There was a time not so long ago when designers and homeowners would select beige for walls and finishings. They wanted to achieve a timeless look that they felt would appeal to homeowners and prospective purchasers alike. But our trend of the moment is grey — the new (and better) beige.

In many ways, this is good news for designers and renovators in particular. Grey has some of the best qualities of beige: it’s timeless, classic, elegant, appealing and it is possible to match with nearly everything.

What sets it apart from the drab aspects of beige that it still has a hint of personality. Grey can have undertones in a variety of colours, such as shades of blue, green or purple.  If you’re not careful they’ll be more than undertones, but this can lend itself to complementing hues like yellow and turquoise to brighten up a room.

Grey can be a handful if you’re not careful, however. Finding that perfect grey can actually take quite a while. Shadows and light, positioning and fabric can also wreak havoc on the uninitiated when working on pairing and matching grey in a room.

Grey can play with your senses, too. It can veer towards black or white, it can seem to walk the line as a near brown, it can mix with your classic ocean-inspired looks of blue and green. And yet, it can seem to not pair with any of the above easily. It can also change, depending on light, as you move through a room.

But, the finished result is well worth the effort of searching for that perfect tone, leaving the owner feeling that their space is a little more special, stylish and classic than the drab beige that was the previous default neutral.

So what is the secret to success when working with grey?

Patience. You will need to work in the space and place your colours there and watch them over the course of 24 hours to ensure that you like the colour combinations in all hours of the day.

Experience. You will start to find grey paint shades, furniture and floor boards that become your go-to colours and selections.

A sense of humour. Sometimes there is nothing better than painting a wall to realize that it wasn’t grey at all, but green or white or purple.

Grey is our trend of the moment because it is so versatile. It can provide the most neutral palate for those looking to build a shade-on-shade motif or provide a clean backdrop to the most knockout bold colours.

And the best part of all: it’s more than just beige!

Slider IMAGES via 1) Terracon Inc.  2) BHG, Studio Surface, BHG  3) purodeco, Sylizimo, Clarissa Isaacs; 4) The Ultralinxest Magazinezhush; 5) Carla AstonProject Nursery, La Maison d’Anna G.