Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Unintended Consequences

So around about June, I told you about my kitchen project, about the maple cabinets that read so orange, and my lightning bolt of inspiration that came by way of GREY.   The grey seemed like such a great idea.  The combination of the two colors has always been a big favorite of mine, though not a usual one that you will find everywhere or that is easy to make work.  So in order to be sure about my choice, I had to investigate.  And I found some great stuff! 

What I had to remind myself was that our eyes mix color without our even knowing it.  So I could have black and white in some parts of the room, which would stand in for grey.  The combination gives a strong graphic punch.  But you quickly realize that accordingly you have to tone the orange right down, otherwise it fights with the black and you get close to Halloween combinations.  (Oh yeah!  That's why we don't normally decorate with it!)

via Fiona at CafeCartolina

This is a perfect integration of the orange and neutrals.  Somehow the delicacy of the cabinetry and the sheen of the lacquer softens the orange.  When I first bought my house, I happened on alot of orange lacquer along the lines of this cabinet and was really tempted by it.....but......go on, reread the preceding paragraph!

via bobbi at lazy designer

Grey can be so many things.  Rustic, shimmery, industrial.  And a variety of greys makes for such a restful visual. Which is what I think made the choice of grey most appealing to me.

I love what Camilla Engman did with greys and oranges.  (And recycled envelopes!) Wish I could hang this in my kitchen.  There's something at once sorrowful and joyful in this piece.

Who knew grey could be so energetic?

I guess you could call these putty colors.  Or stone.  But let's not call them GREIGE please!

design darling via a perfect gray

Pop in a lot of crisp white.  A little shine.  And what you get is quite elegant.  You don't even really need the French bits and bobs to get that effect.

OK yeah really forget the "greige".  We're talking silvered timbers.  Misty mornings.  Barnacles and lichens.  Pussy willows.  Dried sage leaves.

these two paintings and torn paper collage above, via Sophie's' Seed Capsules tumblr

This is like a modern take on a J.M.W. Turner - a London sunset through the fog and the soot.  But see the equal parts orange and grey?  That means you got some big old fight goin' on here.  Yeah ok.  London's burning?

Something about a tidy grey with clean crisp edges makes you seem very snappy and on top of it all.  Even if you're just a painting.  (Model take note.)

Whispers of grey?

And who doesn't like the look and feel of slab floors and zinc counters?  That's what grey evokes.  There's something solid and timeless about it.  It's cool and warm at the same time.  

And then I got to this picture, of course I just said "to hell with kitchens - let's go on vacation"!

Which I did not.  But this pic comes close, don't it?  BIG.  SIGH.


  1. Love the grey with those touches of orange. This is a beautiful post Melle Paradis!

  2. oh my ... to the last pic, sigh :)
    love your whole selection though, greige and orange is a cool combination.

  3. les petites maisons en papier de Camilla sont adorables ... cela me donne l'idée d'un petit bricolage avec les enfants !! bises et belle semaine.