Gray Chic

“Real elegance is in the mind; if you have got that the rest comes from it.”
Dianna Vreeland

The use of a gray color color scheme gives a very sophisticated, upscale feeling to a room. I like to combine grays with creams, or gray with white. Dark brown wood tones are a beautiful accents in gray rooms, as are touches of black. (I think that every room should have a touch of black.) Natural materials like sisal carpets or warms tones in leather can warm up an otherwise cooler gray color pallette. Gray rooms have a timeless, refined, elegant quality to them.

Fox Nahem Design

Fox Nahem Design San Franscisco townhouse

Fornasetti Wallpaper from Cole and Son I am wanting to use this wallpaper in a Powder Room. I think it would be a lot of fun.

William Haines He was known for his lamps and his fetish of having no cords showing. A feat for a lamp in the middle of a dining table.
Phyllis Morris Marrakech Gate Wallpaper
This wallpaper reminds me of Maryam in Marrakech. Hi MaryamBarbara Barry via Studio Annetta
A very sophistocated bedroom.

S R Gambrel What great coffered ceilings in these 2 pictures.

S R Gambrel
West Elm I love the ceramic stool at the end of the bed.
Kelly Wearstler Do you think she used a West Elm bed?
Gracie Wallpaper I love this dreamy wallpaper. It fits in so well with the canopy bed and the tufted sofa. I could live forever in this bedroom! Interior Design by Greg Jordan
Gray and white cabinetry designed by Steven Sclaroff via Peak of Chic This room makes me want to sit down and cozy up with a book and a cup of tea and enjoy the crackling fire.

Mary McDonald bedroom via Peak of Chic Very fresh and very Chic..

Kelly Wearstler

Elegant Neutral: Gray is a neutral, balanced color. It is a cool, conservative color.

Nature of Gray: The lighter side of black, gray is a cool color seen in storm clouds and some metals.

Culture of Gray: Like black, gray is used as a color of mourning as well as a color of formality. Along with blue suits, gray suits are part of the uniform of the corporate world. Dark, charcoal gray carries with it some of the strengh and mystery of black. It is a sophisticated color without much of the negative attributes of black. Lighter grays are similar to white.

Using Gray: All shades of gray can be good, neutral background colors. Use lighter grays in place of white and darker gray in place of black. Taupe, a grayish brown neutral is a conservative, slightly earthy, warm shade of gray.

Gray Words: These words are synonymous with gray or represent various shades of the color gray. Charcoal, slate, iron gray, ashen, lead, mousy, gunmetal, silver, dove gray, powder grey, oyster, pearl, taupe, sere, Payne's gray.

Some of my favourite Benjamin Moore gray paint colors:Gull Wing Gray, Cement Gray, Silver Lining, Nickel, Smoke Gray, Pewter, Steel Wool, Shadow Gray

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  1. Oh Patricia, I was thrilled to see this post! I love gray (and my boyfriend thinks I am mad)! I think it is quite possibly my favorite *universal* colour (instead of say, beige), mostly because I love white and blue and nothing looks better with those than gray, and I adore slate blues and lavenders, which gray tends towards...and those watery gray-greens! Heaven!

    I think my only hesitation has been that since I am not insanely wealthy, I can't imagine committing a whole room to gray, for fear of being stuck with it, and I am not *quite* eccentric enough...

    So, you see, I can't figure out how to use it in a sensible middle class house...it seems so totally refined and elegant but just a little out of my realm. For instance, I'd like to paint my living room gray, but I am stuck with existing pink rugs and green furniture and ivory walls are the only answer...

    But I promise, thanks to this post, that I will try much much harder to figure out how to interpret this much-adored colour into my simple little life!

    P.S. I do have a weathered gray leather armchair. :)

  2. Wow - what a wonderful, informative post. I love the psychology of color; it is the single most important, unifying component of design, in my mind, and sometimes very underrated!

    Great pictures, too.

  3. Hi Terri
    A light gray paint on the walls would go with your existing pink and green scheme. Try something like Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl which is a warmer gray.

  4. Hi Sarah
    I always say to my clients that one color doesn't cost any more than another, but it can make all the differnce in the world.
    Thanks for your comment.

  5. Great post, I am a big fan of greys - they can be so elegant and timeless. You've put a great collection of images together too.

  6. I think I am having a very big crush on Mr. Gambrel. He consistently puts out design I adore. Wonderful post Patricia! Thank you;)

  7. Hi ,it is funny to read this post this morning . I actually to write one about grey on saturday .
    At the moment , Grey is th color I use the most.
    I painted over my house with grey and I mixes it with pink ( fushia) it looks great.
    My favorite grey is Cement grey .
    but I also love what we call here pearl grey .
    I love your post
    Mélanie xx

  8. I couldn't agree more Patricia...infact, I just spent the morning doing brush outs for my home's main paint colors, which are a few grays from Benj. Moore. I am so excited, and now I am really inspired to go thru with it, due to these fantastic images :)


  9. Is it normal to pine for West Elm items? Their stylists are just so good at what they do that it's hard to resist their affordable offerings.

    Grey is not a shade I gravitate towards, but you make a compelling case for its versatility. And, even I must agree, that silver has become a mainstay in my color palette. And who am I kidding, silver is really just grey with a bit more sheen!

    On Kelly Wearstler: maybe she does troll the West Elm catalogue too! Something tells me she'll take that secret to the grave, if it's true. ;)

  10. These gray palettes are soothing and chic. My favorite tones are platinum, silver and the warm gray family.

    After looking at these and especially after the Platinum on Pearl Marrakesh Gate and the Geisha textiles by Philip Morris plus reviewing Kelly Wearstler's portfolio, I definitely think that I should use grays more often in my decor.

  11. The "Something tells me she'll take that secret to the grave" comment by franki durbin played games with my mind. Philip (instead of Phyllis) Morris is for another shape of gray.

  12. I love gray, it could be sofisticated, cool, basic, calm, artistic.. so many things and also good to almost all colours. My house is gray and almost everything in it. Great post.

  13. Hi Purple
    Your house sounds beautiful. Please post some pictures of your home for us to see. Thanks for your comment.

  14. The mural in the first photo is breathtaking! Thanks so much for all the amazing inspiration photos!

  15. sonia24/8/07

    I really love the gray-yellow combination and would like to paint one of my rooms part gray and part yellow. Which gray and yellows go together? I don't know whether it's better to use a pale lemon yellow or a marigold yellow with gray. Thanks!


Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

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