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Fifty Shades of Gloom

What does a grey room signify for you?

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Maybe you’re sitting in one now.

Is it just what you always wanted because it looks like a room in an Interiors magazine?

Did Fifty Shades of Grey inspire more than your sex life?

Or is it gloomy, dim, oppressive even?

A client’s husband said “I’m sick of this house, and I’m sick of her, since we redecorated, everything is overcast, all the good stuff sapped from my life”.

Grey does have a nasty habit of draining the colour from the skin… horrid for #selfies

It’s also good at draining the colour from life.

When I visit homes where anxiety and depression are concerns, almost all are grey.

Clients wake in bleak bedrooms, spend their days in battleship family space and their evenings in leaden sitting rooms.

Life in monochrome. Lifeless, dreary, dull.

Now I agree, as a theme, grey looks fantastic in huge rooms with masses of natural Mediterranean/Californian levels of light, and with warm artificial tones… but that’s the thing, grey needs strong light to lift it.

And without intense light, it’s more prison than penthouse.

So the question is, are individuals who struggle with anxiety and depression attracted to grey?

I’d say yes. 

It matches your mood. It’s safe. No surprises. A colour you can cope with. And it’s been so fashionable.

Going further than that, I’d say living in grey inspires and reinforces melancholy and tension. Any brief happiness is quickly crushed and the worry starts again.  

Anxiety breeds grey and grey breeds more anxiety.

Celebrities document their struggle with anxiety pictured in pristine grey spaces.

And their followers think – ‘Yes I want a home like that too’, oblivious to understanding depressed and anxious people are drawn to grey.

Then they sink a little further.

Into the gloom

“I woke up in my bleak grey room and realised you were right” said one radio caller who’d read ‘Welcome Home, How Stuff Makes or Breaks your Relationship’. “I went straight out and bought light paint. I feel so much brighter when I wake up now”.

Interiors magazines are catching on. They’re reporting on the trend towards using warmer, more loving colours in homes. 

I hope concrete shades have had their day.

After all, lockdown was a prison in itself for so many people, and for many the grey made it worse.

Let the light in and banish the gloom. Gift yourself a light, warm, loving space.

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