and print ‘pop’.


One décor point to note: when using a darker wall colour, don’t break up the room visually with pale internal doors or woodwork. Looking at the bottom image above, those matching doors are what makes this scheme work.


This apartment has now sold having been marketed by Fantastic Frank.