Shades of Gray

by J on December 29, 2010

If you’re looking for an all-purpose interior color that adapts well with any décor, take a look at gray. That’s right. Gray. Gray is becoming the hot new neutral color with designers because of its flexibility. What could you do with it in your house? Let’s take a look.

Most often when picturing the color gray, we think of a cold, steel gray color; well, take a look at some of the new shades of gray on the market. These shades are combined with other colors such as lavenders, beiges, greens and blues to create some warm, sophisticated colors that look stylish on your walls, furniture or accent pieces. Painting manufacturers have oodles of choices if you can’t wait to use this color in your next home improvement project.

A popular choice from Benjamin Moore is Gray Mirage (2142-50). This has an understated green with gray tones and creates a calm, soothing environment. A perfect application for this shade would be a master bedroom.

If you’re looking for a bit of luminescent color, try Pearl Gray (SW 0052) by Sherwin-Williams. Their Web site suggests using the Pearly gray as an accent color when combined with a lilac wall and yellow trim work. Those color combinations may work well in a formal dining room.

Do your tastes trend toward historical colors? Then you’ll love Valspar’s National Trust Historic Colors line. Check out their Neoclassical palette, inspired by the stone buildings of ancient Greece and Rome. Woodlawn Silver Brook (5001-1B) is a lighter gray that works well in living rooms. Woodlawn Juniper (5001-4B) is a darker gray, which would be particularly striking when used on a fireplace. Woodlawn Sterling Blue (5001-3B) is a light gray with a touch of blue. If you’re painting your home office or dining room, you may want to give this shade a try.

Don’t just think you have to limit the gray to paint colors. Designers are offering up a myriad of linens and accessories in these shades as well. You’ll find bed linens, pillows, lamps, picture frames and other accessories all in varying shades of gray.

If you’re still afraid that gray will just seem to cool of a color for you, San Francisco designer Jonathan Rachman recommends in the January 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens that you choose traditionally warm materials such as linens, woods and natural rugs to inject the warmth you’re looking for into the gray-toned  room.

Overall, incorporating gray into your color scheme will give you lots of options. Use this versatile color as the main event or an accent color for a room. Be prepared for a stylish, soothing effect that you’ll enjoy for a years to come.

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