I always celebrate when a blogger friend does well. I have never understood the attitude that some bloggers have that we are all in some kind of competition with one another (I mean, I read lots of different blogs, don’t you? Great brands work with lots of different bloggers, right? Isn’t there room for all of us?) and in my eyes, success for one is success for all. After all, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ and as more and more people recognise how much hard work running a blog is and the sacrifices that go into it and show that they value our work, surely that is a great recognition for all of us, right?

And so when I heard my friend and fellow blogger Kate Watson-Smyth had a new book out, I jumped at the chance to share it with you here on the blog as part of her book blog tour. Kate’s blog Mad About the House was named the UK’s No. 1 Interior Design Blog by Vuelio and she won the award for Best Design Inspiration at the 2015 Amara Awards. This lady is incredibly talented and I’m excited to have witnessed her rising star over the last few years.

Now, as much as I am a colour lover, I adore various shades of grey as it just acts as the perfect neutral jumping off point for so many different schemes, no matter what your style. I’ve used it throughout my own home – in my living room, dining room, bathroom and bedroom. It’s really the perfect neutral but I know finding just the right shade can be a minefield.

Swoon Worthy living room with dulux dusted moss 2 walls

My own living room in Dulux Dusted Moss 2

This is where Kate’s book, Shades of Grey comes in. With her usual witty style which is a joy to read (and yes, she’s just like this in person too), she explores the best ways to incorporate grey into your home. From the dizzying array of what is available out there (apparently the human eye can discern about 500 different shades) to understanding the science behind the undertones that change depending upon where it is (even the hemisphere you are in plays a role) – Kate has covered it.

Shades of Grey by Kate Watson-Smyth, published by Ryland Peters & Small, all photography © Ryland Peters & Small

Shades of Grey by Kate Watson-Smyth, published by Ryland Peters & Small, all photography © Ryland Peters & Small

I actually read the book cover to cover. This is unusual for me as well, I do sometimes get distracted by the pretty pictures in my interior design books, however, there’s a wealth of interesting takeaways to be had. For instance, did you know that it was actually the humble light bulb that forced magnolia and builder’s beige from a favourite paint colour to a despised one?

Shades of Grey Kate Watson-Smyth page 39

Shades of Grey by Kate Watson-Smyth, published by Ryland Peters & Small, all photography © Ryland Peters & Small, Page 39

And that layering greys is actually more difficult than it looks? (Don’t worry, Kate explains exactly why this is and how to tackle it.) Or that grey was once seen as a colour of the poor? She also tackles the question many have when considering the shade – will it make you depressed? And of course, the most important – how exactly DO you go about choosing the right shade?

Shades of Grey Kate Watson-Smyth page 135

Shades of Grey by Kate Watson-Smyth, published by Ryland Peters & Small, all photography © Ryland Peters & Small, Page 135

Kate also interviewed a wealth of experts on the subject – from colour psychologists to the biggest brands as well as some of the most respected names in interior design. Emily Henderson, Kelly Wearstler and Abigail Ahern (amongst many others) all provide their own experiences of using grey and what do you know… there’s another quote in there by someone else you may have heard of… (ha!)

Shades of Grey Kimberly Duran quote

All in all, if you are considering using grey in your home – and of course you are, who isn’t these days? – then this is an absolute must read before you end up buying 700 different paint sample pots and blowing your entire budget before you’ve even started. Or worse, paint that room but find it just doesn’t work at all.

Shades of Grey by Kate Watson-Smyth pg 76

Shades of Grey by Kate Watson-Smyth, published by Ryland Peters & Small, all photography © Ryland Peters & Small, Page 76

Of course, there’s also a wealth of gorgeous eye candy inside as well. With nearly every different style and shade represented, there’s absolutely no doubt you will put this book down feeling more armed to find the perfect shade for your home.

Shades of Grey by Kate Watson-Smyth page 164

Shades of Grey by Kate Watson-Smyth, published by Ryland Peters & Small, all photography © Ryland Peters & Small Page 164

You can check out the trailer here for more inspiring images that appear in the book:

I feel much more confident now after reading this to choose the pale grey colour that will be used in our dining room so it’s certainly a worth-while read. Happily, you can get your hands on it too. Shades of Grey – Decorating with the most elegant of neutrals * is now available in the UK and will be released shortly in the US!

Is this going to be on your must-read list? Have you struggled with finding the perfect shade of grey? I’d love to hear what you think!

 

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*Disclaimer: I was provided the book free for my review but was not compensated for my post. I only share things I really love on Swoon Worthy and think you’ll love too! This post contains affiliate links. Please see my sidebar for details about how I use affiliate links on my blog.

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