You’ve seen it everywhere: The color gray is making its name in home design. Magazines are raving about it, stores are featuring it, and your friends’ houses are starting to showcase it. Gray is taking over the design scene, and you want in. The thought of going gray, however, might make you a little nervous. Don’t worry. Gray in design has none of the connotations that gray hair does. A gray accent in your home will rejuvenate your entire design scheme and create an atmosphere of youth, affluence, and refined taste.
There Isn’t Just One Gray
If you aren’t too familiar with the world of gray, then you might be astonished by how many variations there are for each shade. There are dark, light, warm, cool, metallic, matte, industrial, colonial, and many more shades of gray beyond that. Each shade and hue has specific colors that bring out its individual essence. Warm grays bring out the best of earthy tones, while cooler grays pair elegantly with pale and rich jewel tones. For practice, play around with some paint swatches online or at the hardware store. Holding different colors next to various grays will help you establish a feel for the gray design spectrum.
The Benefits of Gray
Your first reaction to gray may be to notice its cold nature as a color. After all, gray is the color of clouds, cement, metal, and smoke. Modern design, however, has completely revamped the vibes that this trendy hue gives off. Gray has the ability to bring out all of the colors in the room simply by being present in the scheme. White also does this, but gray makes a much bolder statement than traditional white. Your guests will immediately notice the subtleties that gray has to offer and still be able to focus on your normal centerpieces.
Gray also does not require you to change anything else about your scheme. Simply evaluate the warmth or coolness of your room’s color palette, and choose an appropriate gray to bring out those tones. This is not the time to be timid. According to former HGTV Design on a Dime host Kristan Cunningham, you need to “bring on trend colors; they are definitely necessary.” Bring your home into this decade!
You really don’t have to redo your entire living room to jump on this trend. One great statement is a light gray curtain, which, believe it or not, will only enhance the color scheme you have already chosen for the room. Lighter window treatments, especially cellular shades, will allow plenty of sunlight to come through the window, leaving your room with the warm feeling you want. For a more formal feel, you can choose deep gray shades. Wood blinds in gray are a perfect compromise for a bold, hip look — think barn wood — that still allows lots of light in. Place a bold gray accent piece in the center of the room to tie the look together.
Even something as small as a gray picture frame, vase, or throw pillow can update the look of your room. Try a small silver shelf for your knick-knacks. Repurpose an old dresser by spray-painting it in a metallic gray. You would be surprised how much a few gray elements can change the atmosphere of any room. It takes the design up a notch from traditional to creative and on-trend.
If you are ready to go big and bold, gray is a perfect vehicle for revamping your design. A gray accent wall can completely change the dynamic of your room. For a French look, add black and white pinstriped accents along with gilded furniture. For an industrial look, remove clutter, choose basic window treatments, and add metallic gray accents to the decor. You can either go completely monochromatic for a high-end look, or keep your favorite colorful accents out and work the grays around them. The result will be comforting yet vibrant.
Incorporating gray into your design may not seem easy, but it’s truly one of the most versatile colors out there. Gray doesn’t have to be the center of attention, so you can still keep the focus on your favorite pieces. Doing this creates a visually complex and appealing room. However, if you want to make gray the star, all it takes is some paint and furniture to create your modern gray paradise.