Grey is the Color of Sadness

Grey is the Color of Sadness

Grey is the color of sadness, of a gloomy sky, of Tiny Tim’s gruel.

Grey a color that should be used only with great restraint and clear intention. True, I’ve used it many times in the past—both successfully and unsuccessfully, but it always must be discussed at length before using.

In a hospitality space, gray is one of the least complimentary colors to any food and beverage offerings. A grey backdrop to an earthy Negroni or an overflowing seafood tower can start to evoke winter vibes, in the bleakest of ways.

Yet grey has become so very popular. Any splashy modern mansion featured on the latest Netflix drama I mean real estate show is covered head to toe in 50 shades of sadness.

Residential real estate has embraced grey because of its ability to exist without notice. Grey says nothing and therefore will not offend multiple potential buyers.

Does your restaurant want to say nothing?

Worse than “vanilla”, grey often becomes a choice because it’s easy. It’s a non-commitment to bolder color alternates that may be polarizing and offend.

But, the most successful hospitality brands lean in to a clear message about who they are and what they stand for—making them polarizing—and gaining them a loyal fan base in the process.

Using your brand message and intention as a barometer to make finish and color (and furniture and lighting and design) decisions is the only way to keep a consistent and pure brand aesthetic that will outlast any trend or fad.

Grey is blah and that is not who you are.

1.  Stop using it.

2.  Notice when you’re gravitating toward it.

3.  Observe your intention when you’re trying to toe the line, not rock the boat, instead of leaning into what you want to say with your business.