Why do we love gray?

I love all the gray rooms and accessories that are in home design today.  But, at first glance when looking at the meaning of gray, it’s a little perplexing why the color is so popular and how it manages to work with so many different design styles.

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As a true neutral, gray communicates a void of movement, emotions, warmth or any identifying characteristics.  Yikes!!  But, somehow, I find this bath painted in BM European Gray to be calm, soothing and elegant.  Why is this?

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It’s this very lack of emotions that makes gray so calming!  Because gray isn’t expressing much of anything, the color remains simply restful, quiet, and tranquil. It allows vibrant colors to pop while also cooling their intensity. Oh I get it!!

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Every color seems to perfectly complement some shade of gray – just take a look below at how these accent colors look with a gray backdrop!

 

 

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Oranges!!!

 

 

 

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The Four Seasons in Florence uses the sophisticated color for this lounge that caters to the business sect. It’s a smart choice considering how gray suits have become part of the uniform of the corporate world. Dark, charcoal gray imparts the strength and mystery of black without its negative connotations.

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While gray goes wonderfully with most colors, picking the right gray to complement your accents can be tricky.  The 10 Rooms blog has some great tips and color suggestions!

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I love the above grays from SW!!! They are some of my absolute favorites.

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Benjamin Moore also has a lovely one called Silver Fox.  Designer Michael McKinnon calls it “a warm, taupeish gray, what artists call a French gray. Very relaxed and chic. It immediately puts me on the Île Saint-Louis overlooking the Seine. It’s equal parts earth and air, to use feng shui terms, which means it’s perfect for a small, narrow entrance hall, because it adds warmth and air at the same time.”
So… put some gray in your home if you want:
•    to create an environment where compromise is encouraged
•    a neutral, non-invasive feeling
•    to reduce the intensity of another color, while still including it
•    to create an isolated getaway

Do you have a favorite gray room? Send me pictures to leslie@segretofinishes.com – I’d love to see! We have just gotten a new shipment of art and jelrey at the store–come by and take a peak!!!  Have a great week!  xo  Leslie

 

Before and After Transformations
Defining Spaces

Comments

  1. Leslie,

    What a great post with such beautiful images! I love your explanation of the way the color calms and quiets and just kind of hangs out in the background. So, in fact, it isn't so much the gray itself that is wonderful but how everything else looks against it! This is a color I definitely plan on using more of.
    xo

    Mimi

  2. Hi Leslie I love this post. I have wanted to paint my Living Dining hallway a silvery light-medium gray!
    MU loving room has a lot of warm terra-cotta, rusts, cream, and is currently an awful taupe.
    The Silver Fox and Dorian Gray appeal to me at first glance.

    xoxo
    Karena
    2013 Artists Series

  3. Hi Leslie I love this post. I have wanted to paint my Living Dining hallway a silvery light-medium gray!
    MU loving room has a lot of warm terra-cotta, rusts, cream, and is currently an awful taupe.
    The Silver Fox and Dorian Gray appeal to me at first glance.

    xoxo
    Karena
    2013 Artists Series

  4. Love this post Leslie and your definition of gray seems to fit me prefectly, mature, graying, sounds like me. We're remodeling our living room right now and I have a gray on each wall in a different shade. I'm trying to get one that doesn't come up blue in our home. Our living room is big and I'm thinking of Winter Gates by BM. I love how gray highlights everything without being intrusive.

    XXX
    Debra~

  5. I so love this post today Leslie…..I remember so long ago when I painted my son's room in gray using a gray, navy and white pallet…back then people thought it was dull and depressing, like the skies of a gloomy day…but when the room came together, their minds were changed….Love the Repose and Mindful Gray…Thinking of painting my hubby's office gray…Thanks for all of the great inspiration.

  6. love this and I love gray! cant get enough of it… such great gray inspiration — thanks for sharing…

  7. i guess it's because neutral colors will last for a long time without us getting bored with them 🙂