Do It Yourself – Grey Is The New White

It’s all about colour charts, toolboxes and Pollifilla chez Big Forest at the moment. We love decorating so it is no hardship but it is 15 years since I did a major refurbishment and let’s say, dear reader, that those ladders seem higher and the cold chisel heavier than I remember. But progress has been made and we are feeling both excited at the changes and a little daunted by the interior design dilemmas.

The internet isn’t actually much help as the carefully constructed room sets bear very little resemblance to our current colour block mid- century interior or the more ‘modern rustic’ * look we are after . And a colour that looks great in one picture has been photoshopped brighter/more yellow/red/blue/ lighter in the next, but we have persevered
If you want to laugh with (rather than at) others with similar concerns Mumsnet is the place. This post – Grey hallway MELTDOWN Please Help!  and responses which go on for seven pages- is definitely the best of the Fulham mummy – grey is the new white –  in a decorating tizz genre.
Quite narrow victorian terrace hallway. Loft conversion, so lots of stairs up. Wooden floor downstairs and pale, neutral carpet up the rest and landings etc.

I have wanted to paint the hall grey for ages – not too dark but not insipid – defo not a ‘hint of…’. Strong enough so that framed prints stand out and look quite contemporary, but not gloomy. Definitely prefer the greys that go towards the warmer lilacs and puttys to the green grey like F&B French grey.

So after starring at pinned up painted sheets of a4 paper for 6 months, I whittled it down to a couple and decided on F&B Calluna which was slightly towards the lilac and F&B strong white woodwork. Decorators are now in and did first coat yesterday. It is lovely but utterly purple and not what I want for the hall. I slept on it, woke up today hoping it wouldn’t be quite so purple and it is even more so – it will have to go.

But I am now on an expensive clock as the decorators are here now and I’m under pressure to pick something tomorrow. I have spent all day today dragging friends and strangers off the street demanding that they ‘choose’ out of the random paint sample pots that I rushed out and bought this morning but I am not really any the wiser.

Our own decorating therapists are the lovely people at Fired Earth, the paint and tile shop in Brighton who calm with a carefully selected cluster of tester posts ‘THAT WILL DEFINITELY GO TOGEHER’. We have decided that we need much more of these people in our life. If they gently smooth the pain of interior decoration think what they might do for relationship traumas (not that we have one of those) or any cause of friction and strife?
So we are sitting under the apple tree looking at colour chart. At the moment its Amber Gris below the dado with Marram above and woodwork in Bone White. Everything might, indeed will, change and then we will hot foot it down to the folks at Fired Earth who will sooth our fevered brow and make it all right. Again.


It’s actually a thing: * Yes Modern Rustic actually is a thing! We haven’t made it up and it looks wonderful.
Plug away: Cant plug those wonderful folk at Fired Earth Brighton without giving you the URL
Listening to: Years and Years – Communion. Alison Moyet and Everything But The Girl for 2015 and we LOVE it!

About TheBigForest

TheBigForest. A silly artist maker creating in felt and paper construction. Like us on Facebook: TheBigForest. Find us at Twitter : twitter/TheBigForestuk


  1. sam

    Good luck with the decorating 🙂 i was reminded of a quote in the classic tv series Dinnerladies, where they are discussing decorating, Dolly is having muffin, dado, cappuccino, and Anita says ‘oh thats like ours, only it goes flock, daido, anaglypta’ 🙂

  2. I am in the process of changing the color of our walls back to “contractor’s beige” in preparation of putting it on the market. I used to love painting, but not anymore, as it’s a chore that is not fun.

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