Paint sets the palette for the interior; it is a critical aspect of design. Fresh, moody, eclectic: all are design scenes that can be created by paint alone. Yet as anyone who has attempted a home improvement project knows, choosing the proper colour is not an easy task. Enter Gris Paints, a modernist paint brand that brings a necessary dose of innovation to an oft-stale realm of the design industry.
Gris Paints is comprised of an exclusively monochromatic colour series. The colour collections range from the Architectural Series, inspired by Modernist and Brutalist Architecture, to the Inky Series, inspired by a Japanese mood. A standout is the Nordic Series, a collection of white, light grey, and taupe shades that invoke Nordic light and Scandinavian cities. ‘No. 1’ is described as Classic Scandinavian: a creamy white that balances warm and cool tones. I am convinced ‘No. 5’ (warmth of stone and coolness of cement) is the perfect grey tone I have been searching for for years. From the Architectural Series, ‘No. 14’ is a soft charcoal grey, the ideal wall for a Carrera marble kitchen or dramatic black-framed windows. ‘No. 13’ has perhaps the most striking description: The darkest midnight blue, with a smokey grey quality.
The colours available from Gris look almost too good to be true. At the very least, they are too good for the screen. Luckily colour swatches, hand-painted on A5 cards, can be ordered for every colour. A box of the complete collection is available for design professionals. In addition to the selection of superior colours, Gris is also a sustainable product; free from synthetic binders and solvents and coloured with earth oxide pigments.
It is no surprise that Gris hits all the marks on colour, design, sustainability, and marketing. The founder, Liz Michael, is a makeup artist whose fruitless search for the perfect shade for her home led her to mixing two paint colours together. Years later, Gris Paints was formed, filling a crucial hole in the marketplace. According to Liz:
Every aspect of my former career as a makeup artist is woven together in what I am doing now. Love of art, design, and photography. This has led me to create a brand that is very personal—my point of view on colour, but also a brand deeply rooted in a respect for nature.
Paint acts less like a canvas to cover up and more as an extension of the art itself. And in most cases, particularly in the Minimalissimo universe, the art is architecture or interior design. When the unnecessary elements of a design are peeled away, the remaining are all the more important. Paint, nearly always included in some aspect of a dwelling, is one of those critical elements. Get the paint wrong, and the rest of the art is voided. The promise of Gris Paints is to ease the strain of this vital decision, to guide us into success and into beauty.