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Tuesday, August 9

Decorating with Gray

Elle Décor recently asked six designers (including me!) about the color gray and how we like to use it.

“Gray is often the perfect in-between color. Not too bright, not too dark, it can add a much-desired touch of mystery and drama to a room.”

“In this dining room, I used gray as a backdrop to play up the other colors,” says Gibson. “The green leather dining chair and bold patterned painted floor pop against the walls.”

Here is what the other designers had to say. Loved being included with some of my favorite designers:

Darryl Carter
“When using colors other than white, I gravitate toward chalky shades of pale,” says Washington, D.C., designer Darryl Carter. “Gray is a challenging color, as it so strongly informs the mood of a space. When I think of gray, I am visualizing the more neutral, cement tones."

Eric Cohler
"Gray is my new must-have, grounded neutral—forget black," says New York designer Eric Cohler. "Almost any shade of gray will transcend the traditional, adding freshness. It’s the perfect masculine-feminine combination color to use in a room. Think yin and yang."

Waldo Fernandez
“I love the calm and relaxing elements of gray,” says Los Angeles designer Waldo Fernandez. “It changes tonality depending on the time of day.”

Marie Turner
“Gray is serene and subtle, and can signify the glamour of silver or the understated elegance of pewter,” says Marie Turner of New York’s M. Elle Design. “Gray is complex, sophisticated, and simply chic.”

Thomas O’Brien
“I’m fascinated by, and spend a lot of time on, architectural woodwork. Doors almost always come first in my design process,” says New York designer Thomas O’Brien. “Oftentimes, I will suggest to clients that we consider painted doors, rather than finished wood. Paint can create a new-traditional type of history for a space, and gray is a favorite color for this purpose. It has a vintage, archival quality that I love.”

Do you decorate with gray? What do you think?


the modern sybarite ™ said...

The thing with "gray" is that there are sooooooo many shades of it. So what do people really mean by "gray"? Is it battleship "gray" or is it BM Gettysburg gray (which is more beigy)... or the myriad of tones in-between? Personally I love "gray" because whether a beigy gray or a bluish gray, the colors do seem to work with almost any home decor and accessories.

Ronnie said...

A great neutral. I painted my big, previously white, hutch a creamy shade of gray and I love it. Thinking of my kitchen cabinets next. Thanks for the beautiful blog, Grant.

Emily said...

Love it! Gray really does go with everything. What a versatile color. said...

The beauty of gray is that is varies so much...purple grays, brown grays, black grays it is versatile. You room was knockout all the elements were a perfect balance!

Carla@DesignintheWoods said...

I love all kinds of grays. The color of your room was the perfect backdrop for that great chair color.

Anonymous said...

LOVE seeing that lovely bowl with those peonies:)


Anonymous said...

Having recently painted a Venetian commode a beautiful shade of gray, I was quite pleased with the fact that the color works so well with pink, blue, and silver. Gray is versatile and looks sophisticated. Grant, you are on to something.

Laura Casey Interiors said...

I love gray! It can act as such a wonderful neutral shade for any room!

Ideezine said...


Love gray because you can dress it up or relax it down and it works everytime.

Idea Interiors said...

There's nothing dull about gray! I think gray is the new black! Love it! Lovely work as well Grant.


Anonymous said...

About 8 years back I finished remodeling a house. It's distinguishing feature was a front wall made intirely of glass, gable and all. Inside I had ripped out 2 bedrooms to make a dramatic living room 25 feet to the roof. Inside I left as much exposed structureal wood as possible and stained it all mahogonay. The floor was Brazillian Cherry. Now came the problem, what color to paint the dry walls that were not wood? I am a real amature at this and to help myself out I leafed through as many decortor magazines as I could and came up with - yes, gray. A medium sort of "baby gray". I did not think it would work because I just couldn't imagine anything that neutral. But you already know the answer, it worked in spades and the house ended up on the front page of the Washington Post. I was quite puffed up about this. Now, I do love gray and am finishing a log cabin, real logs not a kit. Some of the interior walls will not be log but they will be gray.

Thanks for you delicious post. Ann


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