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Using "Shades of Gray" in Your Home

Using this timeless -yet trendy- color to add style to your space

With the grand opening of the much anticipated 50 Shades of Grey movie this weekend, it seemed appropriate that I post on the design end of this popular color trend. It's also fun to mention that I was featured in an article by this week titled 50 Shades of Gray: How to Use Gray At Home. In the article, I share tips on using the color in your home and offer examples of how to do so.

'ETHEREAL MOOD' by SW throughout my 1st floor 
 Below you will find sample photos from my blog/home (along with the paint color information) and see how I infused the color in various shades on my walls and client projects. You can also read my advice on how to incorporate the color gray into your home design. 

See below for the Q&A on my style tips (you can also click on the photo captions for my details on the colors shown): 

How can people make use of multiple shades of gray in their home? Gray is a color that soothes and transcends style and time periods. I've seen in used both in farm homes and modern lofts. It comes in a variety of shades and serves as a great backdrop in the home. It also looks great layered because of it's variety of tones and goes with most any pops of color. Home owners can start with gray in a family room or dining area and expand from there. 

How can you use multiple shades of gray without being overbearing? I try to layer grays that haven't different undertones. For example if your walls are a pale, neutral gray, you can perhaps use grays with a navy undertone or tan undertone with creams and whites to give a coastal beach house look. It's still minimal and won't feel overpowering in the space.
'FOOTHILLS' by SW - used to paint over the wood cabinets in this kitchen remodel
How do you layer grays? In my master bedroom I have gray walls with a lavender undertone, layered with dark gray furniture, layered with different shades of gray pillows and a white and gray floral duvet cover. The end result flows well without feeling "matchy-matchy". It looks organic when it's not so planned out.

How can you create different atmospheres with gray? (e.g. warm and cozy, vs sharp and clean, etc.) I like grays that border on brown when going for sophisticated and sexy. When going for sharp I try to use grays that are crisp and probably have some level of blue mixed in. They tend to look modern and chic. 
'MINK' by SW in my master bath
What are some of the most popular ways to use grays? (wall color, furniture, drapes, bedding, accessories, etc.) I'm seeing a lot of gray wall color out there - but I'm also seeing lots of rugs and curtains that are mixing creams and whites with gray and they look stunning. Lots of the reclaimed wood look that we see is antiqued by using gray wash paint techniques. 

Are certain shades of gray more popular than others? If so, what are the most popular shades? I love the grays used in the Benjamin Moore historic line of paint, but my home is painted in all Sherwin Williams. The "Mink" gray I used in my bathroom has resulted in ten of thousands of repins on Pinterest and people claim in comments that it's the "perfect shade of gray". I think it comes down to personal preference and the feeling you are going for. 
'SPECIAL GRAY' by SW in my master bedroom
What else should I know about utilizing grays in the home? Don't be afraid to trade in the beige walls for a more modern and crisp looking gray. It can transform the look of your entire space and will most likely work with your existing decor and furnishings.

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