Mysterious, cold, and often distant, grey is far from the easiest colour to apply to interior design, but when done right, the neutral colour palette is, in fact, highly malleable. Through mixing and matching a variety of tones, lightness and materials, grey can create a range of atmospheric spaces – think calm and collected, chic and understated – to bring out the personality and style of the homeowner.
VirtuouS Interiors recently remodelled a 1,200 square foot apartment at Mei Foo Sun Chuen with flexible grey colours, creating for a couple and their pet a chic and stylish living space that’s a masterclass in practising restraint.
“As the female owner loves the stylish feeling of grey, we used different shades of the colour to set the base tone for the home,” says Lyann Seto, VirtuouS Interiors’ design director. “To increase the spatial flexibility, we reconfigured the original layout and merged the two bedrooms and the corridor into a master suite. The apartment is now an ideal home for two.”
The living room is the heart of a family’s life – and it’s also the perfect springboard to showcase the homeowners’ personalities and aesthetic preferences. Seto and her team applied an array of grey tones to create rich layers, depth and harmony, so the space comes off as more textured, and not overly monochromatic.
“We used faux concrete flooring tiles for their simplicity and low maintenance. The feature wall was made of rock paint material that has rich tactile touches,” she says.
“The combination of the fireproof cement wall creates different layers of grey. We opted for dark grey marble base cabinets to highlight the audio system.”
The male client, she says, craved a cinematic surround sound system in the living room. The thoughtful design team had that in mind when it built a dedicated space during the renovation process for tucking in the wires and audio cables of in-wall speakers.
Seto also had her way of dealing with the space constraints of single-sided windows and low-rise floors. “The large windows in the living room bring in a lot of natural light, but the dining room is far away from the windows. It was dim and gloomy so we used a charcoal color palette with decorative chandeliers, and brightening up the nooks and covers with special spotlights,” she says.
“The key was turning the shortcomings into advantages. We also wanted to do away with the cramped, cluttered feelings of the low- ceiling room. That we did with lighting design.”
For example, because several speakers were installed in the ceiling and walls of the living room, the team opted for one set of floodlights and four light boxes as the main light source, keeping the space as roomy and airy as possible.
Within the kitchen, a gathering space for the owners to entertain families and friends, the team segmented the space into a cooking and an open-plan area. While the former uses double-sided pit-laminated glass to enhance the sense of space, the latter employs an open central island to link up the dining table and coffee bar in the dining room. The end result is something perfect for large get-togethers and socialising.
The master suite, while connected to a large terrace, is separated by a glass folding door to bring in even more natural light, and expand the sense of space. The bedroom and bathroom are divided into the toilet and shower area, with the glass door design making the space even more connected and transparent.
It was during the pandemic when the couple moved into this new abode, and a study with soundproof doors was just what they needed to work from home. When they’re not using the study room, the door can be fully opened and it becomes an integral part of the living area.
By mixing and matching different greyish tones and materials, as well as an ingenious lighting design, the design team was able to create a visually consistent home, imbuing it with layers, style and generous spaces for the owners who have a penchant for the timeless shade of grey.