Color Roundup: Gray – There’s More Than 50 Shades of It!

Gray, gray everywhere! So what’s a color girl like me gonna say about “Gray?”  I happen to love the color when it comes to clothing.  With my blonde hair, the color gray blends beautifully – so I’ve been wearing the color for quite a while.  But there’s not one wall in my house that is gray. I obviously haven’t fallen victim (on the home front, anyway) to this “it” color.  I don’t have furniture or accessories that are that color.  Oh – I have two pillows that are gray with a yellow, cream and tan floral pattern…and some stainless steel in my kitchen – but that’s it.  Everybody’s using it, so maybe I should really look into this! It’s really not a new trend – it’s been building over the last few years.If any of you are also in the non-gray user category, I will be sharing some insights about the color and how to use it in a number of posts this month. The color has been gaining momentum for awhile and, it seems, that I see it everywhere now – in fashion, fabrics, paint colors, tile, home accessories and more.Color trends usually start in fashion and then migrate to the home decor arena. Whether it was silver, pewter, a warm or cool gray…slate or sweatshirt gray, last year’s Fashion Week showed me that the color had really arrived.

Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren
Michael Kors
Narciso Rodriquez
Narciso Rodriquez
Marc Jacobs
In the home color category, gray has been on the radar for quite some time. So this “trend” isn’t actually new. Starting quietly at first, gray has been increasingly on the uptake in the design world.
Via Cote de Texas
Sally Wheat’s kitchen above caused a stir several years ago when pictures of her kitchen, painted in Benjamin Moore’s Fieldstone Gray, was shown on the blog Cote de Texas. At this time, Belgian design was really entering the US psyche and this color was very emblematic of Belgian style.
Martha Stewart also went “gray” early in her kitchen when she painted her island Bedford Gray from her own paint collection.
Thom Filicia and other designers have been on the gray train for quite some time as well.  Below, this sitting room that he designed in 2009 for Designer Visions: Cinema Style featured dark and light gray walls (Palais Royal with Pale Grey by Ralph Lauren on the battens).
A successful use of gray needs some extra pops of color.  Red, blue, orange, aqua will help infuse life in a room that is predominantly gray. I love how Mr. Filicia used the horizontal stripes above as well.  The lighter stripe keeps the room from being too dark and it also gives the space a restful feel.
Gray is such a great choice of color when you’re mixing Cararra marble, mirror, brushed nickle hardware and stainless steel, as above. It’s a simple way of ensuring a sophisticated aura in just about any room.
In the above room, I used a deep taupe basepaint and then I stried pearl and a little bit of gold metallic glaze to create an elegant backdrop for the mirrored funriture, silvered furnishing and silvered gray metallic window treatments. I did this room back in 2007 – and I think it looks like it was done yesterday.
Gray popped up in many of the Design Showhouses this past season.  I took part in one over the summer…and what do you know – a gray kitchen!  At the San Francisco Designer Showhouse last year, gray seemed to be everywhere.
Guest Bedroom by Green Couch
Master Bath by Val Fiscalini
Silver handpainting over gray Venetian Plaster Via
Stencilled leaves over gray Venetian Plaster to blend with the gray limestone tile by Artistic Tile (below) in the penthouse bath by Mark Newman

I will be continuing this look into the color gray in more posts this month.  I even have an interview with color specialist and interior designer, Michelle Winick, who recently created a designer color palette for Muralo Paints.  Hope you will stay tuned.

Let me know if you have used gray for your interiors.  Would love to hear all of your thoughts – successes as well as failures.  If you are having trouble with color in your home, just give me a call at 631 793-1315.

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4 Responses to Color Roundup: Gray – There’s More Than 50 Shades of It!

  1. jan west says:

    Hi, love, love, love the article on gray…great information, great color, great pictures. Thank you for sharing all of that with the public. Jan

  2. Hi Linda,
    as a fellow color lover I have to admit to using grey only as a backdrop for other colors.But this post has opened my eyes! Love the grey/silver combo.

  3. Linda Leyble says:

    Hi – thanks for commenting. I agree with you. Doing this post opened my own eyes. But, I am loving the gray/silver combination as well. I await your new textile collection – can't wait to see it!!

  4. dee dee says:

    We painted our family room kitchen and nook Revere Pewder (BM) in our last home. We loved it so much that we used it in our combo room (kitchen, TV and eating) in our new home that we just finished remodeling. We love it here too! The old kitchen had dark cabinets and the new kitchen has white and it worked great in both rooms! the majority of the rest of the home received Edgecomb Grey (BM too) and I must say… this will become my goto color! We even bought a darker grey couch for the combo room. My thoughts here are it's so neutral that I can change up the accents colors with the change of a pillow or two!
    Dee Dee

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