Mrs Hinch-inspired grey homes have no personality & look like a 1980s bank branch, says Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

WHAT has happened to our once-proud nation?

Grey is the colour of death — the hue of depression.

How can anyone say it is their favourite colour? Spitting Image made John Major grey for good reason and . . . aliens are grey.

Ancient Egyptians painted ­Anubis, the god of death, with a grey face, which speaks volumes.

I am looking at an interior- design landscape which proves that a little bit of information in the wrong hands can go ­disastrously wrong.

Grey is clever and good and can work well when it is used in the right way.

But experts who have analysed Google searches for paint shades say Farrow & Ball’s Purbeck Stone (aka grey) is going to be the most popular shade this year — and this can only mean one thing.

What every single muggle in this country has done is just thought, OK, cool, let’s make everything grey — but they have ended up living in a mid-Eighties building- society branch manager’s office.

Grey is devoid of any personality and popular with Instagrammers with their super-tanned faces and bold brassy highlights.

They hope that, by having it in the background, they become the colour accessory that will make the room sing.


If the only interesting part of your room is Mrs Hinch, then your room is doomed.

One of my most X-rated TV experiences — forget Naked Attraction — is the enormous, burger-like sofas plonked in grey concrete boxes on Gogglebox.

The people all look like they are sitting in war-time bunkers.

When the grey-naissance started about ten years ago, I supported it as an antidote to beige.

Cool colours will make a room look more spacious, end of. Beige makes a room look smaller, grey bounces light.

But grey on its own is not the solution. It is the journey to changing your room from being small, to light and airy. It needs colour to make it come alive. We all know this — YOU know this.

Nobody leaves the house wearing head-to-foot grey. It comes with a pink scarf or vibrant, red shoes.

It is the perfect carbohydrate colour for decorating but you must put sauce with it.

Grey will take every ­colour you can throw at it, like orange, green, pink and lilacs.

If I am using grey, I pair it with colour and — hey, f***ing, presto! — suddenly the whole thing then looks ravishing.

For example, take my home office. The walls are grey but offset with purple, glass lamps and brightly coloured book spines.

In 1850s Paris, gold, white and grey were considered to be the height of chic.

Grey was a staple colour of the Eighties, popular with the walls of office buildings in an era of yuppies who were expected to slave away for hours at their desks.

It was a bleak colour that encouraged workers not to get too comfortable.

Even when grey was the backdrop to Joan Collins’ shoulder pads in her Dynasty days, it always came with pink or orange.

The grey-naissance at the end of the Noughties saw the colour used as a classy backdrop to ­decoration.

We were bored by super-minimalism and beige tones. Suddenly, grey felt like the height of sophistication.

I remember transforming a country house long ago and saying to the client that we should paint the walls grey.

They were, like, “Woah, really?”

But combined with gold, it looked sumptuous — an ­interior- design triumph.


The line between drab and fab is what people need to understand.

Unless careful, you will create an environment which would ONLY be comfortable for Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve.

On its own, grey is so ridiculously and unbearably drab.

Imagine sitting down and eating a bowl of undercooked rice.

It is a case of tough love and I am here to give it: If you are going to start playing at interior decoration, painting the whole house grey is not going to cut the mustard.

My advice is start with grey. So, while you might embrace Dulux’s Polished Pebble, or my Hunky Bunker concrete grey, please pair them with teal.

I am here, as usual, to step in and say: Britain, do not look to Marie Kondo and forget Kelly ­Hoppen — listen to me.

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