How to handle Mr grey in the bedroom: 50 shades reborn

Don’t wait until the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey premieres on Valentine’s Day to learn how to handle grey in the bedroom...
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Fifty Shades of Grey’s leading man, Christian Grey, has a penchant for S&M, but it’s M&S — and an orgy of other retailers — who have fallen for grey. Once dismissed as cold and uninviting, the colour has been reborn in an uplifting, sophisticated, rich and versatile palette of many more than 50 shades that can find a place in any room in your home. 


You could put it on your walls and floors, choose it for sofas and chairs, or combine with other colours to highlight or soften the look, according to whether you want to create a warm, romantic ambience or cool, restrained Scandi style. Here’s how to do it... 

Little Greene’s Grey collection includes 28 environmentally friendly shades, which come in a range of finishes and hues from almost white through to charcoal and blue-black (; from £18.75 for a litre of matt emulsion).

For impact, introduce a strong contrasting accent such as citrine yellow or red on, say, a stair riser. It’s cheap and easy to change if you don’t like it.

Painting floors is a more challenging option.

Grey flooring won’t show dirt as obviously as white or black. To avoid a “chilly concrete” effect, go for something like Farrow&Ball’s Charleston Grey floor paint, which will infuse even the whitest interior with warmth (

Dulux’s Light & Space paint contains particles that reflect up to twice as much light back into a room — check out its Moon Shimmer matt (; £26.49 for 2.5 litres). 
£550: a Naoko grey-and-yellow armchair. Visit

Tiling company Bert & May is encouraging us to “do it in the shower” with its new range of geometric grey-glazed ceramic tiles, in three finishes. Ideal for wetrooms and kitchens, they’re eye-catching, easy to keep clean and cost from £324 per square metre (

Eley Kishimoto’s debut wallpaper collection comes in a range of gloriously grey colourways, from £160 a roll (

If you use grey on your walls use a contrasting shade on your furnishings.

Habitat’s sophisticated, wool-upholstered Wilmot two-seater sofa has multicoloured buttons and costs £995. Its Hendricks grey wool two-seater sofa is £1,400, the jazzy Naoko grey-and-yellow armchair is £550, while the Kilo multicoloured metal nest of three side tables, £70, will work well with any one of them ( 

For the softest of looks, Mark Alexander has smart, paisley-pattern artisan-dyed sheers and loosely woven weaves in a gorgeous range of greys, from £70 to £130 a metre (

Claire Roberts, new in-house designer at M&S, has given the firm’s textiles and ceramics a makeover. Grey lace Conran duvet bed sets are £49.50 for the double, with cosy herringbone throws at £85 (

Marble is also having a moment, and grey-and-white marble chopping boards from Bodie & Fou (£20/£35) can also become seductive serving platters when friends come round (

Hay’s Scandi-restrained Kaleido octagonal grey trays, £27 at Future and Found, will come in handy, too (

Conran’s cosy grey Gotland sheepskin throw, £395, is made with shearling (

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