Four Ways to Successfully Decorate with Gray
Photo © Charles Schmidt - iStockphoto
There's a reason interior designers love the color gray: a gray palette offers everything from off-white to barely black and is markedly more flexible than color. It's not just about walls either. Upholstery, furniture, and linens add texture to an otherwise uninteresting room. Here are four ways to make the most of the color gray:
1. Main-Neutral Grays
For a space to relax in, paint walls or recesses in a pale neutral-gray tone that reflects the light. Pair with a crisp white ceiling and woodwork for a room that feels open, airy, and pleasant. For something bolder, add some bright colors. Gray plays well with cool contrasts—everything from ice blue to turquoise, straw to taupe, citrus to saffron—so be brave.
2. Industrial Cool
Modern steel kitchen fittings and appliances lend themselves to cool urban gray. Pale glossy cabinets give a modern, edgy look—set against stark white walls and tiles for a professional feel. Outside the kitchen, neutral-gray trim adds urban, industrial cool to an open-plan scheme. Keep the walls white to stop the paintwork from feeling too heavy.
3. Scandinavian Style
Pale smoky gray is a good color for Scandinavian style. Cobblestone colors, with silver-blue undertones, provide the perfect backdrop to natural wood—the traditional Scandinavian style is uncluttered with open spaces. Keep your wood as pale as the walls for an airy and relaxed feel.
4. Light and Dusk
Light plays with the various undertones in the gray palette, changing the look of your room over the course of a day. Pale gray often reads white in the day, turning a softer blue green as dusk falls. Take control of the color transitions by adding more than one source of light. Sconces and lamps in strategic positions emphasize the complex gray hues that an overhead light might miss.