There’s no denying that grey is here to stay. Apparently, the human eye can identify about 500 shades, yet grey is the only colour that doesn’t have any positive psychological contentions (unlike yellow, which you associate with happiness and red, which you associate with passion).
Despite this fact, it’s a hugely popular colour within our homes and has even moved outside thanks to UPVC firms now offering grey window frames and doors as a cost-effective alternative to aluminium frames. The vast array of exterior paints on the market nowadays also allows you to add a pop of grey into the garden whether that’s your shed, fencing or even decking.
It’s the reason why Ecoscape produces several grey composite decking, cladding and fence panels within the top quality composite product range. With 20 years warranted colour stay, it’s the one element of the garden that remains maintenance free all year round. Put it this way; you don’t need to waste your precious time repainting a deck or fence every spring.
So why have we all fallen for grey?
According to Wikipedia, grey is an achromatic colour. That means it’s a tone without colour, and psychologically, this is why we love it so much. Sitting between white and black the cool and balanced grey easily compliments the exterior and landscaping of a variety of homes. It basically blends into the surroundings.
This has given grey a slightly negative connotation with the words ‘drab’ and ‘boring’ often banded around. But, having a subtle backdrop is actually a necessity for the majority of people designing a garden landscape. It is there to compliment the surroundings, not take ALL the limelight. Nor does grey deserve a bad reputation. Grey is the colour of intellect, knowledge and wisdom according to Kate Smith of Sensational Colour. She says: “It is perceived as long lasting, classic and often sleek and refined”
It is also dependent on the grey you choose. When grey gets closer to black, the more dramatic and mysterious it becomes. The closer grey gets to silver or white, the more illuminating and lively it becomes. We agree entirely here at Ecoscape, adding seven tones and shades to our composite collection. These range from cool greys, natural greys and warm greys, to almost black. All in all, creating a natural finish of a grey varnished wood without any drawbacks associated with timber.
Grey is a popular choice when choosing composite products for your home. Any of these choices will add a sense of style and luxury to your garden landscape, or even house facade. It’s hard to go wrong when choosing a wood plastic composite decking board from our seven shades of grey.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT GREY
But how do you choose the right shade? It’s really quite simple. Pick a grey that compliments the colour of your home exterior;
- Middle Grey – A classic grey, which is neither too warm or too cold, is a great starting point and will go with almost any exterior surface
- Dark Grey – Dark greys are great when the colour is vibrant and not harsh. They suit lighter coloured exteriors
- Warm Grey – Warm greys compliment reddish tones, such as red brick
- Cool Grey – Cool greys suit natural stone and slate roofs
- Charcoal Grey – The almost black options can create a stunning muted monochrome look when matched with a cream rendered wall
So why is grey the colour of choice for your landscape project? It suits all home exteriors. Whether your house is rendered crisp white, sturdy stone or red brick, there is a grey that will match any house facade.
A dark grey works well for homes that are rendered white and have a contemporary feel. Industry and Argent from the Ecoscape Forma range are great options for the decking areas within a garden, adding to high-end curb appeal. The contrast between light and dark is exceptionally stylish, and an architecture trend that will be sticking around for a while.
The Forma® composite decking is dual sided with a smooth profile on one side and the traditional ridge profile on the other. Ecoscape manufactures the composite decking panels using recycled high-density polyethylene plastic and reclaimed wood fibres. A durable polymer outer shell then encapsulates the board to form an impermeable layer that protects from scratching, staining and fading.
Natural stone buildings always suggest strength; there’s undoubtedly no wolf blowing it down that’s for sure. And this sturdiness allows you to go bold with your landscaping colour choices. To be honest, you could pick any of the greys in the range, but the Charcoal, which is almost black, creates a beautiful contrast against sandstone, limestone or slate. You could even mix and match the composite decking boards to create a high impact design feature in your back garden. Here’s a lovely example from our project portfolio.
Finally, homes with a red brick finish go hand in hand with warm grey accents. Windows, decking, fencing and cladding can all take on the stylish grey. Red bricks with a cladding design feature can instantly modernise the house frontage with a grey composite option. We have four grey options in the Forma composite cladding range – Flint, Argent, Silver Birch and Industry.
Our composite cladding uses the shiplap design or capped cladding profiles. The hidden fixing systems offer a stunning, seamless finish and we have a choice of five finishing trims. Cladding is also not the easiest to reach concerning varnishing or repainting, so the low maintenance of composite keeps the house frontage looking on point year after year.
It works with all home types (even on rooftops) Homes that are modern or those that a classical will find a grey hue, allowing your home’s personality to shine through.
You don’t want to distract from beautiful period features if you’re lucky enough to have these. Opting for a subtle grey is worth considering when renovating your landscape. Ash from the Clarity composite decking range is a lovely shade that is bound to compliment a period property. It’s the perfect, low maintenance alternative to timber. The combination of high-density polyethylene plastic and reclaimed wood fibres make the Clarity durable, yet natural looking, which is precisely what you want.
For a modern property that enjoys architecturally designed features, homeowners should use landscaping to mirror and exaggerate the shapes and lines. Matching walls with composite screening can create a stunning feature at the front of the property. The solid screen boards in Charcoal don’t have the flaws of natural wood battens, and the colour will remain consistent and robust year after year. There are four sizes which allow landscape designers to create bespoke patterns for screens and fences.
THE 1930’S SEMI DETACHED PROPERTIES
Yours could be rendered or red brick, elevated or flat, with bay windows or with cladding. What we do know is that growing families are using the stunning 1930’s semi-detached home as a base for modern day renovations, including stunning backyard extensions with wall to wall bi-fold doors. Common additions include a white rendered finish with dark grey accents.
A composite cladding in Argent can quickly and easily replace a timber cladding. It will help tie the front of the building in with any modern extension on the back of the property, and we even have matching composite fence panels that will give you serious curb appeal and potentially increase your property value.
Rooftops and wrap around balconies should not overlook the practicality of composite decking as a stunning exterior design feature. At the very least, you’ll get the sense of owning a private rooftop bar without having to worry about a cocktail hour drinks queue.
We work with commercial customers who use our products for high traffic areas, such as rooftop bars and communal areas. Not only do they look aesthetically pleasing, but sourcing our products for heavy footfall areas proves how durable our composite decking boards are.
This penthouse rooftop in York proves what a beautiful, clean finish you can gain from applying the warm grey Ash against the stunning rustic red brick synonymous with the historic town. Old and new can work so well together when cleverly combined.
We recently completed a project on a balcony by the Thames, using Ecoscape Clarity Composite Decking in Graphite along with glass and metal railings. It transformed an underused area into a stylish space for dining and relaxation. And with that stunning view, we’d be spending every spare minute out there watching the world pass us by.
Ecoscape’s composite products are the ideal option for higher floor installations. It’s easy to manoeuvre, it is quick to install and thanks to the impermeable layer, will not scratch, stain or fade.
GREY WORKS WELL WITH A VAST ARRAY OF COLOURS
We talk a lot about grey matching the exterior of your home but it also needs to compliment your garden too. Thankfully, grey has a steadying effect on other colours. It can tone down bright colours (and coral is the Pantone colour of the year for 2019) and illuminates pastels.
That’s because – when used in exterior and interior designs – it is rarely a mix of just black and white. Other colours are added to paints and fabrics too. Blue, green, pink, deep red and yellow can completely change the tone of a grey, and this also should be considered when you are designing the soft landscape of your garden. Are you modern and contemporary, or a fan of country gardens and veg patches?
The best thing about grey is that it makes a stunning backdrop for lush green foliage and lawns, especially the blue toned greys. A similar contemporary finish can easily be achieved using our range of multipurpose solid boards as an alternative to timber. With four different profiles, you can obtain the modern screen finish as shown above without the flaws and setbacks of natural wood battens.
The trick to creating a garden like this is straight clean lines, defined areas and a majority of green plants (with a slight touch of one accent colour).
Fans of country gardens love colour, layers and curves. The vast array of plants and trees are usually the main focal point of the garden, along with a romantic seating area. The warm greys, like Ash, suit this type of garden perfectly. It is thanks to the traditional burst of purples, reds and pinks that come from plants associated with a British country garden. The aim is to select a grey that won’t clash with this burst of colour, which is why a warm grey will always blend into the background and allow the plants to do the talking.
We also mentioned that traditional country gardens use softer curved borders. Our composite decking can produce curved decking designs, adding to the tranquil softness that is expected from a country garden design.
As you can imagine, low maintenance is a favourite of ours, especially if you’re a fan of the New Zealand artificial lawn too. Natural grey tones, green and white make a beautiful combination. Mixing the neutral grey with a cool grey works well also, allowing you to introduce a hint of blue and purple into the mix. You can also check the best tools to cut sod on Sisters Grimm.
GREY IS TIMELESS, YET STYLISH
The reason why grey is so popular is that it complements the lush greens of a garden and has natural tones that are not too overbearing but still highlight your stylish side. It’s easy to layer and allows you to inject accent colours. It’s therefore now the timeless colour of choice when it comes to hard landscaping projects. To request free samples, click here.