Anthracite Grey. That one shade of Grey has come to symbolise the trend in colour for windows and doors over the past decade or so. Just in case you were wondering, the origins of Anthracite can be found in the world of coal, where Anthracite was known as hard coal or black coal. So there you go, a little bit of useless trivia for you.
It has become incredibly popular with homeowners when it comes to picking home improvement products, and that includes new windows and doors. But assessing comments on social media platforms from our sector, and going on my own experience over the last few years, I do fear that it is being oversold and being installed into homes where it risks ageing swiftly and falling out of fashion.
Anthracite Grey popularity
Of all the colours that came to market during the explosion in popularity of coloured windows and doors, Anthracite Grey stands out above all others. Popularised in the composite door market and then quickly spreading to the window part of fenestration, Anthracite Grey has become so popular that homeowners often refer to it as just “grey”.
There is no doubt that it has been a great sales driver. Clients looking for inspiration away from plain White have been able to look towards Anthracite Grey as a popular and safe alternative. Speaking from my own experience, we get so many clients coming into our showroom asking for Grey, knowing that it is Anthracite Grey they are referring to and also that they just want a colour other than White.
I wouldn’t call it a concern, but I would observe that it is now becoming oversold, from the point of view that there are quite a lot of properties having Anthracite Grey windows and doors installed which aren’t a natural fit.
For me, Grey works well on modern homes, houses with White render or light colour bricks or stone. The light and the dark provide a nice contrast and the opposing colours enhance each other. My problem is when Anthracite Grey is used on darker homes. Dark on dark when it’s not a matching colour I don’t think works anywhere near as well, for example against a dark red engineering brick or dark stone. Grey windows against Grey cladding I can get on board with as it is a perfect match, but when darker shades are put against each other but don’t match, I feel it doesn’t work.
This is just my opinion of course, and I’m sure more design-focused professionals will contribute in the comments section below.
At the moment I am running a poll on Twitter asking whether people think Anthracite Grey is indeed being oversold or not. As it stands at the time of publishing this article, there is a clear answer:
Is Anthracite Grey oversold on windows and doors?— glazingblogger (@glazingblogger) March 22, 2023
Almost two-thirds during early voting are saying it is oversold. Only a quarter saying no. The rest are not sure. Those numbers may change in the coming days.
I believe there is an element of sales rep saying yes to requests from customers asking for Grey, even if that particular colour may not be the right match for the house. It’s easy to say yes to something when the other person wants it. But during my own sales process, I try and make clear the range of other Grey colours that they could pick from, and ask about their property and style of home.
I also think on some homes Anthracite Grey could age quite badly. On the right house, like a modern rendered property, I think Grey will age quite well and look good for decades. But on homes where there has been a clear mismatch then I can see a scenario where there is a selection of homeowners embarking on new window renovations because they have grown bored of Anthracite Grey sooner than they might have thought.
All that being said, with Anthracite Grey being a very good driver of sales, installers and fabricators alike are going to very much enjoy this particular trend for as long as it lasts.
Looking further ahead, I do think Black will become the new Black again. I am seeing more demand at our place for Black window and door products. Certainly more than previous years. And perhaps in 5-10 years time we’ll be talking about Black in the same way we are talking about Anthracite Grey now.
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